Houston Probation Violations Attorney

Probation Violations/Motion to Adjudicate Guilt

Failing to meet the conditions laid out by the court can carry significant consequences. If you have been court ordered to complete a series of actions, and you fail to meet the conditions, you may find yourself facing further sentencing by the court. This effectively means that you are taking one step backwards in the legal process and may experience a terrible sort of déjà vu.

Probation Violations

You may be on probation after serving jail time or instead of serving jail time as part of your sentencing. Probation generally means that you are required to meet a set of criteria such as attending rehabilitation, completing a certain amount of community service, and checking in with a probation officer on a predetermined schedule. There may be other qualifications depending on your situation.

Motion to Adjudicate Guilt

The other form of probation that is commonly imposed is for misdemeanors and other, less-offensive crimes is known as deferred adjudication community supervision. In this situation, a guilty plea has been entered, but a conviction is deferred in favor of probation. The benefit of this arrangement is that the defendant will never be convicted and his record will remain clean as long as the terms of probation are met.

If a person violates this deferred adjudication probation, a motion to adjudicate guilt is filed and the case will move forward according to the circumstances of the original offense as well as taking into consideration the probation violation.

Unique Challenges in Probation Cases

Those who are placed on probation do not enjoy the full range of legal opportunity when it comes to defense. Rather, the defendant will be subject to the full scope of prosecution if their probation is challenged. Defendants on probation are not entitled to jury trials. All aspects of a probation are handled at hearings in front of the judge who originally approved the terms.

Additionally, the prosecution will only have to prove that a defendant violated probation. The evidence and judgments from the original charge are not part of probationary hearings. It is also unnecessary for the prosecution to prove probation violation beyond reasonable doubt. Instead, they only have to prove violation by the preponderance of evidence.

Common Violations

Some of the more often cited reasons for probation violations in Texas include the following:

  • Committing an additional crime
  • Failing to meet reporting requirements of probation
  • Failing to complete any required programs or classes
  • Failing a drug test
  • Failing to complete community service

If You Are Arrested on Probation

For minor violations, your probation office has the ability to serve you with a warning. If you are arrested during the course of your probationary period, do not discuss the conditions of your arrest with your probation officer. He or she may testify against you. Instead, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Samuel Gardner in Houston, Texas, is a qualified attorney you can trust to help you through the unique set of conditions that a probation violation presents. Your attorney will help you understand your rights in a probationary hearing and will be there to defend them fully and aggressively. An attorney will also be instrumental in helping you navigate a reopened case if you are determined to be in violation of probation.