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A Court Cannot Extend Your Probation for Failing to Pay Restitution

A California defendant was recently faced with the summary revocation of her probation by the county probation department. In this case, the defendant was placed on three years probation and required to pay restitution.

Threes month before her probation was set to expire, she was informed that she failed to make her restitution payments and she violated her probation. However, the defendant had been making her payments.

After appearing without counsel, the defendant learned that the court was indefinitely revoking her probation because she would not be able to pay the full restitution before her probation expired. On appeal and with proper counsel, the defendant was able to reverse the order and reinstate the original terms of her probation.

Probation and Restitution

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Generally, a court may place a defendant on probation for a fixed time period in accordance with the penal code violation. The court also has the power to modify or revoke the probation if certain terms of the probation are violated or the required restitution payments are not paid.

Probation and restitution are complicated matters and should not be faced alone. You should retain the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich to ensure that your confusion will not result in a probation violation.

Restitution Payments that Last Longer than Probation

Confusion arises in situations where the period of probation will end before full restitution has been paid. If restitution payments are conditions of your probation, you must make those restitution payments or your probation will be revoked. So long as you have been dutifully making your restitution payments in accordance with the court’s payment schedule, you have not violated the terms of your probation. Moreover, an unpaid restitution balance at the expiration of the probation period is not a legal basis for a probation violation.

In addition, a court may not extend your probation until you have finished paying restitution. Recently, attempts by California courts to indefinitely revoke probation status until restitution has been made have been struck down as unlawful attempts to toll the probation period beyond the original sentence. Thus, a court may not toll probation to ensure jurisdiction over the defendant, nor may a court extend probation beyond the initial maximum term.

How the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Can Help

Proper counsel is the only way to insure that the terms of your probation are not unjustly invalidated by the court or the probation department. It is essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side if you have been accused of violating any of the terms of your probation.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, the law firm of Wallin & Klarich has been dealing with probation-related matters in California for over 30 years. We have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you win your case.

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

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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.