DV Probation Terms
If a person is granted probation for a domestic violence crime, the terms of probation are found in penal code section 1203.097 and include:
- At least 3 years formal or informal probation.
- A criminal protective order protecting the victim from further acts of violence, threats, stalking, sexual abuse, and harassment, and, if appropriate, residence exclusion or stay-away conditions.
- Notice to the victim of the disposition of the case.
- A minimum $500 batterers treatment fund fine.
- Successful completion of a 52-week batterer’s program.
- Completion of community service.
The program shall immediately report any violation of the terms of the protective order, including any new acts of violence or failure to comply with the program requirements, to the court, the prosecutor, and, if formal probation has been ordered, to the probation department. The probationer shall file proof of enrollment in a batterer’s program with the court within 30 days of conviction.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Probation
DV probation is usually 3 years and can be formal or informal. Probation terms usually include: a CPO or peaceful contact with the victim, don’t possess any weapons, search and seizure for weapons, enrolling, participating, and completing the 52-week domestic violence class, pay $500 dollar fine, paying restitution, obeying all laws, completing your community service and jail sentence, and showing up for all court ordered appearances.
Felony Domestic Violence with Probation Granted
In a felony DV case, you may be eligible for felony probation instead of prison. The maximum punishment with probation is up to 1 year in jail. To determine if you are eligible the court will look to California Rule of Court section 4.414 which lists the probation eligibility factors:
- Seriousness and circumstances of the crime compared with similar crimes.
- If defendant was armed.
- Vulnerability of the victim.
- Degree of monetary loss to the victim.
- If crime was carried out in a criminally sophisticated manner.
- Defendant’s prior record, as an adult or juvenile.
- Defendant’s willingness to comply with terms of probation.
- Likely effect of imprisonment on the defendant and his/her dependents.
Felony Domestic Violence Probation
If you are granted felony probation, it will be for a period of 3 to 5 years, usually its 5 years. The standard felony DV probation terms include: formal probation, a CPO or peaceful contact order with the victim, don’t possess any weapons, search and seizure for weapons, enrolling, participating, and completing the 52-week domestic violence class, pay $500 dollar fine, paying restitution, obeying all laws, completing your community service and jail sentence, and showing up for all court ordered appearances. It may also include regular alcohol/drug testing, probation searches, regular contact with your probation officer, substance abuse counseling.
Felony Probation Consequences
You can still go to prison if you violate felony probation up to the maximum sentence of the crime you are charged with. You must pay for felony probation supervision which can cost thousands of dollars. Felony probation restricts your travel out of the state unless you get your probation officers permission. It also only allows you to move to another jurisdiction or state if the other jurisdiction or state accepts your probation transfer. You will be required to keep and maintain employment and participate in counseling if required by probation.
Criminal Protective Order
In all misdemeanor and felony DV cases, the prosecutor will ask for a criminal protective order (CPO) to be put in place to protect the victim or witnesses from harm or intimidation. (Pen C §136.2) In almost all cases, the judge will order the CPO to be issued and served on the defendant in court usually at sentencing. The CPO can include personal conduct restraints, stay away orders, and firearm prohibitions. During the term of the CPO the defendant cannot own, possess, purchase or receive any firearms. (Pen C §12021(g)) The CPO remains in effect until the defendant is no longer subject to the court’s jurisdiction which means upon termination of probation.
NO CPO Issued
The only way not to have a CPO issued is to have the victim appear in court and tell the judge they do not want the protective order to issue. Even if the judge agrees, a judge may still issue a no harassment order which means the defendant is ordered not to harass, strike, or annoy the victim.
52 Week Domestic Violence class
If you are convicted of a domestic violence related offense, you will be ordered to complete a 52-week domestic violence class. (Penal Code 1203.097) Domestic Violence treatment programs provide offenders the opportunity to gain awareness of their violent behavior and to learn and practice skills that enable them to change their behavior and attitude toward their families and domestic partners. The cost of the class is approximately $1000 to $2000 depending on a person’s income since most classes will charge a sliding scale based on income from $20 to $45 per class. All programs have payment plans. To sign up for the DV class you will usually need your court referral paperwork.
