What is Probation?

When convicted of a crime, the law says you will be punished by serving time in prison for felony offenses or in the County Jail for misdemeanor offenses. The Court has the option of suspending this time and placing you on probation. The Court will order you to abide by certain conditions while on probation, which might include serving part of your time in jail. If you successfully complete your probation term, you will not need to serve the remainder of your jail time or your prison time.

How long will I be on Adult Probation?

The Court determines the period of probation at time of sentencing. It usually does not surpass three years for misdemeanor offenses or five years for felony offenses.

Why do I have drug testing orders?

Drug/alcohol testing will be ordered when the offense or your background shows drug/alcohol problems.

What does "search and seizure" mean?

It means exactly what it says in your probation orders; that you must submit to search, by any probation officer or peace officer, of your person, your vehicle or area under your control, any time of day or night with or without a warrant and without regard to probable cause. If contraband is found, it can be seized and used as evidence in a probation violation or new law violation.

What is a "suspended sentence"?

In most cases it means that the judge is giving the defendant (probationer) one last chance to get things right and abide by all probation orders. If the defendant succeeds, probation terminates as ordered in court at the time of sentencing. If the defendant violates his/her probation, the suspended sentence will most likely be imposed and the defendant goes to prison.

Where is the Adult Division main office located?

The main office is located at 400 County Center 5th Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063. For other office locations please see Offices and hours.

Who is my probation officer?

You may reach us by calling our offices or writing to us to determine the name of the probation officer who has been assign to you. This assumes you were placed on supervised probation. In many of the misdemeanor matters, the Court places you on "court probation" where you are not assigned a probation officer. In all felony matters where you are granted probation, you will be assigned a probation officer. It is very important that you provide us with accurate address and telephone information. If we cannot contact you or if you do not contact us, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.

What is the difference between probation and parole?

You are granted probation directly from Court and after your conviction of a misdemeanor or felony offense. You are placed on parole when released from prison.

Once I have been convicted of a crime, is it possible to have my conviction expunged or have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor?

Please click on Expungment Info. for a response.