The probation violation is at the essence, an offense that happens when someone disturbs the condition of a sentence. Consequences that are involved with probation violation generally are dependent on a number of different things.
Texas Probation Violation Includes:
- nature and seriousness of the violation
- whether prior violations are involved
- and whether there are other circumstances could affect the situation
A violation of probation could lead to severe penalties including:
- heavy fines
- extended requirements
- jail time, maybe more
How does Probation Violation Happen
Probation violation is different in every state but are generally congruent to federal and state law and in Central Texas. These violations happen when someone ignores, avoids, refuses, or breaks the terms/conditions of a probation sentence during the probation period.
Situations in which probation violation arise
- Not showing up for court
- Failing to report to a probation officer on time
- Failing to pay court-appointed fines
- Going out of state against a court order
- Any drug involvement
- Becoming involved with other crimes
What happens after Probation Violation
While there is no definite pathway after a violation has taken place, but there are generally a few things that can happen. The first possibility is that you will receive a warning or be ordered to make a court appearance. In the event, that you need to go to court, the probation office will likely require a penalty of sorts for the act. This could, in turn, lead to some jail time.
Keep in mind that the prosecuting attorney will need to prove a violation occurred by a likelihood of more than 50 percent. If found guilty of the violation, a judge may sentence extend probation, add terms to the probation, or revoke altogether. If revoked, the remainder of the original sentence timeframe may be required to be spent in jail.
A Motion to Adjudicate or a Motion to Revoke Community Supervision or Probation
A Motion to Adjudicate or a Motion to Revoke Community Supervision starts the adjudication or revocation process of community supervision. Probation’s legal term is “community supervision.” The State files such as Motion when it seeks to amend a defendant’s community supervision conditions or send a defendant to prison.
If such Motion has been filed against a defendant, it is extremely important that the defendant hires an attorney. Such Motions may take away a defendant’s liberty and freedom and substantially affect the defendant’s record.
Case has extensive experience in defending against Motions to Revoke Community Supervision. He knows precisely what to do in order to ensure that you get the proper outcome.
How Does the Motion to Adjudicate or Motion to Revoke Community Supervision Process Work?
When the State files its Motion, the State could be seeking to place a county jail sanction on a defendant, prejudicially amend the terms of a defendant’s community supervision, place the defendant into inpatient treatment (which is a prison), or place the defendant into the prison itself.
Dismissal of such Motion actually occurs if the State “withdraws” the Motion. This is the best result because then the defendant goes back on community supervision with the exact same prior terms. An exception to that is if the attorney can have the community supervision terminated or terminated unsuccessfully. This is a possibility, but it is normally more remote. This would end community supervision permanently and leave a defendant free in the world without paper.
The next best result is if the defendant can get reinstated on community supervision. This occurs with the same terms as before or sometimes can include simply some additional conditions, such as outpatient treatment, or an extension of the term of community supervision.
Unfortunately, there are times when inpatient treatment becomes unavoidable. This can be a solution for a defendant if he is seeking to stay on community supervision and retain the fact that he is on deferred adjudication. The benefit of deferred adjudication is that the defendant does not have a conviction on his record.
There are various inpatient-treatment programs. After being ordered into inpatient treatment, often a defendant will have to wait up to approximately one month in the County Jail for the opening of a bed in the ordered inpatient-treatment program. Such inpatient-treatment programs can vary in time from three months, for certain ISF programs, to SAFP, which is nine months in total.
At times, the State may seek to send a defendant to prison. A defendant does have options. These are all of the options available to a defendant with such a Motion: (1) an agreed recommendation with the State, (2) an open plea to the Judge, or (3) a contested hearing.
With an agreed recommendation, the State and the defendant come to an agreement. The Judge will normally follow the agreed recommendation and sentence the defendant accordingly.
An open plea to the Judge is when a defendant pleas true to all or some of the allegations, but asks the Judge to sentence him instead of taking a deal from the State. This throws the defendant at the mercy of the Judge. The Judge can do anything he wants, from reinstating community supervision to sentencing the defendant anywhere within the statutory range.
A contested hearing occurs when a defendant pleas “not true” to the allegations. This forces the State to satisfy its burden of proof. This is very different from a plea to the original case. A defendant is not entitled to a jury. A defendant is only entitled to a hearing in front of the Judge. The burden of proof is merely a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. This is similar to the burden in a civil case.
At such hearing, a defendant is entitled to the Rules of Evidence, including the exclusion of hearsay and invoking the Confrontation Clause. A defendant does have his Fifth-Amendment right to remain silent and such silence cannot be used against him.
If the Judge finds it is true that a defendant did, in fact, violate a condition of his community supervision, the Judge can then sentence the defendant to anywhere within the statutory range, including reinstatement if he so desires. If the Judge finds the community-supervision violations to be not true, the defendant is reinstated back on community supervision.
At the Law Office of Case J. Darwin Inc., we take these cases very seriously so if you or a someone you know has been accused of any sort of violation of probation, you need a criminal defense attorney who can defend your case.
For more information on probation violation in Texas, please review this article.