Austin Probation Violation Defense Attorney
What is Probation?
Probation, also known as community supervision, is where you have been determined guilty of an offense but instead of serving jail time, the Judge orders you to follow certain conditions. There are many standard conditions you must follow, and if probation believes you are not abiding by these conditions, then they can recommend your probation be revoked and you sent to jail. If there is ever a motion to revoke your probation, you have a right to have a criminal defense lawyer represent you.
Often, probation revocation cases are about mitigating the conduct alleged as opposed to disproving the violations. Probation violations aren’t about finding you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the underlying offense but about the state being able to prove that you more likely than not didn’t follow the terms of your probation. If the state thinks you violated any condition, they will file a motion and the court will either issue a warrant or summons you to court to hear the motion. Many times, our Austin probation violation defense lawyer at The Law Office of Will Mitchell can settle these cases without you being sent to jail. Everything depends on what violations the state alleges.
Types of Probation
There are 2 types of community supervision in Texas for felonies and misdemeanors:
- Simple Straight Probation - is where you are found guilty on a charge, and you are sentenced to a certain amount of jail time, but that sentence is suspended/probated for a term so long as you complete all your conditions.
- Deferred Adjudication - is where you have not been found guilty and are not sentenced to any jail time, rather, the finding of guilt is probated while you complete your terms and conditions of community supervision.
What are Standard Probation Conditions?
Standard probation conditions in Texas include but are not limited to the following:
- commit no new offenses
- abstain from the use of any alcohol or drugs
- no traveling without permission
- report as directed to your supervisor
- provide a sample of breath or urine on request
- pay your court ordered monies.
A judge may impose any other reasonable condition of probation. The maximum length of misdemeanor probation is two years and the maximum length of a felony probation is 10 years.
What are the Common Examples of Probation Violations in Texas?
Probation violations in Texas can vary depending on the specific terms and conditions of a person's probation, but some common examples of probation violations in Texas include:
- Failure to report to a probation officer or make false statements to a probation officer.
- Commit a new offense while on probation.
- Engage in criminal activities or associate with individuals who have a criminal record.
- Fail a drug or alcohol test or using drugs or alcohol.
- Use or possess of illegal drugs or weapons.
- Fail to pay court-ordered fines or restitution.
- Fail to complete court-ordered programs or treatment (e.g., anger management or substance abuse treatment)
- Fail to comply with specific conditions of probation, such as attending school or maintaining employment.
- Leave the state or county without permission from a probation officer.
What are the Consequences for Violating Probation?
If a person violates their probation in Texas, they may face additional penalties, including extended probation, fines, community service, or even jail time. Additionally, Texas has a specialized court system called "drug courts" that offer treatment and support to individuals with substance abuse issues who are on probation. If a person on probation violates their conditions related to drug or alcohol use, they may be referred to a drug court for further evaluation and treatment.
If you successfully complete your probation, there is never a conviction (or a finding of guilt) and the charge is essentially dismissed. However, if a judge finds that you did not successfully complete the terms and conditions of probation then you are not only subject to a finding of guilt, you are exposed to the entire punishment range of the charge that was probated. To you, although the consequences may be different, the behavior expected is the same.
Ready to Help You Avoid Serving the Rest of Your Sentence Behind Bars
In order to be convicted of violating probation, there must be intent to willfully disobey the terms and conditions of the sentence. If there is no intent, then your case will be dismissed. At The Law Office of Will Mitchell, we have more than 18 years of experience defending clients in Austin, Travis County, and throughout Central Texas.
For more information about probation, call our Austin probation violation today at (512) 858-8611.
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