The Probation Process in Harris County
The concept of probation is referred to as “community supervision” in the Texas. For an alleged offender who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a crime, the ability to maintain employment and an otherwise regular life makes community supervision an attractive alternative to imprisonment.
When a person is placed on probation in Texas, he or she still needs to follow certain rules and satisfy many court requirements. Failure to do so can be considered a violation of the community supervision and may result in the alleged offender being sentenced to prison as well as possible fines.
Lawyer for Probation in Houston, Texas
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Texas, you will want to contact an experienced attorney so you can obtain an outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible punishments. Matt Horak has helped thousands of clients receive community supervision instead of jail sentences, and he also represents people who have been accused of violations of probation.
Horak Law represents clients in the greater Houston area, including such communities as League City, Galveston, Conroe, Sugar Land, Spring, Missouri City, Pasadena, The Woodlands, Pearland, and Richmond-Rosenberg. Call our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to have your case reviewed during a free, confidential consultation.
Houston Probation Information Center
- Who is eligible for community supervision?
- What are the conditions of community supervision?
- Is there a way to finish community supervision early?
There are essentially two different forms of community supervision in Texas. Deferred adjudication is a type of probation in which the case can actually be dismissed if the alleged offender satisfies all of the terms of his or her community supervision. Because deferred adjudication is not considered a conviction, an alleged offender can avoid certain penalties that are normally associated with certain criminal charges—such as having a driver’s license suspended for a drug conviction.
However, deferred adjudication is not available for alleged offenders who are convicted after going to trial. Such people may still be eligible for traditional probation. People can be eligible for community supervision if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense and have no prior felony convictions on their records.
An alleged offender who has been convicted of a felony offense can also be eligible for traditional probation so long as his or her sentence is less than 10 years and the felony they were convicted of was not one of the following offenses:
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Aggravated robbery
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Capital murder
- Compelling prostitution
- Criminal solicitation
- Indecency with a child
- Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
- Sexual assault
- Sexual performance by a child
- Trafficking of persons
The basic conditions for community supervision are outlined under Section 11 of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42.12. Community supervision can include but is not limited to, the conditions that the alleged offender shall:
- Commit no violations of law
- Avoid injurious or vicious habits, such as consuming alcohol or using controlled substances
- Avoid persons or places of disreputable or harmful character, such as convicted felons of members of criminal street gangs
- Report to the supervision officer as directed and obey all rules and regulations of the community supervision and corrections department
- Permit the supervision officer to visit the alleged offender at his or her home or elsewhere
- Obtain and maintain suitable employment
- Remain within specified place
- Pay all fines and court costs
- Support his or her dependents
- Participate, for a time specified by the judge, in any community-based program, including a community service work program
- Remain under custodial supervision in a community corrections facility, obey all rules and regulations of the facility, and pay a percentage of the defendant's income to the facility for room and board
- Pay a percentage of his or her income to dependents for their support while under custodial supervision in a community corrections facility
- Submit to testing for alcohol or controlled substances
- Attend counseling sessions for substance abusers or participate in substance abuse treatment services in a program or facility approved or licensed by the Department of State Health Services
- With the consent of the victim of a misdemeanor offense or of any applicable property offense, participate in victim-defendant mediation
- Submit to electronic monitoring
- Reimburse the compensation to victims of crime fund for any amounts paid from that fund to or on behalf of a victim of the alleged offender's offense or if no reimbursement is required, make one payment to the compensation to victims of crime fund in an amount not to exceed $50 if the offense is a misdemeanor or not to exceed $100 if the offense is a felony
- Reimburse a law enforcement agency for the analysis, storage, or disposal of raw materials, controlled substances, chemical precursors, drug paraphernalia, or other materials seized in connection with the offense
- Pay all or part of the reasonable and necessary costs incurred by the victim for psychological counseling made necessary by the offense or for counseling and education relating to acquired immune deficiency syndrome or human immunodeficiency virus made necessary by the offense
- Make one payment in an amount not to exceed $50 to an applicable crime stoppers organization certified by the Texas Crime Stoppers Council
- Submit a DNA sample to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of creating a DNA record of the defendant
- In any manner required by the judge, provide public notice of the offense for which the defendant was placed on community supervision in the county in which the offense was committed
- Reimburse the county in which the prosecution was instituted for compensation paid to any interpreter in the case.
An alleged offender may be eligible for early termination of his or her court supervision so long as he or she:
- Completed at least one-third of the period of probation
- Completed court-ordered counseling or treatment
- Fulfilled all other conditions of probation
- Has not been convicted of any crime
- Is not delinquent in paying restitution, fines, court costs, or fees
Certain criminal offenses in which an alleged offender is eligible for probation may not allow for early termination of community supervision. Such crimes include:
- Assembling or Operating an Amusement Ride While Intoxicated
- Boating While Intoxicated
- Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child / Children
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- Felony with a Deadly Weapon
- Flying While Intoxicated
- Intoxication Assault
- Intoxication Manslaughter
- Kidnapping Victim Younger Than 17 Years of Age
- Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance Causing Death or Serious Bodily Injury
- Online Solicitation of a Minor
- Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography
- Prohibited Sexual Conduct
- Repeat Indecent Exposure Offenses
- Repeat Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession of a Controlled Substance in a School Zone Offenses
- Unlawful Restraint
Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Houston
Matt Horak is a Houston criminal defense attorney who is committed to getting the best outcome for every client he represents. He can work to get you community supervision in lieu of a prison sentence.
Horak Law represents clients in the greater Houston area, including communities in Galveston County, Brazoria County, Harris County, Liberty County, Waller County, Fort Bend County, and Montgomery County. We invite you to call our firm today at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to have your case evaluated during a free legal consultation.