Early Probation Termination: Here’s What You Need to Know

Posted on Apr 27, 2018 in Criminal Defense

If you’ve been convicted of a crime in New Orleans and received probation in lieu of jail time, you may consider yourself lucky that you avoided time behind bars. But that doesn’t mean that probation is a picnic. Your rights can be limited and you may have ongoing reporting or testing obligations. If you could snap your fingers and end your probationary period today, you no doubt would. While it takes more than a finger-snap, you can ask the court for early termination of probation and can also increase the likelihood of your request being granted if you follow some simple advice.

For felony convictions, a Louisiana court may terminate a defendant’s probation early and discharge him at any time after the expiration of one year of probation when either the state has verified it has no opposition to early termination or a hearing has been held.

For misdemeanor convictions, a judge may terminate probation early at any time so long as the termination is made in open court and prosecutors are given an opportunity to object.

Note that for both felonies and misdemeanors, a judge “may” grant a request for early probation termination, but there is no guarantee that they will do so. If you want to help your case when requesting early termination of probation in New Orleans, here are four things you should keep in mind:

Follow the Rules

Judges don’t like their orders being violated or ignored. The terms of your probation are part of a judge’s order, and if you fail to comply with the limitations or obligations contained in that order, it is unlikely that a judge will take kindly to your request to be relieved of those obligations. If you fail a drug test, disobey a “no contact” order, leave Louisiana without permission, or otherwise fail to follow the rules about what you can, can’t, and must do, your probation may not only stay in place, it could actually be extended or even revoked altogether, with the potential of jail time.

Pay Any Restitution Owed

If the terms of your probation require you to pay restitution, make sure you pay what you owe on time. Even better, if you can pay early, that will make a judge more likely to end your probation early as well.

Do More Than the Minimum

If community service or substance abuse counseling is part of your probation, you should take those obligations seriously. If you can go above and beyond and show a commitment to your community, your health, or your sobriety that exceeds these obligations, that will no doubt impress the judge and minimize the likelihood that prosecutors will object to your request.

Have a Good Relationship With Your Probation Officer

Maintaining a good relationship with your probation officer, making sure you appear at all scheduled meetings, and reporting in as required never hurt anyone seeking to be done with probation early.

Let Our New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorneys Help

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in New Orleans or elsewhere in Louisiana, or you have questions about early termination of probation, please contact Bloom Legal, LLC at 504-517-0487 or contact us online now. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys stand ready to vigorously protect your rights, are available 24/7, and will work tirelessly to obtain the best possible result so you can move forward with your life.

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