If you violate probation for the first time in Texas, you can find yourself back to square one, facing the maximum sentence for your original crime. In other cases, the court may take leniency on you because it is your first violation. While this situation can be scary, you do have rights.
The best thing you can do when facing a probation violation is to show that you did not violate your probation. To prove this successfully, however, you must have an effective defense strategy. This is where hiring a probation violation lawyer is essential.
How a Texas Probation Violation Attorney Can Help
When the court granted you probation, known in the statutes as “community supervision,” you entered into a stringent agreement with the courts. In exchange for adhering to the terms of your probation, the courts showed you leniency. As such, the court may revoke your probation if you violate any of those terms. In addition to facing your original sentence, you may also be facing extra charges if you committed a criminal offense during your violation.
To stay out of jail, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney with extensive experience in probation violations. In this moment, you have limited legal rights. Protect them with solid legal representation.
The Type of Probation You Violated Matters
In Texas, there are two main categories of community supervision. The type of probation you receive is dependent on your underlying offense(s).
Deferred Adjudication Probation
Deferred adjudication probation occurs when the court delays your conviction and dismisses it if you satisfy all the elements of your probation. If you violate this type of probation, you may end up facing the maximum sentence for that particular crime.
Straight probation occurs when the court finds you guilty but the judge allows you to serve community supervision instead of a more serious penalty, such as jail time.
In many cases, when an individual violates straight probation, they will be ordered to serve the remainder of their sentence behind bars. In some cases, you may have to serve the entire maximum sentence. For example, if you were sentenced to two years but served one on probation, you may still find yourself in jail for the entire two-year sentence.
Your Rights Following a Probation Violation
When you violate your probation, your rights are limited. But you do have rights. Knowing these rights, and exercising them, is important. They include the right to:
- Enter a plea in response to the violation
- Present evidence in defense of your alleged violation
- Legal representation
That being said, the prosecution only needs to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that you violated your probation. This is vastly different from having to prove your violation beyond a reasonable doubt. As such, sending you back to prison is a much easier task. Do not make the mistake of attempting to navigate this process without the help of a Texas probation violation attorney.
Punishment for Probation Violation in Texas
Your punishment is largely dependent on the type of probation you have violated.
- Straight Probation: You will be sentenced to serve the balance of the punishment in your original plea. You may have to serve the entire sentence.
- Deferred Adjudication: You may face the maximum penalty under the statute.
In either case, if your violation involved a new crime, you can also face charges for that crime. For example, if you violated probation by getting a DWI, you would likely face DWI charges in addition to your original crime.
There is, however, an alternative. If you are unable to show that you were not in violation, your probation violation attorney may still be able to negotiate the modification of your probation agreement. As a result, you may receive stricter terms and longer probation, but it might keep you out of jail.
Common Probation Violations
Even if your actions were not inherently illegal, if they violated the terms of your probation, you will likely find yourself in legal trouble. Depending on the type of probation you are under, there are myriad ways to violate terms of probation. Some of the most common include:
- Leaving your county or state without permission to do so
- Committing another criminal offense
- The consumption of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to report to your probation officer
- Failing to report for substance abuse testing
- Failing to maintain employment
- Failing to perform assigned community service duties
- Failing to complete required educational programs
What You Can Expect
If you have been arrested for a probation violation, you will either be released on bond, or you will be held without bond. During this time, a hearing will be scheduled for a future date. Hire legal counsel immediately.
Your lawyer can position you for a favorable outcome by showing that you did not violate the terms of your probation, or by amending the terms of your probation, for example. Even when your probation has been revoked, your attorney can take certain steps to have it reinstated.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today.
Violating your probation is a serious matter in Texas. These laws are complex, and you could end up in a worse situation than what you originally avoided with probation. Probation violations often lead to hefty fines, additional criminal charges, and time behind bars. Do not attempt to go it alone.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we have an impressive track record of getting our clients’ probation violations removed or modified. Contact us today at 214-696-9253 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.