Probation Revocations in McKinney and Collin County
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Misdemeanor probation is a sentence for a criminal conviction on a misdemeanor charge (in a felony case, the court can impose felony probation). The judge or jury can decide to put a defendant on probation rather than send them to jail, and time spent on probation can reduce the amount of jail time a defendant might need to serve. It can even completely replace jail time in certain cases.
Some common terms of a probationary sentence include:
- performing community service hours,
- not getting arrested or charged with another crime,
- making restitution payments to the victim,
- seeing a probation officer regularly,
- completing drug or alcohol treatment,
- taking other courses as required by the court (e.g. anger management classes),
- staying current on child support payments,
- maintaining a steady job,
- being subjected to random drug or alcohol tests,
- staying in the area and only leaving it with the express permission of the probation officer, and
- paying court costs, fines, and probation fees.
Note that convictions for different offenses come with different terms of probation, and the length of probation will depend on the severity of the crime. A defendant’s criminal history can also influence the terms of their probation.
Deferred adjudication is a probation sentence that happens without a conviction. Judges can delay or defer the conviction and allow the defendant to complete a probationary sentence in the meantime. If the defendant succeeds, the case will be dismissed, and because there was never a final conviction entered, the defendant can usually file a Motion for Nondisclosure to remove their criminal record from public view.
Be aware that if you violate a term of your deferred probation, the State can file a Motion to Adjudicate and can even try to revoke your probation. At an Adjudication hearing, the judge can enter a final conviction for the offense and even send you to jail, and typically none of the time spent on deferred adjudication probation counts towards your jail sentence.
Conviction probation is a sentence of probation that comes after a defendant has been formally convicted. Conviction probation can cover all or only a part of the jail sentence for a misdemeanor. If it covers the entire jail sentence, it is referred to as straight probation, and as long as the terms are successfully completed, defendants sentenced to straight probation generally do not need to do any jail time. The judge can also order you be placed on “Shock Probation” after you have served a portion of your jail sentence. Note that defendants who receive conviction probation will still have a criminal record, and the conviction can be found by anyone who performs a background check.
In Texas, probation violations happen when the rules of probation are broken. A violation can lead to probation being revoked or extended, or result in stricter terms of probation being imposed, a decision made during the revocation hearing. Note that in Texas, even minor violations can be enough to revoke probation.
Probation is a criminal sentence, where defendants are supervised in the community. There, they can provide financial support for their family and avoid the trauma of jail. Probation, however, does not mean the defendant has all the freedom to act as they had before. Those on probation have to abide by the terms of their sentence, and breaking any of these terms can result in a probation violation.
Probation can be revoked if any of the terms are violated. In such a case, the prosecutor has the burden of showing that probation was violated at the hearing, and they merely need to show this by a preponderance of the evidence. At the revocation hearing, the judge can:
- decide there was no violation and release the probationer (deny the State’s Motion),
- decide there was a violation, revoke probation, and send the probationer to jail,
- decide there was a violation and enter an adjudication (a final conviction) on the charge but leave the Defendant on conviction probation; or
- decide probation was violated, further tighten the terms of probation, extend the length of probation, and release the probationer.
If the judge rules there was a violation, the probationer will likely become ineligible for early termination of probation. Probationers with a prior violation very rarely qualify for early termination. Also recall that if the defendant is sent to jail, the time spent on probation will not count towards their jail sentence.
Let Underwood & Associates Help Your Probation Case
If you’re deciding whether or not to accept probation or need to seek clarification of your probation terms, or if you fear you may have violated a term, you need to speak with an experienced attorney for legal support. Underwood & Associates in McKinney, Collin County, Texas can evaluate your case and provide you the legal representation you need in your probation-related matter.
Contact Underwood & Associates at (972) 449-7091 or online here to discuss your case.
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