8:00 - 6:00

Hours Mon. - Fri.

214.329.9433

Call Us For Free Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Search

Lang

 

Probation

The Consequences of Probation Revocation in Texas

The Consequences of Probation Revocation in Texas

Facing Probation Revocation

 

Adhering to the terms of your probation (i.e., community supervision) can be challenging. If you can’t meet that challenge, the judge can revoke your probation, the potential consequences of which can be staggering. Thus, if you are on probation, you should take a minute to learn about the ramifications of probation revocation in Texas.

 

One Misstep Can Hurt You

 

Many people consider probation as a “get out of jail free” card. Instead of serving time behind bars, you get to remain in your community, albeit under the close watch of the state. But step out of line, even just once, and you could face the full force of your original sentence.

 

Type of Probation

 

Typically, the consequences of probation revocation in Texas depend—in part—on the type of probation the judge put you on: deferred adjudication or “straight” probation. Deferred adjudication means the judge suspends your adjudication until you complete your probation. Straight probation means the judge adjudicated you and placed you on probation.

 

If you were already adjudicated and put on straight probation, meaning your charges are not pending, this usually means the judge “probated” your jail sentence. If you fail to adhere to the terms of your probation, however, the judge can revoke your probation and impose your original sentence.

 

If you received deferred adjudication, however, this means the judge did not adjudicate you. If your probation is revoked, you could face the full range of sentencing available. For example, if you were facing ten years in jail and the judge put you on deferred adjudication probation, you could be sentenced to that full ten years if the judge revokes your probation.

 

Violated Probation? Don’t Go to Your Hearing Alone

 

The specific consequences you’ll face for a probation revocation will depend on what kind of probation the judge placed you on and other facts and circumstances of your case. The good news is you are entitled to a hearing before the judge can revoke your probation. You have a right to defend yourself. While probation revocation hearings differ from criminal proceedings in many ways, a Texas criminal defense attorney can still help you defend yourself and fight to keep your probation.

 

If you are on probation and need a legal advocate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to minimize the consequences of your violation. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Pros and Cons of Deferred Adjudication in Texas

Pros and Cons of Deferred Adjudication in Texas

Many first-time offenders are offered deferred adjudication in Texas. Without thoroughly understanding the pros and cons of deferred adjudication, most readily—albeit hastily—accept the offer. Deferred adjudication may help you to avoid a conviction, but you should consider at what cost.

 

Pros and Cons of Deferred Adjudication

 

With deferred adjudication, the judge suspends the conviction and places the defendant on community supervision (i.e. probation). If the defendant successfully completes the term of supervision, the court will not convict him or her. But a conviction is merely a finding of guilt. Records of the original proceedings will still appear on the defendant’s criminal record unless it is sealed through an Order of Nondisclosure.

 

Certain defendants may be eligible to petition for an Order of Nondisclosure after completing deferred supervision. If the court grants the request, public agencies cannot disclose records of the deferred adjudication to the public. Please note that there are numerous restrictions that can complicate this process. The bottom line is, deferred adjudication can save you a conviction but will not keep your record free from certain parties being able to see the charge and its disposition.

Here is the list currently provided by the Texas Government Code 411.081(i) of agencies that can see non-disclosed criminal records.

  • The State Board for Educator Certification;
  • School Districts;
  • Charter Schools;
  • Private Schools;
  • Regional education-service center;
  • Commercial-transportation companies;
  • Education shared-service arrangement companies;
  • Texas Medical Board;
  • Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired;
  • Board of Law Examiners;
  • State Bar of Texas;
  • A District Court regarding petition for name change;
  • Texas School for the deaf;
  • Department of Family and Protective Services;
  • Texas Youth Commission;
  • Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services;
  • Department of State Health Services;
  • Local mental health services;
  • Local mental retardation authorities;
  • Community centers providing services to mentally ill or retarded persons;
  • Texas Private Security Board;
  • Municipal or volunteer fire departments;
  • Texas Board of Nursing;
  • Safe houses providing shelter to children in harmful situations;
  • Public or non-profit hospital districts;
  • Texas Juvenile Probation Commission;
  • Securities Commissioner;
  • Banking Commissioner;
  • Savings and Mortgage Lending Commissioner;
  • Consumer Credit Commissioner;
  • Credit Union Commissioner;
  • State Board of Public Accounting;
  • Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation;
  • Health and Human Services Commission;
  • Department of Aging and Disability Services;
  • Texas Education Agency;
  • Guardianship Certification Board;
  • County Clerks office in regards to appointment of a guardian;
  • Department of Information Resources;
  • Court Reporters Certification Board;
  • Texas Department of Insurance;
  • Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

