A probation violation occurs when you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of your probation. The consequences of violating your probation depend on the exact nature of your violation and on whether you have a history of prior violations on your record.
If you or a loved one has been charged with violating probation, we may be able to help. Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 to learn more about what a probation violation lawyer in Irving, TX, can do for you.
Texas Has Two Basic Types of Probation
There are two basic types of probation in Texas:
- Straight adjudication or regular probation occurs when you have a conviction on your record because the judge has found you guilty.
- Deferred adjudication usually occurs when you have committed a serious offense, such as a first-degree felony.
If you are placed on deferred adjudication, you are not technically convicted of your charges. Instead, the judge has indicated that they believe the evidence is sufficient to convict you but has decided to offer you probation as an alternative. If you successfully complete your probation, you will not have a conviction for the crime on your record.
Common requirements for probation include reporting to your probation officer, being drug-free, doing community service, and paying fines and restitution.
Some Charges Cannot Result in Probation
One of the penalties for assault is that you are not eligible for probation in Texas. Additionally, if you have been convicted of the following felonies, you are not eligible for probation:
- Forcible rape
- Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Aggravated robbery
- Any offense where a firearm was used during, or running from, the crime
Violating Probation in Texas
In Texas, you can violate your probation by:
- Getting arrested by the police for another offense or committing another crime;
- Possessing, using, or selling illegal drugs;
- Going out of state without permission from your probation officer;
- Failing to pay restitution or fines ordered by the court;
- Failing to report to your probation officer at your scheduled time and place;
- Failing to pay court costs and other fees;
- Failing to appear at a scheduled court appearance; and
- Failing to complete community service requirements.
The Consequences of Violating Probation
Probation officers have wide discretion when deciding what the consequences can be for a probation violation. The probation officer may issue a warning or ask you to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. He or she will take into consideration the type of violation it was and whether this is the first time you have violated your parole.
If you are ordered to appear in court, you may be facing jail time. A judge will make the final determination as to what your sentence is depending on the type and severity of the violation. During your probation hearing, you are allowed to have a probation lawyer in Irving, TX with you.
Probation Violation Hearings in Texas
The judge can issue a warrant for your arrest if you violate probation, even if it is your first violation. Your attorney can ask the judge to set a bond to help you get released from jail prior to your hearing.
If your first-time violation was not serious, the judge will probably issue a warning and release you after a brief jail sentence. If your violation was serious, or if your probation is associated with a serious offense, the consequences can be more severe.
The judge has broad discretion to order penalties for probation violations, including community service, fines, extending the duration of your probation, jail time, or ending your probation and instating your original prison sentence instead.
If the judge revokes your probation, you have the right to request a hearing to appeal this decision.
To be found guilty of violating your probation, the prosecution must prove that the violation was ‘willful’ and ‘substantial.’ Failing a drug test is an example of a ‘willful’ violation. Failing to report to your probation officer would be considered a ‘substantial’ violation. Generally, the prosecution or ‘state’ presents their case first, followed by your lawyer presenting your case.
Once the hearing is complete, you could be sentenced to:
- Time served;
- Jail or prison time; or
- A new probation term.
You Have Legal Rights
When you are charged with violating your probation, you have the right to:
- Be represented by a probation lawyer in Irving, TX;
- Present evidence;
- Receive written notice of the violations against you; and
- Have an impartial judge during your trial.
A probation violation attorney who understands the probation system in Texas can guide you through the process while fighting to make sure that your rights are protected.
Attorney Randall B. Isenberg has been a criminal defense lawyer for over 30 years and has seen the criminal law process from every side. We may be able to help. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 to get started with a free consultation.