Jail v Alternative Sentencing
Every county handles domestic violence sentences differently. Some counties don’t allow alternative sentencing for DV cases while others allow alternative sentencing. If the county allows you to complete your sentence through alternative sentencing, you can complete it by doing work furlough, community service, medical home detention or work project. If the county doesn’t allow alternative sentencing, you must do your time in jail.
Formal v Informal Probation
In many counties, you will be placed on informal probation for a misdemeanor DV conviction. However, in some counties, you will be placed on formal misdemeanor probation on DV offenses because of the mandatory probation conditions. All felony DV cases are formal probation. The difference is that on informal probation you do not have a probation officer while on formal probation you must report to a probation officer who will supervise you. Formal probation can include regular drug/alcohol testing, probation searches, and regular contact with your probation officer.
Relinquishment of guns – Domestic Violence Convictions
Requires defendants convicted of domestic violence offenses, to provide proof that they sold or transferred their firearms within specified timeframes after conviction. It also requires assigned probation officers and courts to verify that the defendant complied with this requirement before final disposition of the defendant’s case and authorizes the court to issue search warrants to recover illegally retained firearms from defendants who fail to comply.
Violating DV Probation
You will be in violation of probation if you fail to comply with the court ordered probation terms including failing to enroll/complete domestic violence classes, complete community service requirements, appear in court when ordered, or completing your jail sentence. If probation is violated, the judge will issue a bench warrant which will be sent to law enforcement. You will then be arrested and brought back to court to answer for the violation of probation.
DV Violation of Probation Punishment
Violating DV probation results in additional punishment. This could include actual jail time instead of alternative sentencing, a longer sentence for the VOP that is added to your original sentence, extending your probation term, moving from informal probation to formal probation, and adding additional terms like treatment or community service.
DV FInes and Fees
You can expect to pay fines and fees if you are convicted of a DV charge. Most courts will allow you to make payments. If you fail to make payments, you will be referred to collections. If you are referred to collections, your license will be suspended for failing to make payments and you will not be able to get your license reinstated until you pay off the amount you owe. You may also have your probation violated for not making payments. In some jurisdictions, you may be able to convert you your fines/fees to jail time or alternative sentencing which can save you a lot of money.
Even if you are convicted of domestic violence, you can still get your case expunged. All misdemeanors and most felonies can be expunged. An expungement allows you to lawfully answer that you have never been convicted of a crime. To be eligible, you must have successfully completed probation, paid all your fines and fees, and completed the terms of your probation. It is important that you present the best case to the judge hearing your request for a dismissal if you want the judge to grant the dismissal. When you hire our law firm, we will help you with your expungement so that your criminal record and history our as clean as possible.
Penal Code 1203.097 – Domestic Violence Sentencing
(a) If a person is granted probation for a crime in which the victim is a person defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code, the terms of probation shall include all of the following:
(1) A minimum period of probation of 36 months, which may include a period of summary probation as appropriate.
(2) A criminal court protective order protecting the victim from further acts of violence, threats, stalking, sexual abuse, and harassment, and, if appropriate, containing residence exclusion or stay-away conditions.
(3) Notice to the victim of the disposition of the case.
(4) Booking the defendant within one week of sentencing if the defendant has not already been booked.
(5) (A) A minimum payment by the defendant of a fee of five hundred dollars ($500) to be disbursed as specified in this paragraph. If, after a hearing in open court, the court finds that the defendant does not have the ability to pay, the court may reduce or waive this fee. If the court exercises its discretion to reduce or waive the fee, it shall state the reason on the record.
