You faced criminal charges and either because of a plea deal or because of extenuating circumstances, you received probation instead of incarceration. At the time that it happened, you were probably very grateful and relieved. However, as time passes, you may begin to feel bitter and frustrated by the terms of your probation. Probation may be a way to ensure your continued freedom, but it can feel like an encroachment on your freedom instead. That can lead to making some poor decisions, like going to the bar with a couple of friends. After all, how could that end up causing you more trouble?
Unfortunately, small mistakes when you’re on probation can result in the courts revoking probation. When that happens, you will end up incarcerated to serve the sentence you would have received instead of probation. Even seemingly small things, like being in the vehicle as a passenger when someone else gets arrested, could be enough to get your probation revoked. If you’ve been accused of a probation violation, you need to take that as seriously as the initial charges. Judges in Texas are less likely to be lenient if they believe you have already taken advantage of previous leniency.
Probation violations can mean serious jail time
Depending on the terms of your probation, you could end up serving years in jail for a simple mistake or misunderstanding. Especially for those who are on probation for life, a slip-up may seem like an inevitability. Probation generally requires that you avoid all legal trouble and break no laws. You’re also not allowed to be in the company of people breaking the law. If you receive a traffic ticket or your roommate gets arrested for drug possession, you will have to immediately report it to your probation officer. Self-reporting may result in a better outcome than waiting for your probation officer to find out.
There’s no way to predict how your probation officer will handle the violation. That’s why you should seek the advice of an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as you know there’s reason for concern. Your lawyer can review the details of your original charge as well as the terms of your probation to give you the best advice possible for your situation. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to advocate on your behalf to the probation officer, thus preventing the officer from reporting the violation to the courts.
Depending on the how you allegedly violated probation, the most likely scenario is being expected to serve the remainder of your sentence. It’s also possible that you could face additional criminal charges if the violation was related to breaking the law. Don’t risk your freedom and your future. If you’re concerned about a potential probation violation, you should speak with a defense lawyer as soon as possible.