Violation of Probation
Probation, now officially referred to by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as "community supervision," is an alternative to jail time that is offered to some individuals who have been convicted of minor or first-offense crimes and show remorse or some willingness to take responsibility for their own atonement.
The individual on probation is allowed to go about their daily lives provided that they follow certain legal restrictions and rules. Sometimes, following these rules can be prohibitive to the normal routine of life, and rules get broken. If you've violated the terms of your probation and are facing additional charges and possibly jail time, then it is important to obtain the services of a probation violation attorney in Houston, TX.
Houston Violation of Probation Attorney
Attorney Matt Horak is a dependable criminal defense attorney who has several years of experience defending Houstonians who have been accused of crimes. If you're facing potential penalties because of violated probation terms in the greater Houston area, contact Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 to schedule a free consultation.
Community Supervision Terms in Texas
When you are placed under supervision by the court, they will have you agree to a set of terms. Usually, these terms will be catered your specific needs and your perceived level of risk, but there is generally a set of standard conditions that must be met during the course of the community supervision.
These conditions of probation can include the following:
You must commit no other crimes for the duration of the supervision.
Avoid habits that are considered injurious or vicious, including the use of illegal drugs or alcohol.
Stay away from disreputable people or places.
Meet with your assigned corrections officer immediately following your supervision hearing and no less than monthly following that for the duration of the supervision.
Allow your corrections representative to visit you at home, work, or elsewhere.
Abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the corrections department in your county.
Remain gainfully employed and with good conduct for the duration of the supervision; change of employers must be immediately reported to your representative.
Remain within your county of residence unless otherwise authorized to leave.
Support your dependents as normally required by law.
Submit to random drug testing.
Pay any fines, fees, or restitution ordered by the corrections department.
Failing to abide by these conditions usually results in serious consequences. Committing another crime or failing to report to the corrections officer will often result in the individual serving the maximum sentence for their original crime plus the new crime or any appropriate penalties for delinquency.
Supervision Violation Defense
If you have violated the terms of your community supervision by missing an appointment with your corrections officer, it is important to negotiate with county officials and your corrections officer to explain your case. Having a good reason to miss your probation meeting may mitigate any potential damage that could be done to your case.
In the event that you have been charged with an additional crime during your supervision period, the process becomes more delicate and complex. Steps must be taken to ensure that both the supervision violation charges and those for the new crime are fought.
In either case, having an attorney diligently investigate the details of your probation conditions and the circumstances surrounding your violations can significantly mitigate any additional penalties or jail time you could be facing. Contact a skilled Houston criminal attorney like Matt Horak today to discuss the options available to you in your probation case.
Possible Penalties for Violating Supervision
Under the conditions that an individual agrees to upon accepting community supervision in lieu of confinement, he or she must maintain regular communication with the assigned corrections officer and must stay out of additional legal trouble. In the case of a violation, the court may impose additional fines and penalties.
Some of the common penalties for a violation of probation agreements include:
- Service of the original maximum jail or prison sentence
- Court fees
- Community service
- Mandatory counseling services
- Mandatory drug / alcohol rehabilitation programs
These penalties vary quite a bit depending on the individual circumstances of your probation violation. It's in your best interest to do everything you can to mitigate the problems that will arise from a probation violation in Texas.
Speaking with an attorney can give you some of the information you need to effectively argue your case if you have been charged with violating the terms of your supervisory period.
In some cases, the judge may find that there is enough evidence to successfully convict you of a crime but decide to defer judgment. This is known as deferred adjudication, and it is similar to community supervision in some ways.
While both cases allow the individual to continue on with their life and jobs, there are a few key differences between the two scenarios.
If you've received deferred adjudication and violate the terms that you have agreed to uphold, there is no set maximum penalty that will apply as there would be under community supervision. Instead, the judge will decide on a sentence that fits the original crime, new violation, and mitigating circumstances appropriately.
Furthermore, you are allowed to file a non-disclosure petition under deferred adjudication. This petition allows you to seal the case and deferred adjudication from your criminal record, preventing private individuals or business from seeing that when they request your criminal background.
Horak Law | Houston Community Supervision Attorney
Whether you're facing an original criminal charge or a probation violation charge, attorney Matt Horak will be committed to pursuing the best possible results in your criminal trial.
You don't have to face the pitfalls of the Texas legal system alone. Instead, contact a skilled Houston criminal defense attorney like Matt Horak today to schedule a free case evaluation and begin discussing how you can fight a conviction in your case.
Contributor: Matt Horak