Felony Probation in California as an Alternative to State Prison

December 7, 2011

Perhaps the most dreaded consequence of a felony charge in California is the prospect of spending time in California state prison.

But the good news is that for many kinds of felonies there are options besides state prison. One of those options is felony probation in California, which means the defendant gets to serve his or her sentence outside of custody.

Generally speaking, people convicted of felonies may be eligible for felony probation in California if they have no history of committing a violent, serious or sex crime, and if the current offense is not of that nature. The judge makes the final decision as to whether to grant felony probation instead of prison, but the judge gets input on the issue from the department of probation.

Some factors judges look at in deciding whether to place a defendant on felony probation in California include the seriousness of the crime, the amount of loss to the victim, the defendant’s criminal record (including as a juvenile) and the degree of sophistication with which the crime was carried out.

Felony probation in California involves conditions such as meeting with your probation officer, paying restitution to the victim, participating in counseling, doing community service and not violating any laws. You might also have to submit to random drug testing as well as warrantless peace officer searches of your person or property.

Our California Criminal Defense Attorneys have secured felony probation in California for countless clients where they may otherwise have had to go to state prison.