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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.