(B) Two-thirds of the moneys deposited with the county treasurer pursuant to this section shall be retained by counties and deposited in the domestic violence programs special fund created pursuant to Section 18305 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to be expended for the purposes of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 18290) of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Of the moneys deposited in the domestic violence programs special fund, no more than 8 percent may be used for administrative costs, as specified in Section 18305 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(C) The remaining one-third of the moneys shall be transferred, once a month, to the Controller for deposit in equal amounts in the Domestic Violence Restraining Order Reimbursement Fund and in the Domestic Violence Training and Education Fund, which are hereby created, in an amount equal to one-third of funds collected during the preceding month. Moneys deposited into these funds pursuant to this section shall be available upon appropriation by the Legislature and shall be distributed each fiscal year as follows:
(i) Funds from the Domestic Violence Restraining Order Reimbursement Fund shall be distributed to local law enforcement or other criminal justice agencies for state-mandated local costs resulting from the notification requirements set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 6380 of the Family Code, based on the annual notification from the Department of Justice of the number of restraining orders issued and registered in the state domestic violence restraining order registry maintained by the Department of Justice, for the development and maintenance of the domestic violence restraining order databank system.
(ii) Funds from the Domestic Violence Training and Education Fund shall support a statewide training and education program to increase public awareness of domestic violence and to improve the scope and quality of services provided to the victims of domestic violence. Grants to support this program shall be awarded on a competitive basis and be administered by the State Department of Public Health, in consultation with the statewide domestic violence coalition, which is eligible to receive funding under this section.
(D) The fee imposed by this paragraph shall be treated as a fee, not as a fine, and shall not be subject to reduction for time served as provided pursuant to Section 1205 or 2900.5.
(E) The fee imposed by this paragraph may be collected by the collecting agency, or the agency’s designee, after the termination of the period of probation, whether probation is terminated by revocation or by completion of the term.
(6) Successful completion of a batterer’s program, as defined in subdivision (c), or if none is available, another appropriate counseling program designated by the court, for a period not less than one year with periodic progress reports by the program to the court every three months or less and weekly sessions of a minimum of two hours class time duration. The defendant shall attend consecutive weekly sessions, unless granted an excused absence for good cause by the program for no more than three individual sessions during the entire program, and shall complete the program within 18 months, unless, after a hearing, the court finds good cause to modify the requirements of consecutive attendance or completion within 18 months.
(7) (A) (i) The court shall order the defendant to comply with all probation requirements, including the requirements to attend counseling, keep all program appointments, and pay program fees based upon the ability to pay.
(ii) The terms of probation for offenders shall not be lifted until all reasonable fees due to the counseling program have been paid in full, but in no case shall probation be extended beyond the term provided in subdivision (a) of Section 1203.1. If the court finds that the defendant does not have the ability to pay the fees based on the defendant’s changed circumstances, the court may reduce or waive the fees.
(B) Upon request by the batterer’s program, the court shall provide the defendant’s arrest report, prior incidents of violence, and treatment history to the program.
(8) The court also shall order the defendant to perform a specified amount of appropriate community service, as designated by the court. The defendant shall present the court with proof of completion of community service and the court shall determine if the community service has been satisfactorily completed. If sufficient staff and resources are available, the community service shall be performed under the jurisdiction of the local agency overseeing a community service program.
(9) If the program finds that the defendant is unsuitable, the program shall immediately contact the probation department or the court. The probation department or court shall either recalendar the case for hearing or refer the defendant to an appropriate alternative batterer’s program.
(10) (A) Upon recommendation of the program, a court shall require a defendant to participate in additional sessions throughout the probationary period, unless it finds that it is not in the interests of justice to do so, states its reasons on the record, and enters them into the minutes. In deciding whether the defendant would benefit from more sessions, the court shall consider whether any of the following conditions exists:
(i) The defendant has been violence free for a minimum of six months.
(ii) The defendant has cooperated and participated in the batterer’s program.
(iii) The defendant demonstrates an understanding of and practices positive conflict resolution skills.
(iv) The defendant blames, degrades, or has committed acts that dehumanize the victim or puts at risk the victim’s safety, including, but not limited to, molesting, stalking, striking, attacking, threatening, sexually assaulting, or battering the victim.
(v) The defendant demonstrates an understanding that the use of coercion or violent behavior to maintain dominance is unacceptable in an intimate relationship.
(vi) The defendant has made threats to harm anyone in any manner.
