Adult Probation

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS (Click the question to reveal each answer.)

415 E. Cypress Street
Lompoc, CA 93436
(805) 737-7800
Santa Maria
2121 S. Centerpointe Parkway
Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 739-8500
Santa Barbara
117 E. Carillo Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 882-3700
When convicted of a crime, the law says the person convicted will be punished by serving a period of incarceration in the State Prison or County Jail. However, rather than serving this custody time the Court may choose to offer probation to a person (also called a defendant) convicted of a crime. If the convicted person/defendant agrees to probation the Court will order certain conditions, which can include serving some time in jail, completing a treatment program, or paying restitution to the victim of the crime.
In certain cases the Court orders a defendant to serve time in prison or county jail but then suspends that sentence on the condition that the defendant successfully complete probation. If the defendant is successful on probation, they will not have to serve the suspended sentence. If the defendant violates probation, the suspended sentence can be imposed.
The Court usually instructs a defendant to report to the Probation Department within 3 days of being sentenced or released from jail. This means that a defendant will often be reporting to Probation before a PO has been assigned.  When a defendant reports after court he/she will complete the paperwork required to set up their probation case. Normally within 14 days the defendant will be contacted by their new PO. If after about 14 days, there has been no contact from the Probation Officer, the defendant should contact the Probation Department. There are occasionally circumstances that may cause case assignment to be delayed.
The length of probation supervision is determined by the Court. Typically probation grants are for three to five years.
This is a condition of probation that can be ordered by the Court. This condition allows a probation or law enforcement officer to search a defendant's person or personal property, as described in the court order, without first obtaining a search warrant. If contraband is found, it can be seized and used as evidence in a probation violation or new law violation. A violation can also result if a defendant who has been ordered by the court to 'submit to search and seizure' refuses to allow the search of his or her property.
It depends on the specifics of your case. You should discuss this with your assigned Probation Officer at your scheduled office visit.
Anyone convicted of a felony offense cannot own a firearm. According to California Penal Code Section 29800(a)(1), it is a felony for any person convicted of a felony to be in possession of a firearm. Additionally, anyone who has been convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses cannot own or possess a firearm for a period of 10 years pursuant to Penal Code Section 28905.
The Probation Officer or the Court may allow a defendant to live in a different county. However, approval must be given prior to leaving Santa Barbara County. If given permission to live outside the county, the case must be transferred to the defendant's county of residience if it has been established that the defendant will reside there for the duration of the grant of probation. Once the case has been transferred, it will be under the jurisdiction of the defendant's county of residence and the defendant will be assigned to a Probation Officer in that county.
Travel to a different state is allowed only with the prior approval of the Probation Officer. Anyone who wishes to move permanently to a different state must complete an application for Probation for Interstate Transfer and Supervision. Only when the application has been approved by both the sending and receiving states will the defendant be given permission to move permanently.
Your attorney can help you with this process. Penal Code Sections 1203.4 and 1203.4(a) allows certain individuals who have successfully completed probation to petition the court for a certificate of rehabilitation, pardon, or dismissal. The petition will set the plea/verdict aside. The individual will still need to disclose the conviction when responding to direct questions in an application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, and for contracting with the California State Lottery.
Most defendants on adult probation must seek and maintain employment if not a full time student. The Probation Report and Resource Center (PRRC) has many resources available to Probation clients to assist them in their job search. Ask your Probation Officer about your appropriateness for a referral to the PRRC.
Yes. In California, someone with a misdemeanor conviction can vote. Someone with a felony conviction can vote while on probation, after completion of parole or if they are committed to county jail. According to the California Constitution and Elections Code, "A person entitled to register to vote shall be a United States citizen, a resident of California, not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony, and at least 18 years of age." This means that California residents with felony conviction can vote after completion of parole or while on probation.
Generally, reports in adult matters may be inspected or copied through the Clerk of the Court by any person for a period of 60 days from the sentencing date. The Court can also authorize copies be given to persons who petition the court after this 60 day period.
Convictions for certain crimes require a minimum period of time on probation. A person on probation who wishes to have their case considered for early termination should contact their attorney. If they are eligible they can request that a court hearing be scheduled. Typically to be considered by the Court or Probation the defendant must have completed at least half of their court-ordered probationary period, completed all requirements of probation such as treatment programs and community service work, have all fines, fees and restitution paid in full and not have any negative law enforcement contact for a period of at least one year.
Due to confidentiality issues, Probation does not release this information to the public. The Probation Department can accept information from the public to assist in supervising cases and effectively protecting the community. Crime victims are allowed access to certain information, such as restitution payments, and current probation status of the defendant.
County probation is a sentence ordered by a Superior Court Judge.  It allows the convicted person to live in their community, sometimes under the supervision of a County Probation Officer, for a specified period of time.  Violation of probation terms, or commission of a new law violation while on probation, can result in local jail time or a sentence to state prison.State Parole is the conditional release of a prison inmate after serving part, or all, of a prison sentence. Parolees are released to live in their community under the supervision of a state parole officer. Violation of the terms and conditions of parole may result in revocation and return to prison.A third category of offenders are not on either probation or parole. Those are the offenders sentenced under AB109 legislation (Adult Prison Realignment). Some of these offenders have received a split sentence (serving a portion of their incarceration in the county jail and the remainder of their sentence under the supervision of the Probation Officer). Others have been released from State Prison, but due to the offense for which they were incarcerated, they are supervised by Probation Officers instead of State Parole Officers. That category of offenders is called PRCS (Post-Release Community Supervision). Both are subject to terms and conditions of release with which they are required to abide or be returned to custody.
Unless the Court has previously authorized the medical use of marijuana via the terms and conditions of probation, those probationers who have a written physician's recommendation from their primary care or treating physician for medical marijuana must complete the Probation Department's process to seek a modification. If probation is modified, the defendant will be directed to carry a copy of the modification order authroizing the medical use of marijuana. All requests should be brought to the supervising Deputy Probation Officer's attention so the full process can be outlined.
If you are subject to supervision by the Probation Department, referrals to appropriate mental health or substance abuse counseling can be made by your Probation Officer. If you are not currently on probation, you can contact the 2-1-1 hotline or visit the website.


