How Can Probation Be Revoked in Texas?
What Is Probation?
Probation penalizes those convicted of a crime; a person can receive a probation sentence rather than a prison sentence or may receive probation after serving part of their prison sentence. If a person is on probation, they can remain at home, go to work, and enjoy most of the privileges they have during their normal life. However, while on probation, the convicted party must adhere to certain requirements, such as:
- Attending regular meetings with their probation officer
- Maintaining a job in a lawful and reliable profession
- Adhering to the law and avoiding being charged with other criminal offenses
- Not consuming alcohol, drugs, or other illegal substances
- Submitting to random and unscheduled searches conducted by their probation officers
- Permitting unscheduled visits at home or work
- Obtaining approval before changing jobs or residences or traveling out of state
- Avoiding any association with other criminals
- Relinquishing ownership and possession of any firearms
- Completing community service hours
Judges also have the right to impose special conditions on a probation sentence, which can include the completion of classes, registration as a sex offender, drug and alcohol inspections, therapy, or other educational requirements. If a person violates the terms of their probation, they can face very serious consequences, including having their probation revoked.
Texas Probation Revocation Process
If a probationary officer or prosecutor suspects that you have violated parole, they can file a motion to adjudicate probation in court. A warrant will then be issued for your arrest, and you will be placed in the county jail until the probation revocation hearing.
During the revocation hearing, a jury will not be present; only a judge, the prosecution, and your defense team will be in court. The prosecution will have to prove that a violation occurred, which must be supported by a preponderance of the evidence. Unlike in a criminal trial where the prosecution has to prove an offense occurred beyond a reasonable doubt, proving that an offense occurred by a preponderance of the evidence means proving something likely occurred.
Your defense attorney can challenge the evidence presented and argue that you:
- did not violate probation, or
- only committed a minor violation that does not warrant the revocation of your probation.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge can rule that there was or was not a violation of probation. If they rule that there wasn’t a violation, you can leave and probation resumes. However, if the judge decides you did violate probation, they can revoke the probation and send you to jail/prison or release you but add more constraints to the terms of your probation. After being sent to prison, the time you were on probation will not count towards your sentence.
If you are allowed to remain on probation and are deemed to have violated probation, you may also become ineligible for early termination, which refers to the end of probation prior to the set end date. It is also important to note that if you have previously violated probation on earlier offenses you will likely be ineligible for early termination.
The Clark Law Firm is prepared to help clients facing probation revocation or allegations of probation violations. Call (817) 435-4970 or reach out online to schedule a free initial consultation today.