How To Get Off Probation Early

If you have been convicted of a criminal offense, you may be sentenced to probation in lieu of jail time. However, while on probation, there may be considerable restrictions and requirements you must meet. In some cases, these can make living your daily life more challenging than it should be. For some, you may be able to get off probation early if specific criteria are met. By petitioning the court systems in Indiana, you could get released from your probation terms earlier than your original sentence.

Early Termination of Probation

Probation is not a permanent sentence according to the Indiana Code Title 11. Corrections § 11-13-1-3. Generally, you will be sentenced to probation for a specific period of time, usually anywhere from one to 10 years. Individuals charged with more serious offenses can expect longer probation terms. There are specific requirements that must be met while on probation that can vary widely on a case-by-case basis. Some of the most common conditions of probation include:

  • Paying court fines
  • Completing anger management courses
  • Remaining drug or alcohol-free
  • Paying restitution fees
  • Completing drug or alcohol rehabilitation courses
  • Completing a driver retraining program
  • Attending group therapy or mental health counseling
  • Staying away from individuals convicted of criminal offenses
  • Finding or retaining employment
  • Obtaining reliable housing

Once you fulfill the terms of your probation, you can be relieved from your sentence. However, in some circumstances, you may be able to petition the cords to be released from probation early. This means you would no longer need to adhere to the probation restrictions you are currently dealing with.

Benefits of Early Termination

The benefits of having your probation ended early are undeniable. Some of the top advantages include:

  • Being able to travel without restrictions
  • No longer being at risk of probation violations
  • Saving money by not having to pay probation or drug testing fees
  • Eliminating check-in with your probation officer

When Your Early Probation Termination Request May Be Granted

The judge will not always grant probation termination requests. When they do, it is usually because they have determined that you:

  • Were not arrested or charged with additional crimes while on probation
  • Did not commit any probation violations
  • Complied with your probation terms

Generally, judges are more willing to end probation early if being on probation would result in continued hardship.

How to Obtain Early Release From Probation

If you are hoping to be released from probation early in Indiana, specific requirements under IC 35-38-2-1 must be met. First, you must file a motion with the Indiana judicial system in your jurisdiction. Your motion should include:

  • Your name
  • The case number
  • The date you were sentenced
  • When your probation will be terminated
  • Why you are requesting early termination

The judge may review your motion and require you to attend a hearing with the state’s district attorney. During this hearing, you will have an opportunity to show that you have been on good behavior, completed the terms of your probation, and that you did not violate or were accused of violating your probation. You must also be prepared to show that terminating your probation is in the interests of justice.

If Granted Early Termination of Probation, You May Qualify for an Expungement

After being convicted of a crime, having it follow you for the rest of your life is less than ideal. Once you have fulfilled the terms of your probation requirements or have been released early from probation, you may qualify for expungement. In Indiana, expungement involves erasing a conviction from your criminal record under IC 35-38-9-1. If your expungement request is approved, you will no longer need to disclose your conviction when applying for housing or job opportunities.