Probation is often given in criminal cases, as an alternative to jail. In court, defendants are given a jail sentence, which is then "probated" over a period of months or years instead of being incarcerated. Defendants are expected to follow probation conditions which generally include counseling, a fine, restitution to any victims, and community service. There are also general conditions like regular reporting to a probation officer, avoiding new arrests, and avoiding the use of alcohol or drugs.
If you fail to meet probation's requirements or violate its terms, your probation officer is likely to get upset. They can file a Motion to Revoke Probation and issue a new arrest warrant. This is the point where you should speak with an Austin probation lawyer at Hines & Holub to assess your situation. If you are found in violation, the probation can be revoked and you could then be sentenced to the original jail sentence that was earlier probated. If you have picked up a new charge, or violated your probation terms in some other way, please contact an Austin probation lawyer at Hines & Holub for advice. We can begin working to clear the warrant, and act as your advocate between probation and the judge to try to save your probation.
If you are on a Deferred Adjudication Probation, then you have even more reason to contact an Austin probation lawyer. Completing deferred adjudication results in a dismissal at the conclusion of probation, which means no conviction on your record. If your deferred probation is revoked, your case can be adjudicated, and then the conviction sticks forever. An experienced Austin probation lawyer can help convince probation and the judge not to adjudicate the case, and propose a plan to address whatever accounted for the violations without revoking the probation. Give us a call or come see us, at no charge, and see how we can help you.
Questions Answered by an Austin Probation Lawyer
We can answer any questions you have about your probation during a consultation. In the meantime, here are answers to frequently asked questions:
What constitutes a violation of my probation?
A violation includes traveling out of state, not meeting with your probation officer, drinking, doing drugs, and being engaged in any criminal activity, among other things. We can review the conditions of your probation with you during a consultation. Our goal will be to make it easy for you to understand the guidelines and rules so you do not inadvertently violate them. While legal-speak can be confusing, we simplify the process.
I don't understand some of the conditions of my probation. What should I do?
An Austin probation lawyer at Hines & Holub can review this with you and explain everything in detail. We can also shed light on particular state laws you may not have questions about currently but could in the future. If there is anything that is particularly ambiguous in the conditions of your probation, we will turn to state law to provide clarification. If that is not sufficient, we can always schedule a hearing to clarify particular provisions.
Can I travel while on probation?
That depends on the conditions of your probation. However, as a general rule in Texas, you are allowed to travel within your own county and the bordering counties. If you plan on traveling farther than that, you will need permission to do so. Out-of-state travel requires permission from the judge. To get this permission, you will typically need to work with an Austin probation lawyer. If you have a family trip coming up, you should start this process a month or more in advance, since it can take time to get a hearing scheduled.
My probation officer seems harsh. What can I do?
If you are concerned that your particular probation officer may have an agenda against you or that you are not being treated fairly, let us know. We can always work through the system and request that a new officer be assigned to you. In many ways, this is the person who determines your fate for the next year or more. Being able to easily work with them is important. While they might never be your friend, there should be a culture of mutual respect.
Can I keep my deferred adjudication status after a second arrest?
That really depends on the judge. In most cases, no. However, that is why you need to hire an experienced attorney. This is a complicated process, and the outcome is largely at the discretion of the judge. The job for an Austin probation lawyer is to create a compelling case for why the original conviction should remain in the deferred adjudication status. Ultimately, it is up to the judge.
If I am convicted of a new crime, will my sentence be longer?
Yes. You will have to first serve out the term assigned to you originally. This typically means jail time. For example, if you were going to be on probation for eighteen months and were arrested and convicted for a new crime six months in, you are likely to serve time for the new conviction in addition to the remaining year in jail. It is incredibly unlikely that you will allowed to continue with your probation.
When should I call an Austin probation lawyer for help?
If you feel that you are going to be in violation of your probation, give us a call. We can work with your probation officer immediately, in an attempt to work through the issue before it results in consequences. It is very possible to make an innocent mistake or to have life challenges that lead to violations - for example, needing to travel immediately to help an ill relative, etc. Life issues do arise, but you need to be proactive in dealing with these violations so you do not have an issue with your probation officer when they find out. We can help with this.
Do I have to speak with the same attorney who helped me the first time, or can I work with another Austin probation lawyer?
You do not have to work with your prior attorney. In fact, we recommend that you speak with our office because we have a great deal of experience handling probation violations. We understand how to work with the judge to try and solve the problems you are facing, before it escalates to the point that your probation is being taken away. The sooner you call us, the more help we can provide you.
Call our on-call attorney now to discuss your case.
No matter how complex your charges may seem, you can have peace of mind knowing our legal team is behind you. You aren’t in this battle alone. Get our Austin criminal attorneys on your side today.