 

Many defendants think deferred adjudication will be cheaper because they won’t have to go to jail, thus minimizing the impact on their employment. But it’s important to be aware of the costs of Texas probation. Probation comes at a significant cost to the offender, not just the State of Texas. The offender will be ordered to pay numerous fines and fees for supervisory costs, restitution and administrative penalties. Some of these costs are ongoing for the duration of the supervision and quickly add up. You might also face the costs of going to court if you were to violate your supervision or ask that the court terminate your supervision early.

 

The Risks of Deferred Adjudication in Texas

 

If you violate supervision, the judge could “adjudicate” you, meaning he or she would convict and sentence you.

To be successful in deferred adjudication, you must adhere to all the terms and conditions of your supervision for the duration, which can be arduous. Discuss these terms with a Texas criminal defense attorney.

 

Consider the Costs of Deferred Adjudication

 

Deferred adjudication is deceptively simple. Follow the rules for a specific period of time, and you’ll get a slap on the wrist but no conviction. In reality, those rules are incredibly strict and the proverbial slap on the wrist can be quite expensive. Sadly, the consequences of making a mistake could potentially be worse than a conviction without deferred adjudication. To some defendants, it may seem like a get out of jail free card. In reality, it is more like being put under close watch by the State, which places an undue burden on the offender. These pros and cons of deferred adjudication in Texas should give you a better idea of the consequences you may face so you can make an informed decision about how to handle your case.

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action so you can move on with your life. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

 

5 Tips for Meeting Your Community Supervision Requirements

5 Tips for Meeting Your Community Supervision Requirements

Community supervision (i.e. probation) seems like a break, at least initially. In lieu of jail time, you are permitted to go back to your normal life, albeit under close watch. For those facing criminal charges, community supervision may seem highly desirable. But don’t be fooled. The requirements you must meet to successfully comply with and complete your community supervision are likely to be strict. So, if you think you’re getting off easy, think again. Meeting those requirements will take sacrifices of your time, money, privacy and peace of mind. To help you meet those requirements, read through these five tips for those on community supervision in Texas.

 

Make Your Probation Officer’s Job Easier

 

You will be required to check in with your probation officer periodically (generally once per month). Always bear in mind that your probation officer is dealing with a subset of the population that does not complete tasks timely, and is probably not easy to interact with. You can make your life and your probation officer’s life far easier by not skylining yourself. How is that accomplished? Make his or her job easier by being on time, doing what you’re told to do and being polite. And don’t even think about complaining about your sentence or the requirements of your community supervision. Finally, complete all of your classes and community service early. You have to do them anyway, and they don’t get any easier with time. If you knock these items out early, you’ll soon find yourself on your probation officer’s pay no mind list because they are used to babysitting others on getting these items completed. Speak with a criminal defense attorney about such concerns. Your probation officer is just a person with a job to do. The easier you make it for them to supervise you, the less likely he or she will bring any violations to the attention of the judge. Similarly, you’ll need a favorable report from your officer to have your community supervision reduced or terminated early.

 

Never Violate the Terms of Your Community Supervision

 

If you don’t understand them or don’t agree with them, speak with an attorney. But whatever you do, don’t commit a violation. If you are required to check in monthly with your officer, do it. If you are required to pass drug tests, make sure you can. If you have to get permission to travel outside of the county or state, get permission in writing! If you violate any requirements, depending on the nature of the violation, your officer can bring it to the attention of the judge who can then revoke your community supervision and impose the full sentence. Community supervision is much higher stakes than a pending case because the Judge already has enough evidence to sentence you to jail or prison; you really can’t afford to make a mistake.

 

Pay Fines and Fees on Time

 

Community supervision is expensive. You’ll have to pay monthly supervision fees, court fines, payments to CrimeStoppers and other costs. Pay them on time and as soon as you can. If you can’t pay in full, tell your probation officer. Many people run into trouble when they can’t pay their fines and fees, which are sometimes exorbitant. They are an unfortunate—yet often unavoidable—component of community supervision. However, the one condition of community supervision that you have a defense for not doing is paying fines or fees. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay them, it just means that if a judge believes you did not have the ability to pay, they will not send you to jail or prison. There is not a similar statutory defense for all the other conditions of community supervision.

