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How To Get Off Probation Early

Many people are sentenced to serve a term of probation either after serving time in jail or instead of serving jail time. Although the laws that govern probation vary between jurisdictions, it is possible to draw some general conclusions about how to get off probation early.

Get Informed

Perhaps the most important factor when it comes to getting off probation early is knowing the law in your jurisdiction. It should be easy enough to look up the pertinent laws online. Alternatively, get in touch with your lawyer who can probably offer plenty of advice about methods for ending probation early.

Early Termination of Probation

Not every jurisdiction allows the probation period to end early. In some places, being sentenced to six months of probation means that every minute of that time must be served. Other places are more lenient. To qualify for early termination, several qualifications usually have to be met. Most courts do not grant defendants with the “right” to have their probation term ended early. Instead the defendant must have good reasons for needing to end probation early and has to comply with a number of stipulations.

Typical Requirements for Early Termination

Many jurisdictions that allow early termination require that the defendant serve at least a certain portion, such as half or one-third, of their probation before being eligible. The defendant should also be on track as far as paying any fines or fees that are due in connection with their case. If the defendant is required to attend classes or counseling, they should have completed this program or be on track to complete it before their probation is terminated. It is important that the defendant has complied with every condition of their probation. Crucially, some jurisdictions simply don’t allow for early termination of probation for certain crimes. The defendant who has committed one of these crimes will never be eligible to end probation early.

The Court Hearing

Usually the defendant must request a court hearing in order to be granted early termination of probation. Some jurisdictions require that the defendant prove that probation is preventing him from finding or maintaining employment or is restricting some other necessary type of activity. The results of an early termination hearing are very much in the hands of the presiding judge. Accordingly, it’s important to prepare carefully with the assistance of a lawyer who can argue in favor of early termination.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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