If you have been charged with a crime in the State of Texas and took a probation, you might be able to get an early termination. But to qualify, you need to complete at least a third or two years of your probation (whichever is less). Some serious offenses prohibit judges from approving an early termination of probation. If you have any questions about whether you’re able to get your probation terminated early, be sure to speak to a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi for more information.
What is an Early Termination of Probation?
Courts can decide to grant an early termination of probation, which they can do at their discretion. And they can grant it for many misdemeanor and felony offenses. Once you have gone through an early termination of probation hearing, you’ll no longer be on community supervision. But judges aren’t required to grant an early release. So, you won’t be able to force a judge to approve your motion for an early termination of probation. Even if you have completed all the terms, judges don’t have to grant an early discharge if they don’t want to. But most of them will listen to what you have to say and will try to reduce your probation whenever possible.
You want to minimize what you have on your criminal record, so you can reduce the number of future consequences (both seen and unforeseen) related to these charges. An early termination or deferred adjudication is one way to start this process. Having a probation on your record is better than a prison sentence, but being successful on a motion for an early termination of probation will look even better. Getting a charge reduced is always preferable to pleading guilty, which is why you need to speak to a qualified attorney for more information.
How Soon You Can Request an Early Termination of Probation
If you were given a probation sentence, you can ask for an early termination after it has been imposed. But a court will usually require defendants to serve at least nine months (or even one year) of a misdemeanor probation. For felony charges, they’ll require at least 18 months before you can qualify for an early termination. If you were given a regular or “straight” probation, you’ll have to complete at least a third of your probation or two years (whichever is less).
The Process for Requesting an Early Termination of Probation
To get an early termination of your probation, you’ll have to work with a qualified attorney to go through the following steps:
- Draft a motion that requests an early termination of your probation.
- Schedule a date to appear in court.
- Speak to the prosecutor and probation officer to get their support.
- Present your argument to the judge.
Before you can start your early termination of probation hearing, the prosecutor must get an advance written notice, so he or she has the opportunity to state any objections on the record. If your request for an early termination is successful, most judges won’t require you to pay any probation fees later on.
How Courts Decide to Grant an Early Termination of Probation
Courts will take a look at all the circumstances of your case, which can include but may not be limited to:
- The seriousness of the events leading to the conviction.
- Whether you have completed all the terms and conditions of your probation.
- The extent or lack of your criminal record.
- Whether the probation is keeping you from getting employment or any other benefits.
- The prosecutor’s position on the issue.
If you meet the basic requirements for an early termination of probation, the judge may consider your request if you meet all of the following:
- You showed exemplary behavior during your probation.
- You completed all the hours of your community service.
- You paid all of your fines and restitutions in full.
- You have met all the conditions of your probation.
There are, however, some offenses (such as sex crimes and DWI charges) that aren’t eligible for an early termination. If you want more information about what you can do to start the process and whether you qualify, Gale Law Group can help you. We’re a criminal defense lawyer in Corpus Christi that can help you with the process. Feel free to reach out to us, so you can find out why we’re one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the Coastal Bend.