Early Termination of Probation & Violations

What is Probation or Conditional Discharge?

When you get sentenced for a crime, the judge may give you probation depending on the severity of the crime and your background. Probation is like an agreement between you and the Judge to allow you to be out of custody in exchange for your promise to follow certain rules over a specified period of time. In New York, if you are convicted of a felony, you will have at least five years in probation; if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you will have at least three years.

How do You Obtain Early Termination?

In New York, the judge has the power to terminate probation at any time during the probationary period; however, most judges want to see at least twelve to eighteen months completed before they will consider the request. Additionally, you need to ask yourself if you successfully followed the checklist of rules the judge gave you, such as attending treatment classes. If you were ordered to pay restitution, the judge will not terminate probation unless it has all been paid, assuming you are financially able to do so.1 And, most importantly, you have not been picked up for any new offenses or committed any probation violations (see below). The Judge will base his/her decision on the following question: has this defendant been reformed? In other words, can you show the judge that you are headed in a positive direction since the conviction? In addition to terminating your probation, the judge will often expunge2 the criminal record and, if applicable, reduce a felony to a misdemeanor.

What is a Violation of Probation?

If you violate something on the checklist of conditions that the judge give you, then you have violated your probation. Most probation violations include a violation of the order to obey all laws because a new offense was committed. Other common probation violations include failing to appear at a court date, submit to a drug test, attend a course (ie: domestic violence, DUI, parenting, anger management), pay a fine or pay restitution.

When a probation violation happens, the prosecutor has the power to punish you with jail or prison even if you are not convicted of the new crime. This punishment can include longer probation and/or jail time. Before the District Attorney increases your punishment, you have a right to have a probation hearing to contest the facts against you. At this hearing you have the following rights- to be represented by an attorney, cross-examine and confront witnesses, call your own witnesses and use the subpoena power of the court to compel witnesses to come to court, testify on your own behalf, and present mitigating or extenuating circumstances.

How We can Help You

Lavy Law will help you obtain early termination of probation or win your probation violation hearing. As a former prosecutor who has handled many probation violations, we know on how to get your case dismissed. As a trial attorney, we know how to win your probation hearing or ask for early termination before a judge. As a counselor at law, we know how to empower you during this intimidating process so that you get the result you desire.

We ask you to review our Recent Cases to see that we have won a case just like your own.

If you are being accused of a probation violation or want early termination, Contact Us immediately for a consultation.

[1] Criminal Procedure Law § 410.90

[2] A person whose conviction is expunged means that you can lawfully answer “no” if asked whether he/she has been convicted of a crime. This is valuable for obtaining employment.

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