Felony probation is an alternative to state prison. For some felonies, we can negotiate a felony probation deal to avoid a state prison sentence. Another option in serious cases is a resolution of felony probation with the "execution of sentence suspended" or "ESS". This means that you would be on felony probation but have a specific amount of prison time hanging over your head if you violate any terms of your probation.
Generally, on felony probation, you will stay out of prison if you comply with all of the terms of your probation. In some cases you may still have to serve some local, county jail time, which can sometimes be served on either electronic home monitoring or through the Sheriff's Work Program. The maximum county jail time for a felony probation sentence is one year (served at half-time).
Felony probation typically lasts between three and five years in California. The terms of probation are imposed by the judge. Importantly, the probationer must obey all laws. This means that if you are on probation and you are arrested for any new offense, you can be found to be in violation of probation and be sent to state prison. A good lawyer will argue that unreasonably onerous terms and terms that have no relevance to your case should not be imposed on you.
Additionally, on formal probation, you will have to periodically report to a probation officer and keep the officer updated on your whereabouts. The judge will impose other conditions, such as: ordering you to attend counseling/anger management/AA meetings, waiving your fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, submitting to drug testing, and being ordered to stay away from specific persons or places.
People have to be very careful to obey the directives of their probation officers and all judge's orders during their probationary period or they can face going to prison. If you are on probation and you violate any of the terms imposed by the judge, you can be re-sentenced and sent to prison.
Just because your case is initially charged as a felony this does not mean it will resolve for a felony or that you will be found guilty of any crime at all. Often this depends on the strength of your attorney.
Call our criminal defense team today for a free consultation.