Texas takes probation violations seriously. When you fail to follow court orders, the legal system considers it a grave offense. For this reason, you should always try your hardest to abide by all the restrictions levied by the judge.
Probation is considered to be somewhat of a second chance. You may have restrictions, but you are otherwise free to live your life outside of jail or prison. When you violate probation or are accused of violating probation, this freedom is in jeopardy.
What Are the Types of Probation in Texas?
Texas has two types of probation, which may differ from other states.
One type of probation is known as deferred adjudication. A violation to this probation is serious because you are considered to be breaking a second chance offered by the court. Essentially, successfully completing deferred adjudication probation in Texas typically means that your charges will be dismissed. No further action will be taken against you if you don't violate the probation restrictions.
The second type of probation is known as a straight probation. Straight probation occurs when you already have a conviction on your record.
What Counts as a Probation Violation?
Probation violations come in many forms. In many situations, people fail to check in with their probation officers during scheduled appointments. In other cases, people are arrested again and face new criminal charges, potentially voiding a probation agreement.
One of the most common causes of probation violation is the failure to pass a drug test. You might be restricted from drinking or spending time with certain people, and failure to abide by these restrictions means you might face consequences.
Probation violation also results from failure to abide by court-appointed punishments, such as failure to pay fines or perform community service duties. Perhaps you failed to attend treatment sessions or courtmandated counseling appointments.
What Happens If You Violate Probation?
If you violate your probation, consequences fall on a spectrum. In some cases, you could merely be issued a warning. Low-level offenses usually accompany a warning, especially if your probation officer has a large caseload.
In other cases, you might be issued a notice to appear in court. Appearing in court is typically associated with larger violations or if you violated probation for a felony.
In the case that you have to go to court, the prosecution will present evidence of your probation violation. Evidence could come in the form of photos, social media posts, or testimony from your probation officer.
Your probation officer may play an essential role in determining the severity of your consequences. In making a determination, the judge will consider everything from past violations to the type of condition you violated as are presented by your probation officer. For this reason, you should always communicate with your probation officer as much as possible.
If the court finds you guilty, you will receive your sentence at some point after the hearing. In the interim, you might have extended probation or serve time in jail. In severe cases, the court may opt to revoke your probation entirely.
What Should You Do If You Violate Probation?
Considering that violating probation could mean potential jail time, you should never go to court for probation violation without an attorney. You have legal rights in court, and hiring a criminal defense attorney to manage your case means you may avoid extreme penalties and consequences.
We offer highly-skilled criminal defense attorneys who understand that you have legal rights. We also have compassion and respect for all of those who are in positions just like yours. Not sure if you need a lawyer for your upcoming probation violation case? Make an appointment with our professionals today.