Texas Probation Violations

Texas Criminal Law

Probation violations are difficult charges to contest, and hiring a probation violation lawyer is critically important to anyone who is alleged to have violated the terms of their probation. Hiring a probation violation attorney early on can tremendously benefit you in obtaining a positive outcome in a probation violation case. Learn more about Probation and Community Supervision

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If you have been sentenced to a term of “community supervision” (commonly known as probation) instead of a term of incarceration, then you certainly know that the court has significant power over your life. You are required to report in to your probation officer, pay fees for monitoring and seek permission before traveling among a variety of other restrictions.

If your probation officer believes that you have violated any of the terms of your probation, then he or she will likely file a “motion to revoke” (MTR) your probation, or, if you are on deferred adjudication probation, then it will be called a “motion to adjudicate” (MTAG) and result in the same thing: a warrant for your arrest and an eventual hearing on the motion.

If your probation officer believes you have committed a probation violation, then the state attorneys must prove this allegation in court. You are entitled to be heard by a judge who will determine if the allegation is true. This hearing on the probation violation is important because it is the only chance you will have to present evidence that the alleged violation is not true.

You are entitled to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing. We regularly represent people who are accused of probation violations. Typically our clients call us in one of four different situations:

  • 1) The client thinks they may have violated their probation but has not been notified,
  • 2) The client’s probation officer has informed them that they have violated the probation and the probation officer will (or may) be filing a motion to revoke,
  • 3) The client has been notified that a warrant has been issued for his or her arrest because of a probation violation, or
  • 4) The client has a motion to revoke coming up and he or she wants a lawyer to fight the motion to revoke on the probation violation.

The earlier you call us the better because probation officers and courts are typically more willing to work with people who take a proactive approach to resolving probation problems (or potential probation problems). Texas probation violations are very serious issues that can result in long jail sentences from seemingly minor infractions. Even failing to check in with a probation officer can result in people spending months if not years in jail. And the burden of proof that is required of the state’s attorneys is shockingly low.

You are always entitled to a hearing on a probation violation, so if you have not been to a hearing yet, do not think you are too late. Look at some common questions about probation violations below.

What is the Texas Law on deferred adjudication probation?

The law regarding Deferred Adjudication Probation is found in Article 42.12 Section 5 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Subsection (b) describes the rights of a defendant who is accused of violating the terms of his or her deferred adjudication probation. If you are alleged to violate the terms of your community supervision while your sentence has been deferred under these laws, you are entitled to a hearing limited to the determination by the court of whether to proceed with an adjudication of guilt on the original charge. Learn more about Deferred Adjudication Probation

What is the law on probation violations?

The law regarding Probation Violations is found in Article 42.12 Section 21 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. If you are arrested for a violation of probation, you are required to be taken before a judge within 48 hours. However, only the judge that issued the arrest warrant can set bail. More about bail in probation violations

What are the most common probation violations?

Probably the most common ways that people are alleged to violate their probations are the following:

  • picking up a new criminal offense
  • failing a UA (drug test) or alcohol test (for DWI cases)
  • forgetting to report to a probation appointment
  • not attending or failing to complete a required class
  • missing community service hours

For DWI probations, by far the most common type of probation violation is “blowing dirty” on an interlock device. Learn more about how to avoid Interlock violations

What is the burden of proof for motions to revoke on probation violations?

The state’s attorney only has to prove your probation violation by a “preponderance of the evidence,” not beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a much lower standard than other criminal charges. The “preponderance of the evidence” standard is basically a 51% level. If the judge believes that it is more likely than not that you violated your probation, he can sentence you without a jury. This is why it is important that you hire an attorney to defend you. You are not entitled to a jury, and all that has to happen to put you in jail is that a judge believe you violated probation.

Can you get out on bond before your hearing on a probation violation?

The judge who ordered you to be arrested can also set a bond amount so that you can be released from jail pending your hearing on the motion to revoke. If you have not been released on bond, your attorney can file a motion to have a hearing on your motion to revoke within 20 days of filing the motion.

Can you fight a probation violation?

You can absolutely fight a probation violation. Hiring an attorney to defend you against an accusation that you violated your probation is the best way to defend yourself in court. We frequently represent people who are accused of probation violations. Please contact us for more information at (888) 239-9305.

Do you need a lawyer to fight a motion to revoke on a probation violation?

It is highly recommended that you hire a lawyer to defend you. The sooner you call us the better. If you are concerned that you might have violated your probation, call us now.

Can mouthwash fail an alcohol test for an interlock or deep lung device?

As a general matter, mouthwash can cause you to fail an interlock breath test for alcohol. However, it is important to note that this alone will not necessarily violate your probation so long as you follow the instructions of your interlock probation requirements. You will need to blow into the device again within a few minutes and, by that time, the residual alcohol on your breath will have gone away. If you blow dirty again, then this is likely not a result of mouthwash, and the state attorneys may very well try to revoke your probation. There might be other problems, however, with regard to the interlock device or some other kind of problem. Please call us if you are concerned about a violation resulting from an interlock test. And do not hesitate. The earlier you call us the better you will be in fighting the charge.

How can a lawyer fight probation violations on a DWI case?

We fight DWI probation violations in a number of ways. We may negotiate with the state’s attorneys on your behalf, poke holes in the state’s case or work directly with probation on the issue. Call us for more information on crafting a defense in your particular case. Learn more about DWI probation

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