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 Criminal & DUI Lawyers located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Featured on CNN
ABC News
NBC News
Los Angeles Times
CBS News
The New York Times
Us Weekly
Entertainment Tonight
Good Morning America
Legal Broadcast Network
Avvo Rating 10.0
Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.