Articles Posted in Probation

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Southern California, that does not mean you have been convicted. If there is no conviction, you will not be facing any type of sentence. If you have either entered a plea of guilty, or no contest, then you have been convicted of a criminal offense. Similarly, if you have gone through trial, and have been found guilty of a criminal offense, then you have been convicted. After the conviction, there is generally a sentence. Most sentences, not all, but most, consist of the following components.

Jail Time

Many offenses will consist of jail or prison time. It is important to note that jail or prison time is not a part of a sentence in every offense. There are many offenses that will not require any jail or prison time. A jail sentence is any time served that is one year or less. Prison time is any time that is served beyond a year. Whether or not you are asked to serve a jail or prison sentence will be determined by the facts of your case and your criminal background. Most often violent crimes, felonies, or second or more offenses will include some time in prison or jail.

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A person who is charged under California Penal Code §647(f) is charged with Drunk and Disorderly conduct. For a person to be convicted under this section, the government must demonstrate that the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the requisite elements. The person must be willfully intoxicated, they must be in a public place, and they must be a harm to themselves and others, or be obstructing the public walkway in one way or another.

The specific code section does not provide a range of potential consequences, so those of a general misdemeanor will apply. For misdemeanor charges the potential sentence is up to one year of informal probation, a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in County Jail.

Informal probation is probation that is not supervised. You do not have to check in with a probation officer. You are simply asked to stay out of trouble for the time that you are under probation, or a probation violation will arise, and may lead to additional penalties added onto the current sentence being served.

In May 2011, actress Lindsay Lohan was charged and convicted of shoplifting. The Judge sentenced her to 480 hours of community service , to be completed by April 2012.

Lohan was scheduled to complete her hours by providing service to the Los Angeles Downtown Woman’s shelter. However, the Downtown shelter has recently terminated their agreement with Lohan because she has failed to appear for several shifts and on days that she appeared, only completed a minimal amount of hours. According to Los Angeles District Attorney, Jane Robison, her hours will be transferred from the Woman’s shelter to the Red Cross. In addition, Lohan also has 120 hours of janitorial work that she is signed up for at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

To date, the young actress has only completed 21 of the 480 required hours. In addition to not completing required community service hours, Lohan has also not been attending court mandated counseling sessions. Lohan defends that she has missed community service hours and counseling sessions because she has been out of the country possibly filming a movie.

Actress Lindsay Lohan appeared in the Beverly Hills courthouse on September 24, 2010 and was ordered to be taken into custody with no bail.

Ms. Lohan had spent two weeks in jail in this past August and several weeks at a Rehabilitation facility where she had made great strides in tackling her drug and alcohol addiction. Upon being released from the facility, as part of her probation she was ordered to provide the Court with random drug tests whenever requested. The actress, however, failed multiple drug tests in the week before her court appearance. As a result, the Judge took her into custody for her probation violation and set another hearing date for October 22, 2010. The Judge will then decide if Lohan had violated her probation and what the revised sentence will be.

When the Judge grants probation it should be taken very seriously. Your probationary period is a chance for the Judge to see that you have learned from your sentence and will not make the same mistake again. If you violate your probation you will have to appear before the Judge and he or she will decide the appropriate steps to be taken. Possible consequences may include an additional fine, extended probation or community service, and in many cases, mandatory jail time.

When a person is charged with a Los Angeles Criminal case they are required by state law to be placed on Probation depending on the offense. There are over 100s of different offenses in the California Penal code and each will yield difference consequences. Potential sentences may include jail time, a fine to be paid, education classes to be completed, and/or restitution.

The sentence will include one of two types of probation, informal and formal. Informal probation is generally the case for misdemeanor charges. Petty theft will generally be given informal probation which is unsupervised. Formal probation on the other hand requires that a person check in with a deputy probation officer and is strictly enforced. Charges like felony hit and run, or theft will require formal probation after a jail sentence has been served.

There are two type of probation violations: external and internal. An internal probation violation results when a person fails to complete required education classes, pay a fine, fail a required drug test or fail to report to a probation officer ( in cases of formal probation). An external violation results when a similar crime is committed within the probationary period.

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