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Probation Violations

In California, the court may revoke and terminate probation if the interests of justice so require and the court, in its judgment, has reason to believe from the report of the probation officer or otherwise that the person has violated any of the conditions of his or her probation, has become abandoned to improper associates or a vicious life, or has subsequently committed other offenses, regardless whether he or she has been prosecuted for such offenses.

The court is not limited to the grounds set forth in the penal code. Probation can be revoked if the client’s conduct shows that they are unfit to remain on probation and that the client’s continued liberty represents a threat to the health and safety of others.

A court can revoke probation even if the client is never charged with a new offense, if charges are later dismissed or the client is found not guilty of the charges after trial.

Probation can not be revoked for failure of a person to make restitution pursuant to Section 1203.04 as a condition of probation unless the court determines that the defendant has willfully failed to pay and had or has the ability to pay.

However, failure to pay restitution or fines can serve as the basis for probation revocation. In order to serve as a basis for revoking probation, the court must determine if the client willfully failed to pay the restitution or fine. The court must also find that the client actually had the ability to pay the restitution or fines previously imposed.

As a general rule, probation can be extended for anyone who did not pay restitution even if the failure to pay was not willful. Probation can only be extended to the maximum probation period allowed by the specific offense.

When probation revocation proceedings have been initiated, you have the right to be represented by an attorney, you have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, you have a right against self-incrimination and you have the right to produce evidence for all charges against you. In probation revocation proceedings you do not have a right to a jury trial, but you do have a right to a bench trial, before a judge who, without a jury, will decide if you violated the terms and conditions of your probation.

If you have been found in violation of the terms or conditions of your probation the court must take some action. The court can reinstate you on probation under the same terms and conditions, with no further punishment. The court can also reinstate you on probation but can modify the terms and conditions of probation in order to punish you or to assist in your rehabilitation while on probation.

The court can also impose a sentence if the imposition of the sentence was previously suspended. The court can impose a prison sentence for any length of time up to the maximum time permitted by the offense.

If the judgment had previously been imposed, but the execution of the sentence was suspended, the court must either reinstate you on probation or must impose the previously suspended sentence. Except under limited circumstances, the court will not have any authority to reduce or modify the previously imposed sentence.

Contact Criminal Law Attorney Jacob Zamora

To set up a free initial consultation at the Sierra Law Center, APC, call 530-798-3548 or fill out the online contact form.

Northern California | Probation Violations | Criminal Defense Attorney Jacob Zamora, Esq.