Updates to Felony Probation Terms

Assembly Bill 1950 was passed by the California State Assembly last year and took effect on January 1, 2021. The law, citing a multitude of research and studies, reduces the term of felony probation to a maximum term of 2 years. Previously, the standard probationary term was anywhere from 3 to 5 years for probationers in California convicted of felonies.

While this law drew the attention of the criminal justice world when it passed, it failed to specifically mention whether or not it could be applied retroactively. Meaning, if someone was sentenced to a term of 5 years of probation back in 2019, were they now eligible to petition the court for a reduction of that term to 2 years?

Recently, the California Court of Appeal answered that question in the affirmative. In People vs. Moriah Noel Quinn, the First District Court of Appeal did an exhaustive analysis of SB 1950, finding ultimately that the legislative intent was clear that the law should be applied retroactively.

Thousands of felons are currently on probation in California, and many are unaware of this change in the law. Contact our office if you are currently on probation and have questions as to whether or not this law applies to you.