Can Probation End Early?

September 28, 2021

Can Probation End Early?

Probation is a court sanction put on a person found guilty of committing a crime. With supervision from a probation officer (PO), a person can stay in their community under certain conditions for a period of time. Once that time is over, they are free to live without most or any conditions placed on them. These conditions can include:

  • Jail time (different from prison)
  • Counseling
  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Restrictions on purchasing, drugs, alcohol, and weapons
  • Restrictions on possessing a valid driver’s license
  • Fines
  • Regularly reporting to your PO

For a period of time, while someone on probation is free to live in their community, they have to live with an assortment of these listed conditions. Reporting to your PO is true of all cases, but the others are based on the crime you committed. Not every offender and crime is offered probation based on their criminal history or the harm of their crime. Should someone commit a crime or violate one of the conditions of their sentence, they can be sent to prison.

How long this period lasts depends on the offender and the crime. Someone with repeated but victimless crimes may still get probation, but a longer period than someone with one theft on their record. But if your probation period is longer than you can stand or deserve, can you see it shortened?

Can Probation End Early?

In the state of Pennsylvania, yes, it can end early. While the court can decide to shorten someone’s sentence, people can also petition the court for an early end.

What Factors Affect an Early Termination?

To support such a case, a person on probation will need to have completed a few things. While they can petition the court, it’s unlikely they’ll succeed if they haven’t met a few basic standards.

  • Keeping a clean record. Breaking any of a court’s conditions, like a restriction on alcohol, weapons, or drugs, will assure that a court will not grant a person an early end. It could actually see them sent to prison or see their probation period extended.
  • Serve at least half the probation term. The court is generally more likely to not grant someone an early termination if they haven’t served at least half of their sentence.
  • Developing a convincing argument.

What Points Make a Convincing Argument for an Early Termination?

If someone doesn’t have an argument for why their probation should end early, the court of law doesn’t have much reason to do so. There are a few reasons that can help form an argument.

  • Can’t qualify for jobs because of probation.
  • Probation keeps someone from being approved for loans.
  • Good behavior.

Many people on probation have trouble getting good-paying jobs, with many needing to take low-paying jobs because that’s all they can get. That’s a difficult cross to bear, but it does mean there’s a precedent for an argument, and therefore, for someone’s petition to end their probation period.

Consult with Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano

Our lawyers have ample experience in representing people against criminal charges across Lackawanna County. If you need a law firm that can get you the most lenient sentence or even prove you not guilty, contact Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano to schedule a free consultation.

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