WHAT HAPPENS IF I VIOLATE MY PROBATION?
If your Probation Officer feels that you have violated one or more of the terms and conditions of your probation, they will notify the Court, and the Judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. If an arrest warrant is issued for you, we can help you get your arrest warrant taken care of and get your Probation Revocation hearing handled correctly. Our job as your criminal defense attorney is to convince the judge to allow you the chance to successfully complete the terms of your probation.
You can be placed on two different types of probation in Texas:
- Deferred Adjudication
- Straight or Regular Probation
Deferred Adjudication in Texas is a special kind of probation that gives you the opportunity to keep your conviction off your criminal record. Following a plea of “guilty” or “no contest”, a judge may decide not to enter a finding of guilt, but instead place you on Deferred Adjudication probation. A jury can't place you on Deferred Adjudication probation. Only a judge can probate your sentence to Deferred Adjudication.
If you were charged with a felony, Deferred Adjudication can keep you out of jail or prison. Felony probation normally has a sentence of 10 years.
When you successfully complete the terms and conditions of your probation, then your case will be dismissed and you won't have a conviction for the crime on your criminal record.
If you violate your probation while on Deferred Adjudication, the Judge can revoke your probation and can sentence you anywhere within the range of punishment for your criminal offense.
REGULAR PROBATION/STRAIGHT PROBATION
Regular Probation or Straight Probation is when the Judge finds you guilty of your offense and sets the number of months that you are on probation. Your conviction of the crime will go on your criminal record immediately.
Straight Probation or Regular Probation in Texas is when the Judge finds you guilty of your criminal offense and sets the number of months that you are on probation. Your conviction of the crime will go on your criminal record immediately. Unlike Deferred Adjudication, when you are placed on Straight Probation, it's after you've been found guilty. Because this is a sentence that's been probated, a jury can probate criminal offenses after a Trial by Jury. If you violate your Straight Probation, the Judge can sentence you to the original sentence imposed on you when you were placed on probation.
Basically you've agreed to plead guilty or no contest. The Judge accepts your plea and finds you guilty. Then you're sentenced to a certain amount of time in either jail or prison. But, instead of carrying out the sentence and sending you to jail or prison, the Judge “probates” your sentence. You will then be released to the community supervision department to receive your probation requirements and restrictions.
PROS AND CONS OF STRAIGHT PROBATION
The benefit to accepting Straight Probation is that you didn't have to go to jail or prison. You do have certain requirements you have to complete, monthly meetings with your Probation Officer, alcohol testing, drug testing, and educational requirements without having a prison sentence. The negative of Straight Probation is that you have a permanent criminal conviction on your record.
WHY YOU DON'T WANT TO VIOLATE STRAIGHT PROBATION
If you violate your Straight Probation you need to remember that you've already been found guilty and sentenced by the Judge. The courts can be petitioned to revoke your probational status and impose the original sentence which was probated by the Judge. Even if you have almost completed your probation, you will be sentenced to the entire punishment originally imposed by the Judge.
PROBATION REVOCATION HEARING
At your Probation Revocation hearing, the Judge has the option to continue you on your probation, modify the terms and conditions of your probation, or completely revoke your probation. If the Judge decides to revoke your probation, this can have severe consequences. Our job at your Probation Revocation hearing is to work with the Court to get you back on probation, so you can successfully complete the terms and conditions of your probation.
VIOLATION OF DEFERRED VS REGULAR PROBATION
If the Judge revokes your Deferred Adjudication Probation the Judge can sentence you anywhere within the range of punishment for the offense, but, if you're on Regular Probation, the Judge is limited to the original sentence imposed when you were placed on probation.
There are many reasons that can cause your probation officer to find you in violation of the terms and conditions of your probation. Some of the most common reasons that cause you to be in violation of your probation:
- Failure to report monthly to a your Probation Officer
- Not paying your monthly Probation Fee
- Committing a new crime
- Not attending your required classes
- Failing a random urinalysis test
- Not maintaining employment
- Leaving the county
IT IS IN YOUR INTEREST TO HAVE REPRESENTATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
If you're in violation of your probation, contact Brian Kennedy Law as soon as possible to properly handle your Probation Revocation hearing and help you successfully complete the terms and conditions of your probation.