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Name: People v. Seymour
Case #: H040560
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/31/2015

Defendant whose probation was terminated early based on good conduct was entitled to relief under Penal Code section 1203.4 even though he still owed victim restitution. Seymor pled no contest to assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(1)). The trial court granted probation for three years subject to a number of conditions, including payment of victim restitution. Although Seymour had two probation violations, the trial court ultimately terminated his probation based on his good conduct approximately four months early and ordered him to continue paying victim restitution. Thereafter, Seymour filed a petition for expungement under section 1203.4, which the trial court denied. Seymour appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded. Section 1203.4 provides that a defendant who falls into one of three factual scenarios and who meets specified conditions be permitted by the court to withdraw his guilty or no contest plea. One of the factual scenarios is that the defendant “has been discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation.” (Pen. Code, § 1203.4, subd. (a); see also People v. Butler (1980) 105 Cal.App.3d 585, 587.) The court is then required to dismiss the charges against the defendant and, with certain exceptions, the defendant is thereafter released from all the penalties and disabilities resulting from the offenses. Although a defendant whose probation was terminated early due to bad conduct is not entitled to section 1203.4 relief (see People v. Johnson (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 252), Seymour’s probation was terminated based on his good conduct and his petition should have been granted. Furthermore, when a defendant’s probation is terminated early based on good conduct, the fact that he still owes victim restitution does not authorize the trial court to deny the relief mandated by section 1203.4.