Probation Violations

Understanding Probation Violations

What Are Common Ways People Violate Probation?

The most common probation violation is failing to show up for probation meetings. It’s also common to pick up new charges, fail drug tests, fail to take required courses, complete treatment or community service hours, and fail to pay fines and court costs.

Are Most People Aware They Have Violated Probation?

Most people know they have trouble on the horizon with their probation and are worried about how to handle it. Many of them tend to think it is worse than it is; usually, there is something that can be done to get them back on track or even get their probation discharged.

In Terms Of Additional Violations While On Probation, If An Arrest Occurs In Another State, Does Texas Automatically Find Out? How Do You Advise Your Clients In Those Situations?

I advise clients it is their duty to provide information about arrests to their officer. Probation officers do have ways to see arrests, though there are some circumstances where they might not know. Arrests should also be handled on a case-by-case basis and they should always call me for advice.

What Should Someone Expect Once They Know They Have a Probation Violation? Are They Generally Arrested on the Spot? Are These Bondable Offenses?

A person will only be arrested on the spot if they show up to probation and their officer realizes there is a warrant. There is usually some warning that you have a warrant out and we can try to clear that warrant by going into court and getting a bond set. A bond is sometimes possible, depending on the seriousness of the offense and the type of supervision you were under.

It is not always necessary to clear a warrant by turning a person in, making sure there is a bond, and posting that bond. A warrant is just a tool used to get someone into court, so if we can take care of the underlying case, there is no longer a need for the warrant or a bond. A lot of times, in a probation violation case, the first thing I do is check to see if it can be cleared without having to go through those other steps.

How Soon Does Someone Generally Have To Go To Court After A Probation Violation?

The timeline can vary, depending on the court and their schedule. Generally, the sooner the better.

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    What Actually Happens At The Hearing?

    There will not always be a hearing. The hearing is kind of the last resort option where the judge gets involved. Some judges want to be involved more on probation violations than others. Typically, the first decision-maker on a probation violation is going to be the prosecutor, with a heavy dose of input from the probation department. Most of these get resolved by me talking to the prosecutor without the judge being involved.

    What Role Does My Probation Officer Play At This Point?

    Your probation officer has a great deal of input and that is why it is really important to have a good history with your probation officer. They will give a report card on how you have done on probation and if that report card is good, it goes a long way towards helping fix any problems.

    What Are The Potential Penalties And Consequences Someone May Face If They Are Accused Of Violating Their Probation?

    Penalties for probation violations can range anywhere from having the case discharged, to continuing their probation, to having some sort of additional burden such as an added time period of probation or jail time. It can also include some sort of remedial measure, like inpatient or outpatient treatment. I always tell people that the probation department has a tool belt of options that they can use to try to get people back in line on their probation. Sometimes, people can run through those tools by being a problem. Once they are done using all the tools they have available, then they may just give up and recommend sending you to jail or prison. It’s important to remember that on deferred adjudication, the judge has the full range of punishment available as a penalty if they adjudicate guilt. Some judges like to spread the word that they are zero tolerance on violations.

    What Happens If Someone Is Involved In A Diversion Program And Probation Is Violated?

    When it comes to a diversion program, those generally occur before a person gets on probation. Deferred adjudication was the original form of getting a case dismissed through probation. That is where you enter a plea and are put on probation. If you complete it successfully, your case is dismissed. Diversion programs tend to be situations where you don’t enter a plea but you do many of the same things you would do on probation. If you do those things successfully, your case gets dismissed and you never have any kind of record that you entered a plea. If you cannot follow through to get your case discharged or dismissed, you end up back where you started, with the case pending against you. Many places make the defendant sign a judicial confession to participate in their programs. Whether you fail to complete a diversion or a deferred, you may end up with a conviction and jail or prison time as a result.

    If My Probation is Revoked, What Should I Expect To Happen Next? If Jail or Prison Is Involved, How Soon Will I Have To Go?

    Some judges will give you time to get your situation in order. Other courts will take you directly to jail to complete your sentence. It varies by judge and the seriousness of the offense.

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