Sec 1203 of the California Penal Code governs the operation and application of the California Probation System. In the beginning, probation was a discretionary power granted upon judges, some of which still remain in force today.

There are two kinds of probation, which are as follows:

A) Misdemeanor probation is called summary probation and is typically imposed upon a misdemeanor conviction. The term for this probation stretches from one to three years but in some instances can last as long as five years. In this kind of probation, there is no need to report to a probation officer. Instead, the individual would need to make periodic progress reports to ensure all conditions are complied with as set by the judge with jurisdiction over the case. After the lapse of the period, one would successfully complete probation. Violations though would result in issues moving forward. Judges also have some leeway as to the imposable penalties in misdemeanor probation, such as mandatory restitution fine, permanency of a restraining order, mandatory abstention from drugs or alcohol through a program, DUI programs if the case is a DUI conviction, searchability conditions by police at any time without need for a search warrant, community service and a clear order not to violate any future laws.

B) Felony probation is also called formal probation. Like misdemeanor probation, this can last as long as five years. The major differences though are as follows:

1) In felony probation, the individual is assigned to a probation officer. The convict would need to report to the assigned probation officer once a month, with the judge having the discretion to increase the frequency. Failure to report to the probation officer can result in revocation of probation. This is to ensure that the individual would remain in the state and comply with all the requirements set forth in the probation order, which includes verification of employment and mandatory drug testing. Every so often, a probation search is conducted on the residence to ensure that no drugs or criminal activity is done on the site.
2) When there is a felony probation violation, the court can order service of the maximum term of the sentence in state prison. Depending on the particular offense, the maximum term would be eighteen months or more. Probation reports are also required during the service of the felony probation prepared by the county probation department after a review of the alleged crime and the individual’s criminal history.

The following are the most common misdemeanor and felony probation violations are as follows:

a) failure to pay a fine or restitution;
b) failure to appear for a court date;
c) failure to comply with a court order;
d) failure to report to your probation officer;
e) commission of a new crime;
f) failing to submit or failing a drug test.

When any of the above instances are committed, the following process occurs:

1. A police officer would arrest the parolee and brought before a judge either because of an arrest warrant or through voluntary surrender.
2. There is a trial or parole violation hearing where evidence would be adduced regarding the violation committed;
3. When the probation violation is proven, after review of the case, criminal history, recommendations as well as seriousness of the crime, the judge would determine the imposable penalty, either reinstatement on the same terms and conditions, modify your probation with new terms and conditions or revoke the probation and require service of the full sentence imposed in the original case.

The crime of violating probation is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.