Probation Violation and Revocation

Probation violations are serious offenses that judges do not punish lightly. Violating probation could warrant serious jail time and will stay on your record forever. It is essential to be informed on the differences and unique situations to ensure probation violations affect less people, and that the justice system allows for rehabilitation of offenders effectively. 

What is probation in the state of Texas?

Probation is a type of penalty utilized in the court to prevent offenders from being placed in prison and still be able to add to their community while being supervised by a Texas probation officer.

Conditions of probation may include:

  • Jail time;
  • Community Service;
  • Counseling;
  • Restrictions concerning weapons;
  • Restrictions concerning alcohol and drugs;
  • Required reporting to a probation officer;
  • Paying probation fees;
  • Covering court costs;
  • Completing drug or alcohol treatment;
  • Making restitution payments to any victims of the crime;
  • Not leaving the country without prior approval from the probation officer;
  • Staying away from known criminal associates or activities;
  • Not getting arrested or charged with another crime;
  • Relinquishing any firearms in the defendant’s possession; or
  • Performing community service.

Probation typically lasts from one to three years and condition-specific restrictions included in the condition of one’s probation. For example, if an offender was arrested on drug charges, a judge could order more regular drug testing.

What are the types of probation in Texas?

There are two types of probation in the State of Texas:

Straight Probation: Also described as “normal” probation, straight probation occurs when a judge finds an offender guilty, and gives him/her probation as a penalty for such action.

Offenders do not have to go to jail, but they must follow conditions set on their probation. This offense will stay on record, and if probation is violated, the offender can serve the original probation sentence in jail as punishment.

Deferred Adjudication Probation: After a plea of “guilty” or “no contest,” a judge could place you on deferred adjudication rather than a finding of guilt. This probation is typically given to first offenders in order to help minimize effects on a criminal record, under the guise that they will follow and complete their probation successfully.

The Risk: If such probation is violated, an offender could possibly serve the maximum prison time associated with their offense, regardless of whether the violation was one year or one month prior to completion of probation.

What is considered a probation violation?

Although not necessarily always illegal, there are many ways probation can be violated based upon the conditions set by a judge. While most probation conditions are on a case-by-case basis, the most common probation violations are:

  • Leaving your county or state without permission to do so;
  • Committing another criminal offense;
  • The consumption of drugs or alcohol;
  • Failing to report to your probation officer;
  • Failing to report for substance abuse testing;
  • Failing to maintain employment;
  • Failing to perform assigned community service duties; or
  • Failing to complete required educational programs.

What are the consequences of violation of probation?

Consequences of probation violation are dependent on whether it is your first offense, the severity of the original offense that warranted probation, and how the probation was violated. For example, if probation is violated for minor offenses, offenders will typically not be given jail time, but rather extended probation. Whereas, if an offender violates probation for a major crime such as drug related crime, they could face the full extent of their original sentence in prison.

Yet, the most important aspect of consequence is that once an offender violates probation, a judge has great discretion over the penalization of such violation. In order to determine revocation of probation, a revocation hearing with a judge must be scheduled, and there must be valid evidence of violation in order to advance with revoking probation and introducing further penalization.

What is the difference between Parole and Probation?

Probation and parole are very similar in terms of the actual purpose. Both are meant to oversee offenders to ensure that they are maintaining their behavior while living outside of prison.

The main difference is that probation is included with sentencing, whereas parole is only granted once a person has served their prison sentence. Parole is granted by a parole board, considering many factors from the offender’s prison time and offense, and probation is granted by a judge at the time of sentencing.

Can I get a probation violation expunged from my record?

Deferred Adjudication probation is set up in order to allow offenders to complete probation without leaving the offense on your criminal record. This form of probation is the only way that an offender can leave probation without a criminal record. If any form of probation is violated, there is no possibility of expunction and could possibly warrant prison time.

What can Gary Tabakman do to defend me?

Gary Tabakman is an award-winning lawyer that understands the law. He has defended countless probation violations and will fight to give you the best possible defense. In order to have a better understanding of the conditions of your probation, call Mr. Tabakman 713-331-9457 today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.