Misdemeanor Probation

Justice Scale and Gavel

Most defendants who are convicted of a misdemeanor offense are placed on misdemeanor probation for a specified period of time. This probation is also called informal or summary probation, because unlike those who are placed on felony probation, a defendant on misdemeanor probation does not have to report to the probation department. Generally, a defendant’s compliance with misdemeanor probation is monitored directly by the Court. A failure to comply the terms of misdemeanor probation can result in a probation violation, revocation of probation and incarceration.

When sentencing a defendant on a misdemeanor offense, the court can sentence the defendant to jail, can place the defendant on probation or can require a combination of both. The maximum sentence for misdemeanor offenses is determined by statute and can be 90 days, 180 days or a full year depending on the specific crime. The sentencing judge may require that the defendant serve some time in jail as a condition of probation and then be placed on probation. The probation period for a misdemeanor offense can range between two and five years. Unlike those on felony probation, defendants on misdemeanor probation are allowed to leave the state or country and would not need to notify the court first.

At sentencing, the judge will read the terms of the sentence into the record. The defendant will also be provided a copy of the sentencing form that lists each requirement. The defendant is expected to comply with each of the requirements of his or her sentence while on probation.

The terms of probation will depend on the circumstances of the crime. In all cases, the defendant would be required to pay a court fine, plus penalties and assessments. Once these additional amounts have been totaled, the final amount can be extremely expensive. Courts often allow defendants to substitute jail time or community labor hours in lieu of the fine if they are unable to pay.

For defendants who are convicted of a driving under the influence offense, the court will require that they complete a drug and alcohol education program. The length of the class will vary depending on whether or not the defendant has prior DUI convictions, the defendant’s BAC and other relevant factors.

For many assault cases, the defendant would be required to complete an anger management program. This may be a 52-week or 26-week program designed to address the defendant’s violent tendencies and offer guidance on how to positively resolve conflicts.

The court may require that the defendant serve time in jail. Alternatively, the court may require that the defendant complete community service or community labor hours. Community labor is offered through the county and is a structured work program that may include beach clean-up, picking up trash on local roads or the tree farm program. Community service can often be completed through any non-profit organization and can include volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

If there was a victim who suffered damages, the court will order that the defendant pay restitution as a condition of probation. The defendant would be able to challenge the amount of restitution owed at a restitution hearing. Failure to pay restitution to the victim can be the basis for a probation violation, but only if the defendant’s failure to pay is willful. If the defendant cannot afford to pay restitution, he or she cannot be penalized for this failure to pay. The court may hold an ability to pay hearing and may extend the defendant’s probation term until the restitution amount is fully paid off. Alternatively, the court may convert the restitution owed to a civil judgement that would attach to the defendant even after probation has been terminated.

Usually, the Court will provide due dates by which the defendant must provide proof of completion of the various requirements of probation. Failure to meet these due dates will result in a probation violation and bench warrant being issued.

If you are facing misdemeanor charges or are currently on probation for a misdemeanor offense, it is absolutely crucial that you discuss your situation with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut possesses extensive knowledge of criminal law and procedure and is highly effective at assisting his clients through all stages of the criminal process.

For more information about Los Angeles misdemeanor probation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Client Reviews
He gave me the peace of mind that my DUI case was going to be resolved. He fought for what it was needed and helped me by answering all my questions. Mike is not an average attorney. He’s a very experienced, honest and straightforward person that is there for you!
Eve Sal
I hired Attorney Mike Kraut and I'm am so happy and grateful that I did! I was arrested for a DUI because my BAC level was over the .08 limit. I ended up getting a wet and reckless instead of a DUI. I still have to do some classes and I'm on probation, but I do not have a DUI on my record. If you have a DUI hire Attorney Kraut, he definitely knows his stuff!
Avvo User
There aren't enough positive words to write about Mike, but let me be clear that this is the only lawyer worth hiring in Los Angeles. Mike is professional, caring, and an absolute champion at winning in court.
Kyle, Avvo User
Mike Kraut is not a typical lawyer. He is a straightforward person with a true heart and a sympathetic ear. He is also smart and connected and he cares about the people who seek out his help. He got my son out of a jam. He did it quickly and painlessly. I recommend Mike Kraut to anyone that needs his services.
Thank you Mike for helping my son.
Mark, Avvo User
Michael Kraut is a rock star lawyer. I was really happy and satisfied with the results I received from Michael and his team. A few months back I was being accused of a serious felony. Mike gave me sound legal advice and worked diligently to clear my name. Mike was great at always keeping me updated and returning calls. Great, great lawyer I cant say enough about this man!
Eric, Google User
How can I express how relieved and pleased I am with Michael's professional abilities to have my Felony brought down to a misdameanor to a possible dismissal with deferment. With his care my life has been turned around and cannot say how helpful he's been not only in my case but life. He, himself has changed how I view criminal lawyers. Thank you so much Michael!