FAQs

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.

  • How can I have my probation/supervised release terminated early?

    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.

  • If I am convicted of a Federal crime, can I own or possess a firearm?

     

    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.

    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.

  • If I am convicted of a felony in Federal court, can I vote?

    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.

  • How do I have my conviction expunged?

     

    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

  • I am owed court-ordered restitution, who do I contact to get my money?

    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.

  • I have a friend/family member who is in prison. How do I find out where he is being held?

    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

  • I owe restitution for my crime. Who do I pay?

    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.

  • How do I find out if my U.S. Probation Officer issued a warrant for my arrest?

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

  • I want to report a possible violation of probation/supervised release. Do you have a tip line?

    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 (608) 264-5165 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.

  • I have been sentenced and waiting to be told where to report to serve my sentence. Do I report to my U.S. Probation Officer until I am assigned to a prison?

    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.

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