Anyone who has been convicted for a domestic violence offense must participate in an approved domestic violence program in order to be granted probation. At sentencing the Court will either direct a defendant to a specific domestic violence program, or the assigned PO will refer them at their first office visit.If you are a resident of another county, the local probation department should be contacted for a listing of certified programs in that county.
It is each defendant's responsibility to attend and pay for classes. The program will work with defendants who request a modification in their payment plan. It is the defendant's responsibility to provide the program with the financial information needed to determine if a change in the standard payment plan is appropriate.


The investigating Probation Officer will contact you by mail, e-mail or telephone. You may also call the Probation Department and someone will be glad to answer questions you may have.
According to California Penal Code Section 1203(b)(1), if a person is convicted of a felony and is eligible for probation, before judgment is pronounced, the court shall immediately refer the matter to a probation officer to investigate and report to the court, at a specific time, upon the circumstances surrounding the crime and the prior history and record of the person, which may be considered either in aggravation or mitigation of the punishment.
The Probation Department submits a recommendation to the Court for sentencing based on various factors, including the law, severity of the offense, prior criminal history, acknowledgement of wrongdoing, remorse, attitude and cooperation, social history, public safety, etc. Plea agreements are considered, but an investigating Probation Officer's evaluation may lead them to a different recommendation to the Court.
Please bring the following items to your pre-sentence interview:
  • Adult Information Sheet
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of employment/Verification of income or financial support
  • Proof of medical or mental illness
  • Valid driver's license or state identification card
  • Proof of US citizenship or immigration status
  • Two or three character reference letters (optional)