Can I Terminate Probation Early?

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If you have been sentenced to probation, you may be wondering if you can terminate probation early. The short answer is that you may be able to terminate your probation early if certain conditions are met.

How Long Do I Need to Be On Probation Before Applying for Early Termination?

Usually, you will need to complete at least 50% of your probation term before you can apply to terminate your probation early. Importantly, the term of probation begins to run from the date of your sentence, not from the date of your guilty plea. If the guilty plea and sentencing took place on the same day, then that’s the day to calculate the start of your probation from. If you are on lifetime probation, the Court may terminate lifetime probation after you have been on probation for at least 5 years without violations.

New York State has a definite period of probation associated with each charge. For misdemeanors, the period of probation is at least three years. For felonies, the period of probation is at least five years. Sex offenses have longer periods of probation associated with them, compared to other charges.

What Requirements Must Be Met Before You Apply for Early Termination of Probation?

The rules governing the termination of probation are codified in New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 410. In addition to completing at least 50% of the duration of probation, any other requirements of your probation must be completed. That is, if you were required to pay fines, restitution or complete community service, or a treatment program, all those requirements must be satisfied.

Are Certain Types of Cases Not Eligible for Early Termination of Probation?

CPL Section 410 does not contain any charges that are specifically excluded from termination of early probation. However, in order to qualify for early termination of probation, under CPL 410.90 the judge must determine that:

  1. The probationer is no longer in need of guidance, training or other assistance which would otherwise be administered through probation supervision;
  2. The probationer has diligently complied with the terms and conditions of the sentence of probation; AND
  3. The termination of the sentence of probation is not adverse to the protection of the public.

Importantly, the statute specifically provides that early termination of probation will not be granted, if there was no good faith effort made to comply with an order of restitution or reparation.

How Do I Apply to Terminate Probation Early?

Although you can apply on your own to terminate probation early, it is best if you do it with the help of an attorney. Your attorney will prepare a motion addressed to your sentencing judge explaining:

  • Why you are no longer in need of supervision by probation,
  • How probation poses a hardship on you,
  • How termination of probation is in the interests of justice.

In support of your motion to terminate probation early, your attorney will obtain letters of support from your family, friends, any community and religious organizations that you are involved in, as well as your school or your employer. These letters will speak to the type of person you are, and why you no longer need to be supervised by probation.

Importantly, before applying for termination of probation, it is important to speak to your probation officer to determine whether they would support your application for early termination of probation. Without having your probation officer on board with your application for early termination of probation, it is virtually impossible to terminate probation early. That is because the Office of Probation is considered an arm of the Court. Thus, when considering applications for early termination of probation, judges give a lot of deference to the recommendation of your probation officer.

Contact Top Rated New York Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you or your loved one need guidance on how to terminate probation early, you need experienced counsel to assist you with your application. Please contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.