Probation Violations in Denton Texas
What will happen if you violate your probation in Denton County? Serious consequences for which you will need the help of an experienced attorney. This is because probation is the suspension of the underlying sentence and allows a defendant who is convicted of a crime to remain in the community instead of being incarcerated. Therefore, Denton prosecutors and courts take probation violations very seriously.
There is a range of reasons why probation can be violated in Texas. Probation requires the defendant to follow rules and conditions imposed by the court. You will likely be under the supervision of a probation officer who will require regularly scheduled meetings.
Typical conditions of probation include the following: performing civic duties under a community service order; regular meetings with a probation officer; prohibition on using illicit drugs or consuming large quantities of alcohol; avoiding certain locations and associations; and appearing in court at requested and scheduled times.
Reasons for violation and the criminal proceeding process
The most common reasons for a probation violation are the following:
- Failure to complete drug or DWI classes (such as “AA”);
- Committing a new offense
- Failing a drug test
- Failure to report to a probation officer
- Failure to complete ordered community service
A prosecutor may move to revoke probation if it receives evidence that you violated any of the terms of your probation. The prosecutor generally receives the evidence in the form of a violation report sent from your probation officer to the court probation officer. The prosecutor in your underlying case will then review the report and determine if the state should initiate a probation revocation case which begins with either a Motion to Revoke Probation or a Motion to Adjudicate if the defendant is on deferred adjudication. Either motion must list the alleged violation(s) of probation in order to be a complete motion. An arrest warrant will then issue by the criminal court.
Sometimes, probation (sometimes called field officers) will arrest someone for a violation at the time they report for a scheduled meeting. In such cases, it is common for the probation officer to put negative comments in the defendant’s file. No matter what, it is important that the defendant continue reporting to their probation officer, even if they are able to post bond for their violation. In terms of bond amount, it is important to understand that your bond amount after a probation violation will likely be twice the original bond amount in the underlying case.
The prosecution must still prove you violated the terms of your probation by presenting unambiguous and convincing evidence. This evidentiary standard is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard in most criminal trials. Therefore, it can be easier for an experienced and effective attorney to convince the criminal court to drop a probation violation charge.
Results of the violation
It is important to understand from the beginning that there are no guaranteed second chances when it comes to probation violations. If the prosecution is successful in proving its case, any of the following may occur depending on your criminal record and the nature of the violation:
- Your probation may be reinstated,
- Your probation may be discharged,
- The probation may be reinstated but with modified conditions,
- Your probation can be revoked or adjudicated with an extended supervision period,
- Your probation can be revoked, and you can be incarcerated, or
- A combination of any of the above can occur.
First, and in the most serious circumstance, the court could revoke a defendant’s probation and impose the original sentence from the underlying case as if there had been no probation originally ordered. In a case involving deferred adjudication, the court may resume the original criminal case, with a plea of guilty or no contest already in the record.
If your probation revocation is based on commission of another offense, your chances of remaining on probation are a lot lower if you also failed to pay a fine or did not to complete your community service in the underlying case. However, if your probation violation is based on something relatively minor, like missing a meeting with your probation officer, you will likely stay on probation and avoid jail time.
Specific modification or conditions could also be added to your original probation. The amended conditions may include:
- Additional fines
- In or out-patient treatment (for drugs and alcohol)
- Additional community service hours
- Additional counseling or rehabilitation classes
- Modified incarceration (sometimes called jail therapy to teach you a lesson); and
- Ankle monitoring or house arrest
If you commit a drug violation, for example, you may be sentenced to confinement at a state or county rehabilitation facility for a 12-month, mandatory term. You could even be sentenced to confinement at a secure facility.
If you are facing a probation violation, you need experienced and effective representation. Contact us today at 940.566 0271 to find out how the Peugh Law Firm can help you.