(vii) The defendant has complied with applicable requirements under paragraph (6) of subdivision (c) or subparagraph (C) to receive alcohol counseling, drug counseling, or both.
(viii) The defendant demonstrates acceptance of responsibility for the abusive behavior perpetrated against the victim.
(B) The program shall immediately report any violation of the terms of the protective order, including any new acts of violence or failure to comply with the program requirements, to the court, the prosecutor, and, if formal probation has been ordered, to the probation department. The probationer shall file proof of enrollment in a batterer’s program with the court within 30 days of conviction.
(C) Concurrent with other requirements under this section, in addition to, and not in lieu of, the batterer’s program, and unless prohibited by the referring court, the probation department or the court may make provisions for a defendant to use his or her resources to enroll in a chemical dependency program or to enter voluntarily a licensed chemical dependency recovery hospital or residential treatment program that has a valid license issued by the state to provide alcohol or drug services to receive program participation credit, as determined by the court. The probation department shall document evidence of this hospital or residential treatment participation in the defendant’s program file.
(11) The conditions of probation may include, in lieu of a fine, but not in lieu of the fund payment required under paragraph (5), one or more of the following requirements:
(A) That the defendant make payments to a battered women’s shelter, up to a maximum of five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(B) That the defendant reimburse the victim for reasonable expenses that the court finds are the direct result of the defendant’s offense.
For any order to pay a fine, to make payments to a battered women’s shelter, or to pay restitution as a condition of probation under this subdivision, the court shall make a determination of the defendant’s ability to pay. Determination of a defendant’s ability to pay may include his or her future earning capacity. A defendant shall bear the burden of demonstrating lack of his or her ability to pay. Express findings by the court as to the factors bearing on the amount of the fine shall not be required. In no event shall any order to make payments to a battered women’s shelter be made if it would impair the ability of the defendant to pay direct restitution to the victim or court-ordered child support. When the injury to a married person is caused, in whole or in part, by the criminal acts of his or her spouse in violation of this section, the community property shall not be used to discharge the liability of the offending spouse for restitution to the injured spouse, as required by Section 1203.04, as operative on or before August 2, 1995, or Section 1202.4, or to a shelter for costs with regard to the injured spouse, until all separate property of the offending spouse is exhausted.
(12) If it appears to the prosecuting attorney, the court, or the probation department that the defendant is performing unsatisfactorily in the assigned program, is not benefiting from counseling, or has engaged in criminal conduct, upon request of the probation officer, the prosecuting attorney, or on its own motion, the court, as a priority calendar item, shall hold a hearing to determine whether further sentencing should proceed. The court may consider factors, including, but not limited to, any violence by the defendant against the former or a new victim while on probation and noncompliance with any other specific condition of probation. If the court finds that the defendant is not performing satisfactorily in the assigned program, is not benefiting from the program, has not complied with a condition of probation, or has engaged in criminal conduct, the court shall terminate the defendant’s participation in the program and shall proceed with further sentencing.
(b) If a person is granted formal probation for a crime in which the victim is a person defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code, in addition to the terms specified in subdivision (a), all of the following shall apply:
(1) The probation department shall make an investigation and take into consideration the defendant’s age, medical history, employment and service records, educational background, community and family ties, prior incidents of violence, police report, treatment history, if any, demonstrable motivation, and other mitigating factors in determining which batterer’s program would be appropriate for the defendant. This information shall be provided to the batterer’s program if it is requested. The probation department shall also determine which community programs the defendant would benefit from and which of those programs would accept the defendant. The probation department shall report its findings and recommendations to the court.
(2) The court shall advise the defendant that the failure to report to the probation department for the initial investigation, as directed by the court, or the failure to enroll in a specified program, as directed by the court or the probation department, shall result in possible further incarceration. The court, in the interests of justice, may relieve the defendant from the prohibition set forth in this subdivision based upon the defendant’s mistake or excusable neglect. Application for this relief shall be filed within 20 court days of the missed deadline. This time limitation may not be extended. A copy of any application for relief shall be served on the office of the prosecuting attorney.
