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Did California Law Just Shorten All Misdemeanor and Felony Probation grants?

Assembly Bill 1950 (AB-1950) was passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 30, 2020.  This bill shortens most misdemeanor probation terms to one year and most felony probation grants to two years.  The purpose of the law is to shorten terms of supervision and reduce billions of dollars of costs.

1203a. (a) In all counties and cities and counties, the courts therein, having jurisdiction to impose punishment in misdemeanor cases, may refer cases, demand reports, and to do and require anything necessary to carry out the purposes of Section 1203, insofar as that section applies to misdemeanors. The court may suspend the imposition or execution of the sentence and make and enforce the terms of probation for a period not to exceed one year (Penal Code §1203a, effective January 1, 2021.)

If I was already Sentenced, can I get my probation terminated early?

It depends.  If you were sentenced to a misdemeanor that did not have a codified duration of probation, and you have already completed all affirmative obligations, and have completed a year of probation, you may be able to petition the court to terminate probation.  Early termination of non-serious, non-violent felonies without a specific duration might be available as well.

Are there exceptions?


(b) The one-year probation limit in subdivision (a) shall not apply to any offense that includes specific probation lengths within its provisions.

Any misdemeanor that specifically provides for a period of probation greater than one year will not be affected by this new law.

So will the new law shorten DUI Probation grants?

Unfortunately, no.  The law that governs DUI probation contains the following terms:

  1. (a) If any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152or 23153, the court shall not stay or suspend pronouncement of sentencing and shall pronounce sentence in conjunction with the conviction in a reasonable time, including time for receipt of any presentence investigation report ordered pursuant to Section 23655.

(b) If any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 and is granted probation, the terms and conditions of probation shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Notwithstanding Section 1203a of the Penal Code, a period of probation not less than three nor more than five years; provided, however, that if the maximum sentence provided for the offense may exceed five years in the state prison, the period during which the sentence may be suspended and terms of probation enforced for a longer period than three years but may not exceed the maximum time for which sentence of imprisonment may be pronounced.  (emphasis added)

San Diego County, including Vista Superior Court, Central, East, and South Bay Superior courts, haD created a form to petition for early termination of probation (CRM-319, available at

Call today if you would like information on early termination of probation in all San Diego and Southern California Courts.

Joel W. Bailey

Bailey Criminal Defense, Inc.

(76) 643-4025

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