Orange County AB 1950 Probation Attorney

Changes to Probation After Criminal Sentencing

Sentencing for criminal charges in California typically includes penalties like monetary fines, jail, or even prison time. In many cases misdemeanor violations can result in probation, a temporary period of supervision assigned in lieu of spending time in jail; for felony violations, judges often assign probation time to come on the heels of jail time as a part of initial sentencing. In both situations, probation is intended to allow people to remain in society while providing the supervision deemed necessary to help prevent the person from re-offending or even committing a new crime.

In October of 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California Assembly Bill 1950 into law in an effort to begin much-needed probation reform in the state. The bill caps most misdemeanor probation terms occurring after January 1, 2021 at 1 year and caps most felony probation terms at 2 years. If you are currently on probation in the state of California, it is crucial to contact a Santa Ana or Orange County criminal defense attorney to discuss the possibility of immediately reducing or terminating your probation period.

To request more information or to receive a consultation from an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney, contact the Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, today.

What Does AB 1950 Mean for Probation in California?

The writers of AB 1950 appear to agree with guidance from the US Justice Department, stating that probation terms lasting longer than two years are not only ineffective for helping those facing criminal charges, but instead provide a great deal of stress and financial expense. In addition, the complex probation system in the state of California presents an enormous expense to the state, and – due to its high rate of probation violations – results in even more financial costs when individuals are forced to report to jail or prison after a violation.

For that reason, AB 1950 caps misdemeanor probation terms at 1 year, and felony probation terms at 2 years for most offenses. The bill is effective as of January 1, 2021 and automatically applies to all of the following situations: persons with qualifying charges filed on or after that date, persons with charges pending as of that date, and likely those currently on probation. Depending on the date of your offense, as well as the timing involved regarding your sentencing, AB 1950 caps could prove to drastically shorten the term of your probation.

Why Do You Need an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney?

If you are facing criminal charges, it is essential to hire an Orange County criminal defense lawyer. A skilled lawyer like Christopher J. McCann has a strong track record of handling the many fine details of a criminal trial and can begin building you a solid case from the moment you receive notice of your charges. In addition, Christopher J. McCann has an in-depth knowledge regarding all the new guidelines set forth by AB 1950.

By securing a skilled Santa Ana criminal defense attorney to handle your case, you can ensure that the provisions of AB 1950 are applied as outlined in California Law. Proper sentencing may allow you to circumvent years of unnecessary monitoring. As a result, you’ll reduce your chances of violating the terms of your probation and may even avoid the need to serve jail time or pay additional fines.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding AB 1950 and Probation in Orange County

Whether you are facing criminal charges or are currently experiencing probation in Santa Ana or Orange County, it is important to develop as much knowledge as possible about the new guidelines. For that reason, we have supplied this brief FAQ designed to answer common questions experienced by probation recipients. If you have any other questions regarding AB 1950 or probation, contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann as soon as possible for further guidance.

Q: What offenses does AB 1950 cover?

A: AB 1950 applies to the vast majority of criminal offenses that allow for a term of probation. In fact, most experts have deemed it simpler to list the common offenses not covered by AB 1950. In general, offenses not subject to AB 1950 include (but are not limited to):

  • Offenses of a violent nature, such as murder, attempted murder, rape, sexual abuse, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, DUI causing injury, child abuse, domestic assault, simple battery, elder abuse, child abduction, kidnapping, stalking, torture, and more.
  • Theft, embezzlement, and robbery related offenses that involve amounts in excess of $25,000.
  • Offenses that carry a mandatory probation period as part of their sentencing provisions, including DUI and domestic violence among others.

Q: What if I was sentenced to probation before January 1, 2021?

A: According to guidance published by a reputable retired judge, legal precedent for the matter has already been established. In particular, In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740 establishes that in cases where a newer rule has replaced a harsher one, those implementing the law can be assumed to have intended the new regulations to relax the overly restrictive law, even in cases that began before the law went into effect. The judge in question is of the opinion that if a defendant were to request consideration for the newer, reduced probation terms, such a request should be granted.

Q: What if my case is still active as of January 1, 2021?

A:  People v. Chavez (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 971 and People v. McKenzie (2018) 4 Cal.5th 771 both cite the same precedent and establish that a case is not considered complete until a final disposition is entered in the highest court authorized to review it. In such a case, it is likely the court will simply move forward with sentencing with the new considerations in mind.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann?

The new regulations established under AB 1950 should provide some much-needed relief and reform of our probation system. However, you need an experienced Santa Ana criminal defense attorney to assist you in navigating this new area. Christopher J. McCann has successfully handled numerous probation cases in Orange County and can assist you in ensuring you receive the best possible outcome for your probation appeal.

If you or a loved one could benefit from a review of probation terms under AB 1950, contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann today. With offices located in Santa Ana and years of experience providing skilled representation for clients facing criminal charges throughout Orange County, Attorney Christopher J. McCann has unique insight into Orange County probation law.