Though preferable to jail time or prison, probation can still be a heavy burden. While you are on probation in Utah, you may be required to check in with a probation officer, submit to drug testing, obey curfews, and follow other rules and requirements set by the court. However, some people qualify for early termination of probation, which allows you to end probation early. There can also be other benefits to terminating your probation early, including the possibility of reducing the severity of your offense with a 402 reduction. Depending on the offense, this could allow you to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. Additionally, you may be able to seal or expunge your criminal record sooner.
While there are many advantages to terminating probation early, the underlying legal process can be complex and multilayered. It is in your best interests to hire an attorney to help you. Darwin Overson, a Salt Lake City lawyer for early probation termination, has more than 16 years of experience handling all types of probation-related cases in Utah, including cases arising from DUI, drug charges, gun charges, theft charges, and sex crimes. If you’re ready to get off probation and start a new chapter of your life, Darwin is here to help you fight for that outcome. Contact Overson & Bugden online to set up a free legal consultation, or call our law offices at (801) 758-2287. We are here 24/7 to provide assistance with your probation-related matter.
Can You Get Off Probation Early in Utah?
The short answer to this question is yes, potentially. It depends on numerous factors, including but not limited to:
- What type of offense caused you to be placed on probation
- Whether and to what extent you have paid your fines and victim restitution
- Whether you have correctly filed all necessary legal documentation
- Whether you have successfully completed any therapy or counseling requirements that might have been ordered by the court
Ultimately, the decision to terminate probation early is at the discretion of the court. To ensure that your case is presented to the judge as effectively as possible at your hearing, you should hire an experienced criminal attorney who has a proven record handling probation cases in Utah.
Termination vs. Revocation of Probation
Probation may be revoked or terminated by the court. While both actions result in probation ending, the consequences are very different.
If probation is terminated early, it means that the court has agreed to the petitioner’s request to end the probationary sentence before it was originally scheduled to end. Early termination of probation must be sought by the petitioner, a process which should not be undertaken without assistance from an attorney. Though often a complex process, the benefits are often worth the effort. Of course, the complete details and circumstances of your case must be taken into consideration, making it essential to review your legal issue with an experienced probation lawyer in Salt Lake City.
In stark contrast to early termination of probation, which can have many benefits for the petitioner, the revocation of probation is a serious problem. If probation is revoked, it means that a serious violation has occurred (such as being arrested for another crime), leading the court to take away probation and sentence the offender to jail or prison time. Early termination is a desirable outcome, while revocation is an outcome to be avoided.
How Soon Can You Request Early Termination of Probation in Utah?
Utah Code § 77-18-1 contains state laws on probation length requirements. Under Utah Code § 77-18-1(10)(a)(iii), “Probation… may be terminated at any time at the discretion of the court or upon completion without violation of 36 months probation in felony or class A misdemeanor cases, 12 months in cases of class B or C misdemeanors or infractions,” with some exceptions.
In other words, if the offense was a Class C misdemeanor or Class B misdemeanor, you must generally serve at least one year of probation without any violations or new arrests. If the offense was a Class A misdemeanor or any type of felony, you must generally serve at least three years of probation without any violations or new arrests. However, judges have discretion to terminate probation before the time periods listed above, ending probation early if the court deems it appropriate.
It is important to keep in mind that the rules above apply to you only if you were “placed on probation on or after October 1, 2015, but before January 1, 2019.” Different regulations may apply if you were sentenced to probation after January 1, 2019.
Additionally, there are some offenses for which probation may not be granted, much less terminated early. Utah Code § 76-3-406 prohibits courts from granting probation for any first degree felony related to offenses including, but not limited to, the following:
- Aggravated Murder
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Child Kidnapping
Salt Lake City Early Termination of Probation Lawyer
If you need to shorten probation, you should discuss your situation with a Salt Lake City attorney for early probation termination. Depending on the details of your case, you may be eligible to stop probation early, and could even qualify for a 402 reduction in Utah. For a free legal consultation about probation in Salt Lake City, contact Overson Law online, or call us today at (801) 758-2287.