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Angleton Probation Violation Lawyer

Angleton Probation Violation Lawyer

Angleton Probation Violation Lawyer

Angleton Probation Violation Attorney

Probation is a useful tool for allowing a person to continue living their life while also submitting to criminal penalties stemming from a crime they committed. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to navigate your probation while also maintaining the life that you lived before it. If you violate the terms of your probation in even a minor way, the penalty can be severe. A probation violation lawyer can help you defend yourself if you have been accused of a probation violation.

The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, understands how important probation is when compared to incarceration. Serving probation allows you to continue working, see family, interact with friends and, ultimately, live relatively freely. Our team can help preserve that freedom if you are headed to a probation violation hearing.

Probation in Texas

Probation, or community supervision, is a criminal penalty that can be given as an alternative to incarceration. It can be ordered in both misdemeanor and felony cases, though the duration of the two types can be vastly different. Probation for a misdemeanor can last up to two years, while probation for a felony lasts up to ten years.

When probation is set, terms and conditions are put in place that the person must follow. Common probation conditions include:

  • Not breaking any other laws
  • Maintaining a job
  • Complete a GED or obtain a high school diploma
  • Pay restitution to any victims of the crime
  • Complete a psychiatric or psychological evaluation

There are two types of probation in Texas:

  • Straight or Regular Probation
    This type of probation occurs when you are found guilty of your offense, and the judge sets the number of months you will be subject to probation. You will still be given a jail sentence for your crime, but the sentence will be suspended in favor of probation. Your conviction will automatically and immediately go on your criminal record.
  • Deferred Adjudication
    Deferred adjudication is a special type of probation that occurs after a person pleads guilty or no contest to a crime. The judge can choose to not enter the guilty finding and instead put you on probation. If you are able to successfully complete the conditions of your probation, the conviction will not appear on your criminal record.

Violating Your Probation Terms

Article 42.12 Section 21 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the laws about probation violations. A probation violation occurs when you fail to follow the conditions of the probation set by the court. A probation violation hearing has a lower burden of proof than a criminal trial. The state’s attorney must only show that you violated your probation with a “preponderance of evidence” instead of doing so beyond a reasonable doubt as required in criminal trials.

Common probation violations include:

  • Committing a new crime
  • Not paying fines
  • Failing to report to your probation officer
  • Not maintaining employment
  • Failing a urinalysis test
  • Not attending mandatory classes or community service
  • Traveling without clearance from your probation officer

It is often up to your probation officer on how to proceed after a possible probation violation. If they decide to continue with a probation hearing, you will be back in court. The outcome of this hearing could be as severe as you serving your original sentence, so it is recommended that you speak with an experienced probation violation lawyer before the hearing.

During a probation revocation hearing, the presiding judge will determine if there was a violation and what penalties will apply. The judge will have the option to continue probation, change the terms of your probation, or revoke your probation completely. If the judge revokes regular probation, they are limited in sentencing you to your original sentence. If the judge revokes deferred probation, they can sentence you within the range of incarceration for the offense.


Q: Can Probation Be Terminated Early?

A: At the earliest, a judge is authorized to terminate a person’s probation at ⅓ the total time if this is in the interests of the probationer and society. Those on probation are entitled to a review at the halfway point of their probation if they request it, but that does not guarantee an early release. The judge will have full discretion on whether to maintain the probation or end it early.

Q: Can Every Crime Be Punished With Probation?

A: In Angleton, Texas, while judges are allowed to use probation in many instances, there are restrictions on which offenses can be penalized with probation. Probation cannot be used for sentences that are 10 years or more. Other limitations are referred to as the “3g offenses” and are specified in the Code of Criminal Procedure 42.12 Section 3g. They include:

  • Murder
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Injury to a child
  • Compelling prostitution
  • Burglary

Q: What Are the Two Types of Probation Violations?

A: The two types of probation violations are technical violations and substantive violations. Technical violations occur when a rule or condition of the probation is not met, such as failing to pay restitution to any victims of the crime. Substantive violations occur when the person commits another criminal offense. Either type of violation can ultimately result in probation being revoked and serving the original sentence.

Q: Do I Need an Attorney If I Have Been Accused of Violating My Probation?

A: It is legally possible to fight an accusation that you violated your probation, but it is not generally recommended. The consequences of a probation violation hearing can be as severe as having your probation revoked and serving the duration of your original sentence. An experienced probation violation attorney can help prevent this outcome by creating an effective defense strategy for the accusations.

Protecting Your Freedom

Probation is often preferable to incarceration for many people because of the freedom it provides. Even a minor mistake could potentially result in your probation being revoked. If a judge decides to revoke your probation, you are likely to end up incarcerated instead.

The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, has nearly two decades of experience in the criminal justice system, so we can create a targeted defense that helps you maintain your probation. If you require vigorous and ethical representation after a probation violation accusation, contact our law office today.

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