Ways to get early probation termination

Written by michael j. scott | 13/05/2017

Almost anytime you are convicted of a crime you will find yourself on probation. Even minor traffic offences can get you probation if you are making payments on your fine. Occasionally an offender will complete all of the terms of probation early and make a request for early probation termination. While early termination of your probation is not a right, and granting it is completely within the discretion of the court, there are things you can do to increase you chances of success.

Understand the Purpose of Probation

Probation is a form of sentencing that allows the court to punish you without sending you to jail. Ideally, by keeping you in the community you are better able to pay your penalty and rehabilitate to a crime-free lifestyle. In fact, often the most important requirement of probation is that you refrain from committing any further crimes. If you commit a crime while on probation you can not only forget about early termination but you can forget about probation all together. The court will likely revoke your probation and send you to jail.

Complete the Requirements

The only real way to get early probation termination is to complete all of the requirements of your probation and complete them well. This means paying all fines, completing all community service and completing all court-ordered counselling. Ideally you should complete all of the requirements as early as possible to show the court you are serious about your probation. For example, if the court gives you six months to pay your fine you should pay it off in three.

It also helps to go above and beyond the requirements of your probation. If the court doesn't order restitution for the victim, consider paying some anyway. If the court orders community service, consider volunteering at the same place even after your required time has been met. Anything you can do to show the court you are aware of the consequences of your crime and unwilling to commit further crimes can only help you in your request.

Your Probation Supervisor

If you are on supervised probation your probation supervisor's opinion will carry a significant weight with the court. You need to make sure you have a good working relationship with your probation supervisor. Be sure to tell him you are seeking early termination and your reasons for wanting to do so. Without the approval of your supervisor it is highly unlikely any court will approve your request for early termination.

Determine Your Reasons

Typically it helps to have a good reason for wanting the early termination of your probation. Try to think of important reasons you may need to be off of probation, for example starting a new job or needing to move to another state. A court may not grant the request without a compelling reason, so hopefully you have one.

The Request Itself

A request for early probation termination is usually done in writing or before the judge in court. Make sure you have proof that you have completed all of the requirements, as well as any additional proof that supports your request. Make sure your probation supervisor is either there to speak on your behalf or has sent a letter of support to the court ahead of time. Also, always remember that terminating probation is entirely up to the judge. If you have prepared your request you should have success, but only the judge makes the final decision.

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