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Can I avoid going to prison if I have been convicted of a felony?

Many people think that they will automatically be sentenced to jail time if they are convicted of a felony. That is simply not true. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys may be able to help you get formal felony probation instead of serving time in prison for a felony conviction. Our criminal lawyers have the experience it takes to mitigate the punishment, sentence and consequences of your felony conviction.

If you have no prior convictions, and the present felony offense was not a serious or violent felony, our attorneys can help you avoid a prison sentence by seeking a grant of formal probation.

Am I Eligible for Probation?

Felony Crime AttorneyFormal probation is a privilege and not a right. We can investigate all facts and circumstances about your case to argue that you are a strong candidate for probation. Having the right attorney representing you makes a considerable difference in helping you avoid a prison sentence. The Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients obtain formal probation instead of a prison sentence. We can help guide you through the legal process and answer any questions you may have.

The court will look at several criteria when determining whether to grant you probation, including the facts relating to the crime and the facts relating to you. (California Rules of Court rule 4.414). Facts relating to the crime include:

  • The nature of the crime;
  • If the victim was vulnerable;
  • Whether you inflicted personal or emotional injury on the victim;
  • Whether you were an active or passive participant in the crime; and
  • Whether you took advantage of a position of trust or confidence to commit the crime.

Facts relating to you include:

  • Your prior criminal record;
  • Your prior performance on probation or parole;
  • Any negative consequences a felony conviction will have on your life;
  • Whether you were remorseful for your actions; and
  • Whether you will be a danger to others if you are not imprisoned.

In certain serious felonies, probation will not be available to you and the court must sentence you to a prison term. However, in the vast majority of cases, you will be eligible for probation and the court has the discretion to either grant probation or sentence you to a prison term. For more information about whether you are eligible for probation, contact a Wallin & Klarich attorney today.

What is Formal Probation?

Consequences Felony CaliforniaFormal probation is supervised probation by the county probation department in the county where the crime occurred as defined in California Penal Code Section 1203. If you are on formal probation, you are required to provide your current residence, employer information, and contact information to the county probation department and your assigned probation officer. You are also required to update this information with the probation department and your probation officer if there are any changes.

Additionally, formal probation requires you to comply with the terms of your probation, including, but not limited to:

  • Stay away from the victim;
  • Attend and complete certain rehabilitative classes;
  • Do not commit any criminal offenses or violate any probation terms and conditions;
  • Pay restitution, court, and probation fees;
  • Do not possess any contraband or weapons;
  • Do not leave the state without permission from your probation officer;
  • Report to your probation officer when requested; and
  • Submit to a search or seizure upon the request of a police or probation officer.

Probation Violation Hearings

You are entitled to a hearing if you are charged with violating probation. At your probation violation hearing, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. However, you are not entitled to a jury trial and the judge determines whether you are guilty of violating the terms of your probation.

In the event that the judge finds that you violated your probation, the judge may revoke your probation and sentence you to the maximum sentence for the underlying crime for which you were convicted. The judge can also modify your probation by imposing additional terms to your probation or reinstate your probation on the same terms and conditions of your original probation.

Call the Felony Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or someone you know is facing felony charges, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Our skilled attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending our clients facing felony charges for over 30 years. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to defend you.

With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Torrance, San Bernardino, Riverside, West Covina, Sherman Oaks, Victorville and Ventura, our criminal defense attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.