Taking effect on January 1, 2021, Assembly Bill 1950 will limit the amount of time on probation a person can be ordered to serve in California. The maximum term of probation for most misdemeanor offenses is now one year, while the maximum term for most felonies is two years.
Before the enactment of AB 1950, the maximum term of probation for a misdemeanor was three years. Additionally, if the term of incarceration of a specific crime is more than three years, then the maximum term of probation is the same as the maximum term of the jail sentence.
Some misdemeanors excluded from the one-year limit include:
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Violation of a protective order
- Unauthorized computer access
- Telephone fraud
When it comes to felonies, the previous maximum term limit is the same the maximum prison sentence. The new two-year limit applies to most felonies except for any violent offense, child sex crime, and theft crime involving more than $25,000.
The new limits will apply to all cases not final and pending sentencing as of January 1, 2021. When it comes to defendants who were sentenced to probation before January 2021, they may seek amendments to their existing probation limits, even if the appeal period has expired.
Although probation is designed to be a tool to help people avoid jail or prison time and monitor them to ensure they do not commit new crimes, long probation terms generally do not result in improved public safety. Rather, the longer a person is on probation, the more likely it is he/she will violate a minor term and get sent to jail or prison.
According to research, probation past the initial one- or two-year period reduces community safety. Many probation terms may interfere with a person’s ability to maintain full-time employment and be functioning member of society.
If you or a loved one is interested in reducing your current probation term in California, contact Beahm Law today at (844) 811-5444 for experienced legal assistance. Available 24/7!