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Early Termination of Probation in Washington State

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If you receive a criminal conviction in Washington, the state may place you on probation. This court-imposed sentence serves as an alternative to jail, allowing you to avoid imprisonment or negotiate an early release. In some cases, you may be eligible for early termination of probation, allowing you to return to daily life without restrictions.

What Is Probation?

Probation is an alternative sentencing option that allows you to remain in your community instead of going to jail. When the state places you on probation, you will need to comply with a series of rules and meet regularly with your probation officer at set times. These conditions will vary based on your conviction, but common probation terms include the following.

  • Mandatory community service
  • Abstaining from illegal drugs or excessive alcohol
  • Avoiding certain people or places
  • Appearing in court at scheduled times
  • The payment of fines or restitution to victims
  • Submitting regular drug and alcohol tests
  • Avoiding out-of-state travel without permission
  • Complying with curfews
  • Reporting interactions with law enforcement

Violation of probation is a serious offense. If you break any of the rules of your probation during the probation period, your assigned officer may either give you a warning or require you to attend a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will hear evidence of the violation and decide whether a violation occurred. He or she may assign penalties such as additional terms, jail time, fines, or a revocation of probation.

When Can You Petition for Early Termination of Probation?

Under Washington law, you can request an early termination of your probation. However, you can only petition the court for early termination in certain circumstances. Cases involving serious felonies or defendants with histories of violence are not eligible for early termination.

If you received a felony conviction, your defense attorney or probation officer can petition the court for early termination after you complete at least one year of your probation. If you are completing probation for a misdemeanor charge, your attorney or probation officer can petition the court for early termination at any time.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Off Probation Early

Probation can impact many aspects of your life. It is normal to want to return to your daily routine without restrictions on where you can go, who you can see, and what you can do. If you are on probation, the following tips can improve your chances of early termination.

  • Adhere to all terms of your probation. If you violate any of your probation rules, the court is unlikely to recommend early termination. Always follow all of your probation terms as soon as the supervisory period begins.
  • Keep up with your court payments. If you do not pay all of your fines, court fees, restitution, and other costs by the time you petition the court for early termination, the judge will not end your probation.
  • Avoid asking too early, even with a misdemeanor charge. If you have not completed at least half of your probation term, the court will be unlikely to grant early termination.
  • Prepare with a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can prepare a motion for early termination on your behalf and can help you understand what to expect at your hearing. He or she will also gather documents and evidence to support your case.

If you want to petition for early termination, speak to a defense lawyer. Your attorney will guide you through each step of the process and can craft a compelling case to support your early termination. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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