What Happens When I Have Probation Violations?

Probation Violation Warrant – Bond or No Bond

This post will cover probation violations specifically as they relate to Dallas County and the surrounding areas. Especially in felony court, the court will put a warrant out and there won’t be a bond set on that warrant. In misdemeanor courts, they put out warrants but generally set bonds on them. So on misdemeanors, if you get arrested you can generally bond back out fairly quickly. But on felonies when you get arrested, booked and arraigned, the magistrate will not set a bond so you’ll have to wait all weekend before anything can be done on your case.

Getting Out of Jail

If you’re arrested out of county, you’ll not only have to wait all weekend, but you’ll have to wait to get transferred to the to the county where the probation is. Then you’ll have to see the judge in the court your case is from. And it’s hard to say how long it will take to get before that judge unless you get a lawyer hired to go to work on your case right away.

A lawyer can make a big difference in either keeping you out of custody or minimizing your time in custody. But even if you get a lawyer involved, the lawyer can only do certain things when the courts are open.

Dodging the Warrant vs. Handling it Quickly

I’ve had clients who have waited and laid low to try to avoid their warrant. Some of them have done so very successfully and, though it’s highly disfavored by courts and prosecutors, sometimes it can work out well. It shouldn’t, but sometimes it does. I don’t recommend this path though because despite its occasional success, generally it makes matters worse. What I do recommend is to call us and talk to us about your situation and we’ll discuss with you what your options are.

Improving the Outcome

Our entire job is to improve the outcome for our clients. It’s typically better to go ahead and try to handle a probation violation before getting arrested. Some courts will insist on having the warrant cleared before anything can be done on the case, but it isn’t universally necessary.

We have handled numerous probation violations where we were able to go to court right away and get the client’s probation discharged. This causes the Motion to Revoke to be withdrawn and the warrant to be recalled so that they are released and free from ever having to worry about their case again.

That’s a lot better than just waiting and waiting and waiting and ducking and dodging the warrant until finally they get you.

One thing some of you may already know is that there’s often a little bit of ‘give’ on these things. Usually, you can mess up in little ways a few times before probation gets fed up and puts a warrant out. Generally, the bigger ways you can mess up, you can’t have more than one or two of those before they put a warrant out. The best example of this is getting a new case, especially if you get a major case or a case of the exact same kind you’re on probation for.

What Are the Consequences

I always tell clients there are tools probation has to try to get people back in line, to get them in compliance with the terms of their probation again. And it’s kind of like a tool belt. Once a motion is filed and a warrant issued, they will typically want some sort of consequence for whatever the violation is. That can be anything from a warning to revocation and jail or prison time. Those are the two extremes. In the middle are options such as additional reporting, additional jail time as a condition of continuing on probation, electronic monitoring, house arrest, inpatient, outpatient, or custodial treatment, extending the term of probation, additional community service or classes, and so on. But once they’ve run through several tools on their tool belt and feel either they don’t have any more they can use, or any additional efforts will not be effective, that’s when you’re in danger of going to jail or prison for a sustained period.

Have Your Situation Evaluated

So, I think it’s better to at least talk to a lawyer upfront and see what your options are. Then you can consider whether you want to hire us to go in and negotiate on your behalf.

Don’t give up hope. If you think that you know you know what your outcome is going to be and you’re worried about it, try not to prejudge things. As humans, we tend to focus on the most disastrous possible outcomes when we’re worried about the unknown. But you never know what might happen. There’s a lot that can be done on these probations.

So, call if you have any questions about probation violations. It’s one of our favorite things to help people handle.