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Motion to Revoke in Texas

When a person is convicted of a crime, probation, also known as community supervision, may be sentenced. This can be second chance for the accused. The probation sentence has certain conditions, ordered by the judge, for a specific amount of time. Depending on the circumstances this may include community service, a rehabilitation program and/or meeting on a scheduled basis with a probation officer. Fines and court fees may be a part of the conditions. Unfortunately, the importance of following probation is misunderstood by offenders. If the probation is seen to be in violation, meaning the accused is not living up to the terms that were granted by the judge, the case can be handed back to the court for a new sentence. This process is called a Motion to Revoke probation.

When the specifics of the parole are not followed, it is often called “breaking” parole, whether it is intentional, or not. Breaking parole may involve not paying a fine or paying past the day that it is due. The offender may have missed a scheduled meeting with their probation officer. The reasons could also be much more serious in nature. Whatever the reasons may be, an Attorney should be called immediately so they can assist if the probation is seen to be in violation.

We have very limited rights in Texas when it comes to a Motion to Revoke hearing and the consequences can be harsh. When the offender goes to court this time around they will not be granted the right to a jury trial and the court does not have to prove within a reasonable doubt that the probation was in fact violated. The court will instead look at the \”preponderance of evidence\”. What this means is that the accuracy or truth of the evidence against the offender will be considered, not the amount of evidence against them. One single negative claim can quickly change the sentencing completely.

The accused is entitled to a hearing, before the probation is revoked. It is extremely important that the offender has a Criminal Defense Lawyer representing him or her at the hearing to that the case can be presented to the judge in the most effective way. The Attorney may be able to explore other options instead of the court revoking probation. A proficient Lawyer may be able to negotiate an extension on the probationary period, additional therapy treatments or the addition of extra fines. A veteran law professional can help discuss all of the options available.

Occasionally bond has not yet been set for a Motion to Revoke case. If this is the case the accused may be able to bond out of jail to await the hearing. This can result in having to pay a large amount of money, but your Attorney may attempt to lower the figure by requesting a hearing.

Now, what are the possible consequences of breaching a probationary contract? The answer is not the same for everyone. The accused may be faced with the reality of dealing with the sentence from the original offense, which may include jail or prison time. If the offender is placed on probation and is arrested, they are required to report this within 48 hours of being released from jail. Getting arrested is not enough to revoke the probation unless the court can prove by the “preponderance of evidence” that a new offense was committed. At this point the offender may be facing additional charges.

Probation is not to be taken lightly, but in many instances the offender does not comprehend the gravity of following ALL of the conditions of the sentencing. Laws are in place to protect our communities and to discipline the offender for not acting as a law abiding member of society. The simple truth is that probation is for everyone and some find it easier to just deal with the original sentence. Whatever the circumstances might be, call an Attorney as soon as possible. A Criminal Defense Lawyer can assist by clarifying all of the ins and outs of Probation Revocation and all of the different options that exist.

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