What Happens if I Violate My Probation?
The consequences associated with a probation violation are dependent upon a number of factors, including the gravity of the violation, whether you have had previous violations, and whether there may be outstanding circumstances that either diminish or worsen the severity of the violation. Some violations may be treated lightly, but there are other probation violations which can result in significant penalties, including heavy fines, extended time on probation, jail time, and more.
Some of the most common reasons attributed to violating probation include a failed drug test, missing appointments with a probation officer, failing to do community service, failure to pay fines or court fees, being arrested or convicted of a new crime, failure to stay away from bars or people involved with drugs, or failure to go to treatment or counseling as mandated by the court.
Regardless of whether you have a felony or misdemeanor probation, you will be entitled to a probation revocation hearing where you will be able to explain your side of the story and why you failed to follow through with the terms of your probation.
In the state of Texas, it is important to bear in mind that there are two different types of probation, the deferred adjudication probation and what is referred to as “straight” probation. Deferred adjudication or community supervision will allow a person to avoid a criminal record, and basically acts as a second chance for someone to prove themselves in the eyes of the law. It is of critical important that you do not violate your probation when on deferred adjudication, because ensuring that you stay on the straight and narrow is basically the carrot on a stick that allows you to keep a conviction off your record and avoid a harsher sentence. For example, if you are on deferred adjudication for a third-degree felony (between 2-10 years in prison) and you violate your probation, then the judge could sentence you for up to 10 years in prison. In many cases, the consequences for probation violation when on deferred adjudication are very harsh.
In the case of a “straight” probation violation, the consequences may be considered less risky compared to deferred adjudication because the potential prison time is capped from the beginning, rather than being subject to the full range of punishment (10 years in this case) by the judge.
The best-case scenario for a probation violation is that the judge continues your probation rather than imposing time in prison, but if you’ve had previous violations or your violation was particularly grievous, then you can expect an equally harsh reaction.
It’s important that you follow your Conditions of Probation, but we all know that it’s possible for any of us to slip up now and then. The best course of action is to be forthright with your probation officer and tell them the truth rather than hiding something, because they will usually find out eventually. The fact that you owned up to it and are communicating openly can only help you, because your relationship with your probation officer can often make or break you when it comes to probation violations.
If you’ve violated your probation, then you may need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your obligations during probation and will help you make parole at the earliest possible date if your probation was revoked. The team at Fears Nachawati has handled a wide range of cases involving probationers, and we will fight tirelessly to defend your rights and your freedom.
Don’t delay another minute in reaching out for a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.