 

Complete Community Supervision Requirements Early

 

You can make a good impression—and make your officer’s job easier—if you complete the requirements of your community supervision early. If you are required to complete a certain number of hours of community service each month, complete them early. If you have to take classes, sign up for them as soon as you can. The less your officer has to do to supervise you, the better off you’ll be. Remember no skylining! If your officer is constantly having to follow up with you due to missed deadlines and unfulfilled requirements, expect no leniency.

 

Apply for Early Release

 

Qualified probationers may file a motion to have their community supervision terminated early. You must serve one-third of your supervision period or two years, whichever is sooner, to even be considered. Serving at least one-half, however, is recommended. Early release is entirely discretionary. The judge generally won’t grant your request if you have any violations, haven’t fulfilled the requirements of your community supervision or otherwise made a poor impression on your officer.

 

One Last Suggestion…

 

This probably doesn’t qualify as a tip, but the best thing you can do is to avoid community supervision altogether. If you are still in a position to do so, consult with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney with a good track record of dismissals. Community supervision is rarely your best option. Work closely with a criminal defense attorney to learn about what your options are and how you can avoid the immense burden of community supervision.

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action so you can move on with your life. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Texas DWI: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Texas DWI: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Facing the Penalties

 

If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in Texas, you face many life-altering consequences. If you’re thinking, “what’s the worst that can happen?” you are being sensible. The best thing you can do when facing any criminal charge is to find out what penalties the court could impose, so you can make informed decisions about how to handle your case. And when it comes to DWI charges in Texas, those penalties can be severe. Let’s take a look.

 

Texas DWI

 

DWI in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties imposed for a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction in Texas include:

 

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Between three and 180 days in jail
  • A driver’s license suspension of between 90 and 365 days, and
  • A surcharge fee of $1,000 to maintain your license (assessed annually for three years)

 

This range of court-imposed penalties is for a first offense with no aggravating circumstances. The penalties increase significantly if:

 

  • You have a prior DWI conviction
  • Your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) was equal to or greater than .15
  • You had an open container of alcohol in the car
  • You caused an accident or property damage
  • You injured or killed someone
  • You had a child passenger with you while driving

 

A Note on Probation

 

Some defendants may receive probation instead of a full sentence. But beware because probation is costly. The terms of a standard Texas DWI probation may include:

 

  • Commit no other crimes
  • Payment of all fines and court costs (fines generally run around $1,000 and court costs are around $450, but payment schedules are allowed)
  • Report to probation once a month for 18 to 24 months
  • Pay $60 a month in probation fees ($60 x 18 = $1,080)
  • Take a 12-hour DWI education program ($150)
  • Attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel (VIP)($50)
  • Take a drug and alcohol evaluation ($150)
  • 24 to 40 hours of community service restitution ($50)
  • Pay $25 to Crime Stoppers
  • Do not leave the state without permission
  • Do not spend the night outside of Dallas County
  • Do not move (relocate) without court permission
  • Submit to periodic drug testing (about $35 per test)
  • Consume no alcohol
  • Keep an interlock device in your vehicle ($80 per month), and
  • Have a SCRAM device on your leg ($360 a month!)

 

We typically do not recommend that someone take probation for a first-time DWI because the total costs can run about $4500. Also, there is little benefit with regard to a person’s record; probation and jail time are both considered criminal convictions in Texas.

 

Texas DWI penalties can be severe. The good news is juries give many first-time offenders reduced sentences. In some cases, the jury will give someone the minimum punishment possible which may be either 72 hours in jail or 0 days in jail depending on the charge.

 

This sounds counterintuitive to what you might have heard, right? For this reason, you should always consult with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney when facing DWI charges. We’ve represented clients who have completed a short jail sentence and probation. Guess what they tell us? If they had it to do over again, they would take the short jail sentence so that the case is finished instead of spending 12-24 months of their life under the government’s thumb, jumping through a bunch of hoops. The sooner you involve an attorney, the better your chance of minimizing your punishment. Plus, by going to trial on the case you may be found not guilty which means there is no punishment and you can immediately remove the arrest and charge from your record. That’s the outcome you really want!