(3) After the court orders the defendant to a batterer’s program, the probation department shall conduct an initial assessment of the defendant, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Social, economic, and family background.
(C) Vocational achievements.
(D) Criminal history.
(E) Medical history.
(F) Substance abuse history.
(G) Consultation with the probation officer.
(H) Verbal consultation with the victim, only if the victim desires to participate.
(I) Assessment of the future probability of the defendant committing murder.
(4) The probation department shall attempt to notify the victim regarding the requirements for the defendant’s participation in the batterer’s program, as well as regarding available victim resources. The victim also shall be informed that attendance in any program does not guarantee that an abuser will not be violent.
(c) The court or the probation department shall refer defendants only to batterer’s programs that follow standards outlined in paragraph (1), which may include, but are not limited to, lectures, classes, group discussions, and counseling. The probation department shall design and implement an approval and renewal process for batterer’s programs and shall solicit input from criminal justice agencies and domestic violence victim advocacy programs.
(1) The goal of a batterer’s program under this section shall be to stop domestic violence. A batterer’s program shall consist of the following components:
(A) Strategies to hold the defendant accountable for the violence in a relationship, including, but not limited to, providing the defendant with a written statement that the defendant shall be held accountable for acts or threats of domestic violence.
(B) A requirement that the defendant participate in ongoing same-gender group sessions.
(C) An initial intake that provides written definitions to the defendant of physical, emotional, sexual, economic, and verbal abuse, and the techniques for stopping these types of abuse.
(D) Procedures to inform the victim regarding the requirements for the defendant’s participation in the intervention program as well as regarding available victim resources. The victim also shall be informed that attendance in any program does not guarantee that an abuser will not be violent.
(E) A requirement that the defendant attend group sessions free of chemical influence.
(F) Educational programming that examines, at a minimum, gender roles, socialization, the nature of violence, the dynamics of power and control, and the effects of abuse on children and others.
(G) A requirement that excludes any couple counseling or family counseling, or both.
(H) Procedures that give the program the right to assess whether or not the defendant would benefit from the program and to refuse to enroll the defendant if it is determined that the defendant would not benefit from the program, so long as the refusal is not because of the defendant’s inability to pay. If possible, the program shall suggest an appropriate alternative program.
(I) Program staff who, to the extent possible, have specific knowledge regarding, but not limited to, spousal abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse, the dynamics of violence and abuse, the law, and procedures of the legal system.
(J) Program staff who are encouraged to utilize the expertise, training, and assistance of local domestic violence centers.
(K) A requirement that the defendant enter into a written agreement with the program, which shall include an outline of the contents of the program, the attendance requirements, the requirement to attend group sessions free of chemical influence, and a statement that the defendant may be removed from the program if it is determined that the defendant is not benefiting from the program or is disruptive to the program.
(L) A requirement that the defendant sign a confidentiality statement prohibiting disclosure of any information obtained through participating in the program or during group sessions regarding other participants in the program.
(M) Program content that provides cultural and ethnic sensitivity.
(N) A requirement of a written referral from the court or probation department prior to permitting the defendant to enroll in the program. The written referral shall state the number of minimum sessions required by the court.
(O) Procedures for submitting to the probation department all of the following uniform written responses:
(i) Proof of enrollment, to be submitted to the court and the probation department and to include the fee determined to be charged to the defendant, based upon the ability to pay, for each session.
(ii) Periodic progress reports that include attendance, fee payment history, and program compliance.
(iii) Final evaluation that includes the program’s evaluation of the defendant’s progress, using the criteria set forth in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (10) of subdivision (a), and recommendation for either successful or unsuccessful termination or continuation in the program.
(P) A sliding fee schedule based on the defendant’s ability to pay. The batterer’s program shall develop and utilize a sliding fee scale that recognizes both the defendant’s ability to pay and the necessity of programs to meet overhead expenses. An indigent defendant may negotiate a deferred payment schedule, but shall pay a nominal fee, if the defendant has the ability to pay the nominal fee. Upon a hearing and a finding by the court that the defendant does not have the financial ability to pay the nominal fee, the court shall waive this fee. The payment of the fee shall be made a condition of probation if the court determines the defendant has the present ability to pay the fee. The fee shall be paid during the term of probation unless the program sets other conditions. The acceptance policies shall be in accordance with the scaled fee system.
