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Frequently Asked Questions

General Disclaimer

Please note that the following responses are intended to provide only general guidance. If you require additional information beyond the information provided, it is recommended that you contact the resource referenced, speak to a representative of the U.S. Probation Office, or consult with an attorney. In addition, please note that U.S. Probation Office records and files are the property of the U.S. District Court and cannot be disclosed unless ordered to do so by the sentencing judge. In addition, pursuant to Federal Law, the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act do not apply to the Federal Judiciary.

Most likely the judge has ordered a presentence report that will be used at your sentencing hearing. Your case will be assigned to a U.S. Probation Officer for the preparation of the presentence report, which will include a personal interview with you. Attached, you will find forms that you are expected to completed prior to your interview. Please consult with your attorney for additional information and advice on how to complete the forms. If you have been convicted in either the Los Angeles or Riverside Federal courthouses, and have additional questions, please call (213) 894-3600 and ask to speak to the officer of the day during regular business hours, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. If you have been convicted in the Santa Ana Federal Courthouse, please call (714) 338-2900 and ask to speak to the presentence officer of the day.

If you have been convicted in the Central district of California, General Order 05-02 requires you to report to your assigned U.S. Probation Officer within 72 hours of release, which includes weekends and holidays. Please call (213) 894-3600 between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, for instructions on where to report. If you have been convicted in another district, please contact the U.S. Probation Office in the district in which you have been convicted.

The U.S. Probation Office is restricted from disclosing information to the public, which includes family members. However, most convictions are public record. These records are maintained by the U.S. District Court Clerk.

The U.S. Probation Office is restricted from disclosing information to the public. However, most court records are public record. These records are maintained by the U.S. District Court Clerk.

The offender must request transfer of jurisdiction from his Bureau of Prisons Case Manager. When the request is made by the case manager, the U.S. Probation Office will conduct an investigation to determine whether the offender can reside in this district and will report its findings to the Bureau of Prisons.

The Central District of California is comprised of Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. You are allowed to travel freely within these seven counties. Unless you are given permission in advance by the judge in your case, any requests to travel outside of these seven counties must be approved in advance by your U.S. Probation Officer. Failure to do so may result in a violation of your supervision.

If you were released on bond with supervision by U.S. Pretrial Services Agency, you are still required to report to your U.S. Pretrial Services Agency Officer until you report to prison.

The U.S. Probation Office does not have a tip line. However, if you are aware of someone who has committed a crime, please contact your local police department. If you believe the individual may be under Federal supervision you may report adverse conduct by calling (213) 894-3600 between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, and ask to speak to the officer of the day. Please note that the U.S. Probation Office will not confirm the status of the individual.

The U.S Probation Office is not authorized to disclose this information.

All payments for fines, restitution and special assessments ordered by the judge in your case, are to be paid to the U.S. District Court Clerk in the district in which you were convicted. Please include your name and case number on your cashier’s check or money order.

If your friend/family member was convicted in Federal court, he most likely is held in a prison operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. To find out which prison he is assigned and how you can visit or send mail, please go to the Bureau of Prisons website at www.bop.gov

The U.S. Probation Office is not authorized to release information regarding payments received and distributed by criminal defendants. Please contact the U.S. District Court Clerk for information if you believe you are owed court-ordered restitution.

Federal convictions cannot be expunged. However, you may apply for a Presidential Pardon. Any person convicted in Federal court of a felony is eligible to file a petition for a Presidential Pardon under the following general circumstances, although some exceptions may apply:

1. The individual is no longer serving the sentence and is not under parole, probation or supervised release supervision;

2. Five years have passed since release from confinement or if no confinement was imposed, five years from the date of conviction; and

3. A waiting period of seven years is required for more serious offenses, including violations of narcotic laws, income tax laws, perjury, violation of public trust involving dishonesty, violent crimes, gun control laws, fraud involving substantial sums of money, violations involving organized crime, and other crimes of a serious nature.

In addition, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney to assist you with the process.

Pardon applications may be obtained by making a written request to the Office of the Pardon Attorney, at the following address:

Office of the Pardon Attorney
United States Department of Justice
500 First Street, N.W., Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20530

If you have been convicted of a felony, your right to vote is suspended while you are imprisoned or under parole or supervised release. Your right to vote is automatically restored upon completion of imprisonment, parole, supervised release or you have received a Presidential Pardon.

A person convicted of a Federal felony may not own, possess, or have custody of any type of firearm, including a rifle or a shotgun, if conduct that led to the conviction would be punishable as a felony under California State Law or the sentence for the Federal felony exceeds 30 days imprisonment or a fine greater than $1000.

California State firearm privileges are restored to a person convicted of a Federal felony only after a Presidential Pardon is received.

Federal firearms laws independently prohibit convicted felons from possessing any firearms. For Federal offenders, this disability is removed by a full Presidential Pardon. Previously, relief could also be obtained from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 925(c); however, this method has not been funded by Congress since fiscal year 1992.

You are eligible to request early termination from probation or supervised release under the following circumstances: (1) After you have completed at least one year of supervision, you can request your attorney to petition the Court, or (2) after you have completed one half of your term of supervision, you can request early termination through your U.S. Probation Officer. If you have been convicted of a serious felony and/or have a history of violence, your case will not be considered for early termination.