When you violate your probation, you risk going to jail for the maximum possible sentence. Taking quick action to address the problem can help prevent the court from revoking your probation and, ideally, keep you out of jail.
Randall Isenberg, a probation violation lawyer in Highland Park, has more than three decades of experience in the Texas criminal justice system. Put this extensive background to work for you by calling us today at 214-696-9253.
What Happens When You Violate Your Probation in Highland Park
Violating probation can carry a variety of penalties, including the following:
- Loss of key legal rights
- Maximum jail or prison term
- Fines, fees, and court costs
- Community service
- Court-ordered counseling or treatment
The exact penalties associated with your case will depend on your original agreement for probation. However, if your agreement involved deferred adjudication, a probation violation could result in you having a permanent criminal record that you otherwise may have avoided.
Having a permanent record can interfere with your ability to get a job, rent a house, and obtain professional licensing. For felony charges, having a conviction on your record can prevent you from voting, sitting on a jury, or owning or possessing a firearm.
A Probation Violation Lawyer Protects Your Legal Rights
Violating probation in Highland Park will cost you two critical legal rights: your right to a jury trial and the legal concept known as the reasonable doubt standard.
- You will lose your right to a trial by jury: Instead, a judge (typically the judge who presided over your original case) will hear your probation violation case and maintains the ultimate decision-making authority for your outcome and punishment.
- You lose your right to the reasonable doubt standard: In your original case, the prosecutor had to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For a probation violation case, the prosecution only needs to prove your guilt by a preponderance of the evidence.
Without these two critical rights on your side, you could quickly find yourself behind bars after violating your community supervision agreement. For that reason, having a criminal defense lawyer to represent you can help preserve those rights you do have left.
You maintain the right to:
- Have legal counsel represent you throughout your probation violation proceedings
- Enter a plea to the charge that you violated probation
- Present evidence and testimony in your own defense
When you choose Randall and the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg to represent you in your probation violation, we will protect your legal rights and fight to find the best possible resolution for your case.
We will ensure that you understand the seriousness of these allegations and help you determine the best possible option for resolving the situation. The sooner we can get started on your case, the better our chances may be for negotiating with the prosecutor or working out a new or revised community supervision agreement with the court.
The worst thing you can do when accused of violating your probation is to do nothing.
How Probation Violation Process Works in Highland Park
The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) dictates how this process works in Highland Park and throughout the state of Texas. When we refer to community supervision or probation, we generally refer to a suspended sentence agreement. However, some clients receive a deferred adjudication agreement instead.
The way the process works in your case will depend on which type of agreement you entered into with the court originally.
If the court delayed rendering a verdict in your case to allow you to complete the terms of your agreement, this is called deferred adjudication. Completing the terms of this agreement typically allows you to avoid going to jail or having a criminal record.
Upon violation, the court will render a guilty verdict and impose the maximum possible sentence for your offense. The court enforces revocation of your probation through a motion to adjudicate and a subsequent hearing, after which the judge will render a decision.
If you agreed to plead guilty to a specific offense in exchange for staying out of jail or prison, you likely have a suspended sentence agreement. Violating your agreement will lead to the filing of a motion to revoke probation followed by a hearing with the original judge in your case. Upon making the decision to withdraw your agreement, the judge will order you to serve out the sentence the court initially handed down.
Moving quickly to get our legal team involved may help you avoid an adjudication or revocation hearing and allow us to renegotiate the terms of your original agreement in a way that satisfies the court and keeps you out of jail or prison.
Understanding Probation Violations & Their Outcomes
The elements of a probation violation case can cause confusion, particularly if you do not understand how the process works. The primary reason is that many people on probation do not realize the many actions and behaviors that may result in a violation.
Your original community supervision agreement contained specific terms and conditions that the court required of you. Failing to adhere to any one of those conditions violates your probation immediately.
Some of the most common terms and conditions you could violate include the following:
- Completing community service obligations
- Completing required education classes
- Completing the required counseling or rehab
- Paying fines, fees, and court costs
- Maintaining gainful employment
- Avoiding further run-ins with the law or association with known criminals
- Attending scheduled check-ins with your probation officer (PO)
- Abstaining from drug and alcohol use
The court understands that life circumstances may affect your ability to adhere to your requirements. However, you must take a proactive stance in bringing these issues to the attention of your PO.
For example, if you missed a drug test or check-in, having our legal team intervene with your PO could help you avoid revocation of your probation agreement. Or, if you lost your job due to unavoidable circumstances (the company went out of business, for example), we can work with your PO and the court to establish a timeline for finding a new job.
Unless you move to resolve the situation immediately, however, your PO will move quickly to revoke your probation and possibly your freedom.
Talk to a Probation Violation Lawyer in Highland Park Today at No Cost
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offers a free consultation to help you determine your next steps. If you suspect you committed a violation, or if your PO may believe you did, we can help you identify potential, workable solutions.
To schedule your free case review, call us today at 214-696-9253.