In the state of Texas, when someone is convicted of committing a crime incarceration is often the punishment. In some cases, the judge might have an alternative option to a jail sentence known as community supervision. In Texas, this type of sentence is commonly referred to as probation. Other forms of community supervision that do not result in a conviction include deferred adjudication, pre-trial intervention or pre-trial diversion.
If a Texas court sentences someone to community supervision instead of jail time, he or she will have restrictions on their daily life. The court can impose a wide variety of restrictions. An offender on community supervision will be required to report on a regular schedule to an assigned probation officer—typically on a monthly basis. The supervising officer will check on employment and housing status, will administer drug or alcohol testing, and will want to make sure the offender has been complying with all other conditions and terms of the community supervision sentence (e.g., community service hours, classes, rehabilitation programs, no contact with complaining witness). Other major restriction for an offender can include requesting permission before traveling outside of a specifically designated area, such as the county of residence, state or country. All the specific restrictions that apply to community supervision/probation should be discussed and outlined for by the offender’s attorney, the court and the probation officer.
If someone on probation does not comply with the terms of his or her community supervision, it is a violation of the court’s sentence. His or her probation officer can notify the District Attorney’s Office about any alleged violations, and a prosecutor can file a Motion to Revoke Probation. If the offender is on deferred adjudication, the prosecutor files a Motion to Adjudicate. If someone is being supervised under a pre-trial intervention/diversion program, the prosecutor can simply revoke the contract and the case returns to the court’s docket as if no supervision ever took place.
When a motion is filed, an arrest warrant is issued which can in the offender being arrested taken to jail again. Someone accused of violating the terms of their probation or deferred adjudication community supervision is entitled to a hearing. During the hearing, the government’s attorney must prove that a violation has been committed by a preponderance of the evidence—meaning more likely than not. Some common violations include failing drug or alcohol tests, missing meetings with supervising officer, and being charged with a new crime.
Probation violation claims against an offender are serious and can be difficult to challenge. In the right circumstances, an attorney can present defenses or mitigating evidence to the prosecutor and convince them to dismiss the motion. Other situations require a hearing that could result in jail time. There are other situations where the community supervision is not terminated, but additional conditions are added or the time period is extended. Anyone who has a been accused of violating their community supervision needs to have an attorney experienced at fighting the allegations if they want to possibly avoid the consequences.
Collin Evans of Collin Evans Law, PLLC is an aggressive criminal defense attorney based in Houston, Texas with over a decade of experience handling community supervision cases, including probation violations and Motions to Adjudicate. If you or a loved one need legal advice regarding your probation violation case in Houston or the surrounding area, you can be confident that Collin Evans will be able to help you understand the details of your case and navigate the Texas legal system with your best interest in mind. Contact the Law Office of Collin Evans any time to find out how Collin Evans can help you protect your rights.