Completing the Terms and Conditions of Probation
When it comes to criminal cases and settling the claim in Los Angeles, typically, you're going to be put on probation for a period that can range anywhere from one to five years, depending on whether it's a felony or a misdemeanor, or a whole host of other factors.
What will happen is you'll be given a court date. You're going to have to prove that you're doing what you're supposed to — whether it be paying a fine, doing a course — whether the court orders you to do. Instead of just calling you to do it, then forgetting about you, and letting you go on your merry way, the court will keep track to make sure that you're doing what you're doing.
For example, they give you 30 days of Caltrans to do. They're going to keep checking to make sure you have done it. If you don't do it when it's supposed to be done by — if they give you a completion date — you're going to be looking at jail time to resolve that Caltrans that you didn't do.
I mean, that's how seriously the courts take their orders and what people are supposed to do. They're so overcrowded. They don't even have time to keep messing around with people, so once it gets to a point where somebody's not doing what they're supposed to do, it's just more accessible for the court to throw that person in jail, and once they get out of jail they're done and they don' have to see them anymore.
So, what you're doing after you settle a case fulfills whatever terms and conditions you're supposed to fill. Some people are lucky, and they don't have to do anything except keep their noses clean and keep out of trouble. If that's in a misdemeanor case, you don't ever have to go back to court again if you do everything you're supposed to, and your probation will automatically terminate at the end of it, whether it be one or two or three years.
Probation Officer Supervision on Felony Cases
On the other hand, if it's a felony case, they will keep much tighter tabs on you. A lot of times, you're reporting to a probation officer. The probation officer will make sure that you're not getting any new arrests and doing everything you're supposed to do.
As far as physically dealing with these progress reports in court, you can often handle them yourself. You can show up there early, have your paperwork ready, give it to the bailiff, and the bailiff will give it to the Judge. They'll call the case, and you'll be out of there.
Other times, especially if it's a felony, they like to have your attorney there. So, a lot of times, your attorney will be there. So, that's something you coordinate with your attorney. Sometimes just depending on convenience and speed, we'll have our clients take care of the progress reports themselves; other times, we will take care of the progress reports for the client; and yet other times, we'll both be there to take care of it to make sure everything is going smoothly and they're cooperating with their probation.
So, after you settle your criminal case in Los Angeles, you have to remain diligent to do everything you're supposed to do, and if you do that and get everything taken care of quickly — or as soon as you're able to do based on your situation — a lot of times the Judge will take your case off the calendar and set a date in the future so you can get your probation dealt with.
So, that's your best bet. If you don't do what you're supposed to — keep messing up — then the Judge will keep making you come back to court, which is a significant pain. It costs you time, money, and stress. So, if you've got a situation and you're concerned because you've got progress reports following a conviction in a criminal case, give the Hedding Law Firm a call. We can talk about it and see what I can do to assist you.