If you are on probation, everyone wants you to succeed but it may not always be easy. On top of various terms and conditions being placed on your daily life, you now have a new boss that may or may not be helpful in the role as your probation officer. If you are facing a motion to revoke your probation, you need an advocate that will persuade the judge to allow you to successfully complete the probation term despite the allegations against you.
Contact a resourceful, experienced attorney like Jason English. He will review the terms of your probation and the allegations made against you and then develop a defense strategy to fight those allegations. Hiring Jason English will put you in the best position to have the judge continue your probation despite the allegations, as opposed to having your probation revoked.
Probation, also called community supervision, is a suspension of a person's jail or prison sentence in exchange for abiding by certain court-ordered conditions. Basically, it allows you to stay in the community (as opposed to incarceration) while under the supervision of a probation officer. Texas probation rules vary according to the crime and the individual circumstances.
Two Types of Probation
There are two main types of probation in Texas: (1) straight or regular probation; and (2) deferred adjudication.
- Straight Probation results in a conviction on your record. A judge either accepts your plea of "guilty" or "no contest" and orders straight probation, or a judge or jury finds you guilty and -- out of the interest of justice -- the judge probates any jail or prison sentence for a period of probation.
- Deferred Adjudication results in no criminal conviction. The judge accepts your plea of "guilty" or "no contest" and places you on a period of community supervision while deferring any criminal conviction. If you successfully complete your probation, a conviction will not go on your criminal record.
Basic Terms & Conditions of Probation
The benefit of being placed on probation is that you will not be going to jail or prison, however, various terms and conditions must be met. General conditions of Travis County community supervision often include successful completion or fulfillment of any of the following:
- Regular reports to a probation officer
- Drug tests scheduled by the probation officer
- Random or unscheduled visits at home or workplace by the probation officer
- Community service
- Counseling, rehabilitation, or other treatment programs
- Restitution to any victims
- Payment of all fines, court costs, and supervision fees
- Minimum jail sentence for probation.
Probation also usually includes certain restrictions regarding (1) maintaining gainful employment; (2) consuming alcohol, illicit drugs, or controlled substances; and, among other possible restrictions, (3) socializing with other felons or persons of bad character.
Probation Violations in Austin, TX
Violating the terms of your probation is something you do not want to do. But it is something that happens. And it happens because the conditions an offender must abide by are strict and without flexibility. Probation can be very invasive and expectations of your performance are high. Anything not perfect can get you into trouble.
Examples of Probation Violations
- Arrest for a new crime
- Failed urinalysis
- Failure to report to your probation officer
- Failure to pay probation fees
- Failure to get permission to leave Texas
- Failure to complete community service hours or attend a required class
- Failure to advise your probation officer of an address change.
These can be serious or -- as in the last example where mere failure to advise of an address change -- seemingly not so serious mistakes or violations. But there could be reasons for each.
Consequences of Probation Violations in Texas
It is very important in Texas to fight the allegation of probation violation because -- even if you were almost finished completing the probation period -- the judge can modify your community supervision with new conditions, extend the period of supervision, or revoke the community supervision and send you to prison or jail. That's right. The ultimate consequence of a probation violation is revocation of the probation.
The consequences you face depends in part on which probation type you have: straight probation or deferred adjudication.
- If you are on regular probation and your probation violation is proven, the judge can only impose penalties in accordance with the original sentence.
- If you are on deferred adjudication and your probation violation is proven, the judge is limited only to the range of penalties allowed for the offense.
Burden of Proof for a Probation Violation
And you should know the State is not bound by the same burden of proof it had to prove your guilt of the crime. The State must only prove that the probation violations are true by a preponderance of the evidence. That means it is more likely than not that you violated probation and not that you violated it beyond a reasonable doubt.
The good news: you can fight a probation violation.
Possible Defenses to Probation Violations in Texas
If you are charged with probation violation, a good defense attorney can help you. You should never think you do not have a defense when you may very well have one. For instance,
- Maybe it was another substance, diet, or other cause for a chemical test to produce a failing result.
- Maybe you had a work-related emergency and were so busy you didn't have the time to give your probation officer a heads-up that you were going to miss a check-in.
- Maybe you were arrested by association where a police officer assumed you committed a crime because of your proximity to where a crime was allegedly committed.
- Maybe you had a family emergency and had to leave Texas immediately to address it.
- Maybe you simply forgot to tell your probation officer in due time of your change-of-address.
There could be a number of reasons why you violated probation, some could be legitimate violations and others mere mistakes. Either way, it does not matter. You have the right to defend yourself against an allegation of probation violation. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the process and defend you accordingly.
Retain a Resourceful Probation Violation Attorney in Austin Today
If you are facing a probation violation allegation, it is important to retain an experienced, resourceful defense attorney. Contact Jason English today at 512-454-7548 or online to discuss the terms of your probation and possible violations of the same.