Texas is not known for taking it easy on those convicted of crimes. However, they’ve just added a new tool to their arsenal that could help prevent folks from violating their probation.
The Dallas County Public Defender’s Office sees a lot of cases, many of which are nonviolent like violations of probation. Case volume has been known to overwhelm the system and shift resources away from those that need it most.
In response, they’ve partnered with Uptrust to help improve communication between attorneys and their clients. The ultimate goal is to help reduce technical violations of probation, such as missing a court date, and keep folks free and out of jail.
Still, you have to be careful if you’re on probation not to violate without meaning to. There are a variety of ways you can violate your Texas probation. Here’s what you need to know to help you avoid it.
Probation in Texas
If you are placed on probation, then the court has sentenced you to incarceration that they’re allowing you to serve outside of jail. Violate the terms? Plan on serving the rest of your sentence behind bars.
Some of the common terms associated with probation include:
- Maintaining employment
- Not owning any firearms
- Abiding by a curfew
- Enrolling in school
- Submitting to regular drug testing
- Meeting regularly with a probation officer
- Avoiding certain individuals as well as other felons
- Staying in the jurisdiction and not traveling outside of it without permission
So what are some of the common violations among Texas probationers? We’ll share six of them with you. Learn more below.
Common Probation Violations
There are several ways that people violate their probation. Sometimes, probationers don’t intentionally violate them or aren’t even aware they’ve done it. Of course, you can avoid a probation violation by making sure to completely understand the terms from the outset.
When you’re on probation, you will need to attend any future court dates for your case. Failing to appear could result in a violation of your probation and a warrant for your arrest.
Missing a Meeting with Your Probation Officer
You must meet regularly with your probation officer in most cases when you’re on probation. Failure to make these meetings can result in a violation of your probation.
Failure to Pay
You may be ordered by the court to pay restitution or fines as a part of your sentence. Failing to pay for these things can result in a probation violation.
Losing Your Job
If you are supposed to get and maintain a job as a part of your probation and you fail to do so, then you will be in violation of your probation.
Not Completing Community Service
Sometimes the court will order a certain number of hours of community service to be completed. If you don’t complete the community service, then it is a violation of probation.
Committing Another Crime
Perhaps the one universal rule of probation is that you do not commit another crime while on it. If you do not stay out of legal trouble, then you will be in violation of your probation.
The most important thing to remember is, even these common violations have the potential to send you right back to jail. If you’re on probation, understand its conditions completely. Otherwise, you could find yourself in the last place you want to be.
About the Author:
Brandon Fulgham has an in-depth understanding of both Texas law and Texans themselves. Before practicing law here, he received his undergraduate degree from TCU, and his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. After graduation, he worked in District Attorneys’ offices as a prosecutor, building cases designed to put people behind bars. Now, he uses that knowledge to protect the rights of people in and around Fort Worth, making sure they receive the strongest possible defense when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. He has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, Fort Worth Magazine, and others.