 

 

If you’re facing DWI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Class A and Class B Texas Misdemeanors: Potential Penalties

Class A and Class B Texas Misdemeanors: Potential Penalties

Crime Classes

 

Many people think of misdemeanors as less serious than felony crimes. But misdemeanors still have the potential to carry harsh sentences including incarceration and steep fines. Texas misdemeanors are divided into classes or offense categories. These classes represent the seriousness of the crime, and, accordingly, carry different ranges of punishments. Let’s take a look at Class A and Class B Texas misdemeanors and the potential penalties they hold.

 

Statutory Punishments for Texas Misdemeanors

 

Class A Texas misdemeanors are punishable by:

  • Up to one year in a local or county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $4,000

 

Class B Texas misdemeanors are punishable by:

  • Up to 180 days in a local or county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $2,000

 

Not Set in Stone

 

These are the maximum allowable punishments according to Texas law. Note, however, these are not necessarily mandatory or minimum punishments. It is not uncommon for a first-time offender to receive less jail time, a lower fine or one or the other. In some cases, you may be able to get community supervision (i.e. probation) in lieu of incarceration. But misdemeanor probation in Texas involves a host of strict terms and conditions. Probation is also expensive due to numerous fines and fees the defendant must pay. Many defendants who take probation later regret their choice. For this reason, you should always work closely with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney when facing Class A or Class B Texas misdemeanors so that you can make the best decision about how you want to handle your case.

 

A Third Class

 

Texas also has Class C misdemeanors, which are punishable by a fine of up to $500 but no jail time. These include lesser offenses such as traffic violations and some types of theft. Because these are less serious, sometimes people make the mistake of not taking them seriously. But to avoid the negative consequences of a conviction, you should take every Texas misdemeanor charge seriously.

 

Making Informed Decisions

 

Facing misdemeanor charges can be overwhelming. It’s normal to feel apprehensive about the fines and incarceration the court can impose. These are all very real concerns because the criminal court system is rarely lenient or easy to navigate. To face your charges with confidence, you should speak with a Texas criminal defense attorney with experience handling misdemeanor cases. A seasoned attorney can immediately set to work to minimize the consequences of your charges.

 

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

The High Costs of Misdemeanor Probation in Texas

The High Costs of Misdemeanor Probation in Texas

A Favorable Alternative? Perhaps Not

 

First-time misdemeanor offenders are sometimes given community supervision (i.e. probation). Typically, misdemeanor probation takes the place of incarceration. But probationers (the people on probation) must adhere to a litany of restrictions and regulations. Oftentimes, the costs of misdemeanor probation are high. If you are facing criminal charges, you should carefully consider these costs before accepting community supervision. To help you make an informed decision, we’ll go over some of the costs of misdemeanor probation.

 

The Costs of Misdemeanor Probation in Texas

 

Many people mistakenly think probation is easy. In reality, probation can disrupt your life significantly. Terms of misdemeanor probation can include:

 

  • Refraining from committing new crimes
  • Regularly meeting with your assigned probation officer (typically monthly)
  • Abstaining from using drugs and/or alcohol
  • Abstaining from going to bars and/or nightclubs
  • Going to court-ordered treatment, rehabilitation, therapy or counseling (at a cost to you)
  • Periodic drug testing (at a cost to you)
  • Performing community service
  • Paying victim restitution
  • Paying probation, Crime Stopper and court-ordered fees
  • Continuing to meet your financial duties (such as supporting your family)

 

You could also be subject to home inspections and even restrictions on where and for how long you can travel.

The conditions of your probation can vary based on your offense and other facts of your case.

 

The Other Risks

 

Given the harsh terms of misdemeanor probation, the risk of violation is high. And the judge can impose your full sentence if you violate your probation. In some cases, accepting probation can be like setting yourself up for failure. You remain under the purview of community supervision—and thus the courts—for longer than you would in jail. Indeed, some people regret taking probation in lieu of jail time because of the harsh and certain consequences of making one misstep.

 

Ultimately, you should fully consider all your options before making any decisions in your case. To do that, you need to speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. An attorney can explain how probation works and the penalties you could face for a violation. From there, you can work with your attorney to identify the best course of action given your charges and circumstances.

 

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to minimize negative consequences. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.