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 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 identifies issues with alcohol and/or controlled substances.

What does "search and seizure" mean?

"Search and seizure" means 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 an opportunity with a grant of probation where they must abide by all probation conditions. 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 is sent to prison.

Where is the Adult and Realignment Services 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 click here.

Who is my probation officer?

You may call or send a letter to one of our offices to request the name of the probation officer that has been assigned to your case. You will be assigned a probation officer if you were sentenced to supervised probation. Please note that for many misdemeanor convictions, the Court may grant "court probation"  where you are not assigned a probation officer. It is very important that you provide us with an accurate address and telephone number. If we are unable to  contact you and/or if you fail to contact us, a bench warrant may 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 or Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) 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 here for more information.