By: Mark Diaz
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Consequences of Violating Probation
In Texas, probation is often referred to as “community supervision” but the consequences of violating probation can be severe. Under state law (Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 42A.001), community supervision is defined as an alternative to incarceration during which an offender can live in the community, in lieu of going to jail, and make restitution (if any) for misconduct. Defendants placed on probation must abide by the terms of their probation as set by the court. Failure to do so may result in stiff consequences, including going to jail. In this article, our Galveston criminal defense lawyer provides an overview of the potential consequences of violating probation in Texas.
Know the Two Types of Probation Violations
As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that there are different types of probation violations. In Texas, violating probation falls into two broad categories: Technical violations and new law violations.
A technical violation means that a person is alleged to have breached one of the specific terms of their individual community supervision. For example, when on probation, defendants are often required to pay costs and/or fines. Failure to make these payment arrangements could trigger a technical probation violation.
A new law probation violation occurs when a person is arrested on another subsequent offense while they are still on probation for the original offense. As a rule, community supervision in Texas requires individuals to avoid engaging in any future criminal conduct. A new arrest while already on probation for another case will almost certainly violate an individual’s probation.
A First-Time Probation Violation Could Lead to Jail Time
Texas takes probation violations very seriously. Here, a first-time probation violation could be grounds for an immediate arrest. In other words, the State could file a motion to revoke your probation and if so, assuming the court signs off on it, then a warrant will go out for your arrest on the probation violation. While this certainly does not occur in every circumstance, it is something that you need to be prepared for and ready to defend. Probation violations are handled under a preponderance of the evidence standard — a much lesser standard of proof than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard that usually applies. Simply put, the preponderance of the evidence standard makes it much easier for the State to prove you violated your probation.
Consequences Depend on Your Case and the Nature of the Violation
Ultimately, the specific consequences of a probation violation will depend both on the nature of the alleged violation and your history of misconduct while on probation, or lack thereof. Here is the most important thing that you need to keep in mind: A probation violation is not going to go away on its own. The sooner you take action to rectify the problem, the easier it will be to find a solution. A Texas criminal defense lawyer will protect your rights and help you resolve the matter at the lowest possible level.
Call Our Galveston, TX Probation Violation Attorney for Immediate Help
Mark A. Diaz is an aggressive, solutions-focused criminal defense lawyer. We have successfully resolved cases for more than 20 years. If you or your loved one is facing a possible or current probation violation, we are here to help. Contact us now for a completely confidential case evaluation. With a legal office in Galveston, we represent clients throughout Southeast Texas, including in League City, Santa Fe, Texas City, La Marque, Dickinson, and the Greater Houston area.