AB 1950 Rewrites Probation Length

Continuing the decade-long criminal justice reform in California kicked off by AB 109, the so-called Realignment bill, AB 1950 limits, with several exceptions, the length of a term of probation in misdemeanor cases to one year and in felony cases to two years. As to misdemeanors, the most notable exception is that DUIs will continue to require a term of probation of at least three years. Prior to the enactment of AB 1950, probation on felony offenses could always be up to at least five years, although they essentially by default carried terms of three years. A cap of two years, with exceptions for strike offenses, any felony “that includes specific probation lengths within its provision,” or certain offenses involving theft exceeding $25,000, represents a significant change for both future and current cases involving a grant of probation. Generally speaking, individuals currently on probation affected by the change in law will not have to petition the Court for a change in status. If you think you may benefit from AB 1950 but are unsure, consult with an attorney experience in criminal law to see whether you may be entitled to an expungement or other form of relief.