(2) The court shall refer persons only to batterer’s programs that have been approved by the probation department pursuant to paragraph (5). The probation department shall do both of the following:
(A) Provide for the issuance of a provisional approval, provided that the applicant is in substantial compliance with applicable laws and regulations and an urgent need for approval exists. A provisional approval shall be considered an authorization to provide services and shall not be considered a vested right.
(B) If the probation department determines that a program is not in compliance with standards set by the department, the department shall provide written notice of the noncompliant areas to the program. The program shall submit a written plan of corrections within 14 days from the date of the written notice on noncompliance. A plan of correction shall include, but not be limited to, a description of each corrective action and timeframe for implementation. The department shall review and approve all or any part of the plan of correction and notify the program of approval or disapproval in writing. If the program fails to submit a plan of correction or fails to implement the approved plan of correction, the department shall consider whether to revoke or suspend approval and, upon revoking or suspending approval, shall have the option to cease referrals of defendants under this section.
(3) No program, regardless of its source of funding, shall be approved unless it meets all of the following standards:
(A) The establishment of guidelines and criteria for education services, including standards of services that may include lectures, classes, and group discussions.
(B) Supervision of the defendant for the purpose of evaluating the person’s progress in the program.
(C) Adequate reporting requirements to ensure that all persons who, after being ordered to attend and complete a program, may be identified for either failure to enroll in, or failure to successfully complete, the program or for the successful completion of the program as ordered. The program shall notify the court and the probation department, in writing, within the period of time and in the manner specified by the court of any person who fails to complete the program. Notification shall be given if the program determines that the defendant is performing unsatisfactorily or if the defendant is not benefiting from the education, treatment, or counseling.
(D) No victim shall be compelled to participate in a program or counseling, and no program may condition a defendant’s enrollment on participation by the victim.
(4) In making referrals of indigent defendants to approved batterer’s programs, the probation department shall apportion these referrals evenly among the approved programs.
(5) The probation department shall have the sole authority to approve a batterer’s program for probation. The program shall be required to obtain only one approval but shall renew that approval annually.
(A) The procedure for the approval of a new or existing program shall include all of the following:
(i) The completion of a written application containing necessary and pertinent information describing the applicant program.
(ii) The demonstration by the program that it possesses adequate administrative and operational capability to operate a batterer’s treatment program. The program shall provide documentation to prove that the program has conducted batterer’s programs for at least one year prior to application. This requirement may be waived under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) if there is no existing batterer’s program in the city, county, or city and county.
(iii) The onsite review of the program, including monitoring of a session to determine that the program adheres to applicable statutes and regulations.
(iv) The payment of the approval fee.
(B) The probation department shall fix a fee for approval not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and for approval renewal not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) every year in an amount sufficient to cover its costs in administering the approval process under this section. No fee shall be charged for the approval of local governmental entities.
(C) The probation department has the sole authority to approve the issuance, denial, suspension, or revocation of approval and to cease new enrollments or referrals to a batterer’s program under this section. The probation department shall review information relative to a program’s performance or failure to adhere to standards, or both. The probation department may suspend or revoke an approval issued under this subdivision or deny an application to renew an approval or to modify the terms and conditions of approval, based on grounds established by probation, including, but not limited to, either of the following:
(i) Violation of this section by any person holding approval or by a program employee in a program under this section.
(ii) Misrepresentation of any material fact in obtaining the approval.
(6) For defendants who are chronic users or serious abusers of drugs or alcohol, standard components in the program shall include concurrent counseling for substance abuse and violent behavior, and in appropriate cases, detoxification and abstinence from the abused substance.
(7) The program shall conduct an exit conference that assesses the defendant’s progress during his or her participation in the batterer’s program.
(d) An act or omission relating to the approval of a batterer’s treatment programs under paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) is a discretionary act pursuant to Section 820.2 of the Government Code.
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