Probation Violations in Denton County
The Law Office of Earl Dobson represents residents of Denton County, Texas in criminal defense matters, including drunk driving, drug and theft charges, and serious felonies. As part of his practice, Earl Dobson also regularly advises clients regarding probation violations.
Anyone who is on probation and fails to follow the instructions of their probation officer and/or the requirements of their probation order is at risk for a charge of probation violation. While probation requirements are often strict and easy to violate if you are not cautious, the consequences for violating the terms of a probation order are severe. If you are found guilty of a probation violation, you may have your probation revoked.
Furthermore, you may be held until a judge can hear and rule a sentence on your case. Those found guilty also face the risk of having additional restrictions and conditions on their probation as well as possibly having their probationary period lengthened or even jail time.
Probation is your chance to demonstrate to the judge and your probation officer that you do not need to stay in jail, but a failure to comply with your probation requirements can send you right back to where you don’t want to be: in jail. There are all kinds of circumstance that can be considered violation of your probation. These include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to abide by either a court order or an order form the probation officer
- Failure to pay a fine
- Failure to attend a mandated-counseling session, meeting with the probation officer, or a set court date
- Traveling out of state without getting permission from your probation officer
- Possessing, selling, or using illegal drugs
- Getting arrested for any kind of offense, whether criminal or not
- Committing any other crimes or offenses
Probation violations typically fall into one of two categories:
- Technical violations – Technical probation violations include general violations of the probation requirements. The most common example is failing to report to the probation officer as scheduled. Other technical violations include failure to notify your probation officer if you are moving, failure to file a monthly report, and testing positive in a urinalysis or other drug test.
- Substantive violations – Not committing any other crime while you are on probation is one of the conditions of probation. A substantive violation involves committing a crime while you are on probation for a previous crime.
What to Expect After Violating Probation
One thing to keep in mind that there isn’t a standard required response when a probation violation happens in the state of Texas. Much is left up to the discretion of the probation officer in question. Typically, probation officers take into account several things when deciding how to respond to a probation violation. This includes the type and severity of the violation, any past instances of probation violation, and any other significant factors. Though the violation may only result in a warning, it may also mean something more severe. If your probation officer requests you to appear in court in response to your violation instead of just issuing a warning, you can be certain to expect strong penalties, including jail time.
If a probation hearing is held, a judge will consider your case and consider whether or not you did indeed violate your probation. The prosecution in a probation hearing needs only supply a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is not as stringent as the criteria in a criminal trial. Again, all relevant information will be considered by the judge. This includes seriousness, type, and nature of the claimed violation. It may also include considerations of past violations or other mitigating and aggregating circumstances.
If found guilty of violation at a probation hearing, you will be sentenced shortly after. Typical sentences in the state of Texas include the extension of probation, the imposing of additional terms on the probationary period, jail time, or even revocation of probation.
Know Your Rights During a Probation Hearing
It’s important to keep in mind that you have legal rights during a probation hearing. Knowing what these rights are can help you to avoid and/or minimize the consequences and penalties of your probation violation. In general, these rights include the following:
- You have the right to be informed by any violations claimed against you in writing
- You have the right to be represented by an attorney
- You have the right to be heard by a neutral judge in a court of law
- You have the right to present witnesses and evidence to support your case or refute the claims against you.
The most key of these is the right to an attorney. The advantage you will have facing such charges with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who knows the Denton area court system and judges is huge. This is especially true if you feel you have not violated probation. You need someone experienced to speak on your behalf and present your case in a way that improves your chances at the best possible outcome for your case.
Secure Representation from an Experience and Qualified Denton Area Criminal Defense Attorney
If authorities notified you that you violated your probation in any way, contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Mr. Dobson can help you avoid the maximum punishments, and in many cases, can clear up the violation and cause the original conditions of your probation to be reinstated.