George Roland | Denton Criminal Defense Lawyer

Award Winning Denton Criminal Defense

Practical Advice for Probation Revocation Cases

When a person is on community supervision (probation), and the State wants the person to be kicked off of probation, the State is required to file a motion asking the Court to remove the person from probation and sentence the person to jail or prison time. For the difference between “motions to adjudicate” and “motions to revoke” and what each means for possible jail or prison time, see: https://www.georgeroland.com/motion-to-adjudicate-motion-to-revoke/.

The motion filed by the State lists all the terms and conditions of probation that the person failed to meet (e.g. the person did not do the community service hours, or the person did not complete a drug and alcohol evaluation), or violations of those terms that the person committed (e.g. the person was arrested, or tested positive for drugs.)

1. You Are Still On Probation Until the Judge Says Otherwise

Often times, when a person gets a copy of the State’s motion listing all the things the person messed up while on probation, the person assumes probation is over at that point. It is not. The State cannot kick you off probation. Only the Court can remove a person from probation. The motion is simply what the State intends to prove to the Court at some later date (in the event of a hearing.) And the State can add to (amend) the motion—so, as long as your probation officer keeps scheduling meetings for you, keep going; if you have community service hours outstanding, or classes left to do, do them. But, see Number 2 below…

2. Make a Decision: more probation, or jail?

Your options are pretty limited in the event of revocation case: probation can either be extended (with more time and more conditions added) or a person can be removed from probation and sentenced to jail or prison. Depending on how disastrous probation has been up to this point, a person may not realistically have the option to be extended on probation; this can leave a person with only one real option.

You should ask yourself whether you can realistically do everything you didn’t do the first time around on probation, and then additional conditions (more community service, more classes, IOP, etc.) on top of that, without a single mistake. If you can’t, extending probation makes no sense; it’s delaying the inevitable.

3. Why Would Anyone Pick Jail Time Over Extending Probation?

Because it might be significantly less jail time than what a person would likely receive if the person were, instead, extended and then later revoked for a second time. Consider: do you think the Court would be more sympathetic to a person who has had issues on probation once, or to a person who had issues on probation and then promised to do better, yet had those same issues on probation again?

Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. There are no two cases that are the same. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I welcome the opportunity to serve you and invite your calls, letters and electronic mail. Simply contacting an attorney does not create an attorney-client relationship.