Penal Code Section 1203.3 gives a judge power to terminate your probation early. Being on probation can have unforeseen collateral consequences - it may be difficult to secure gainful employment, prevent you from advancing at your job, or getting a loan. Terminating your probation lifts any restrictions being on probation has on your life. It also means that you qualify to have your record expunged.
Judges have great discretion in deciding whether to terminate your probation early. They are often reluctant to grant the motion because you made a commitment to the court to finish out your probation. Because of this, a skilled attorney is critical.
Section 1203.3 gives a judge the authority to terminate probation early when the "ends of justice will be subserved" and "when the good conduct and reform of the person held on probation shall warrant it…". Put differently the court is looking for three things:
The only timing requirement is that a motion must be filed with the court and prosecution at last two dates prior to the court hearing. This means the motion to terminate your probation early can be brought at any time during your probation. However, judges typically prefer that probation be about halfway done.
While terminating your probation early lifts on hardships probation causes, the biggest benefit is that it qualifies you to have your record expunged. Expungement has several benefits, most notably the ability to say you have never been convicted of an offense in most circumstances and applications. In certain circumstances, the judge is required to grant a request for expungement, if early termination for probation has been granted.
When requesting that your probation be terminated early, you may also have your record "expunged." If the underlying offense is a felony, we will also file a petition to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor.