Violation of Probation
Probation, or community supervision, is an alternative to traditional prison and jail penalties for certain types of criminal offenders in Dallas. Generally, individuals who are first-time offenders or individuals who commit non-violent offenses are eligible for probation. Although probation is usually more agreeable than jail or prison time, sometimes the requirements of probation can be too difficult to comply with and will result in a violation of probation (VOP).
A probation violation can either be technical or substantive. A technical violation is generally some type of failure to follow the conditions of the probation, such as not reporting to a probation officer or paying fees late. Substantive violations are generally associated with committing another criminal offense while on probation.
Violations of probation can result in a variety of penalties, ranging from a revocation of the terms of probation and a jail or prison sentence for the remainder of the underlying offense to a modification of the terms of probation to a reinstatement of the terms to probation.
If you have been charged with any type of probation violation, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to have the terms of your probation reinstated or modified to better suit your needs.
Dallas Violation of Probation Lawyer
If you have been charged with violating your probation in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Johnson, Wise, Ellis, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Attorney Richard McConathy is a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who will make effort to fight the probation violation allegations you are facing. Call The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 445-4300 about your alleged probation violation.
Dallas Probation Violation Information Center
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Definition of Probation in Texas
Article 42.12 Sec. 2 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines probation or community supervision as the placement of various requirements and prohibitions on an alleged criminal offender to be completed over a specified period of time instead of confinement in jail or prison. The terms of probation vary for every person and are determined by the court.
According to section 3g of Article 42.12, individuals who are not eligible for probation in Dallas can include those who committed any of the following offenses:
- Capital Murder,
- Indecency with a Child,
- Aggravated Kidnapping,
- Aggravated Sexual Assault,
- Aggravated Robbery,
- Sexual Assault, or
- Individuals who used a firearm during the commission of their offense.
The minimum term of probation for a felony offender is equivalent to the minimum term of imprisonment for their underlying offense. The maximum term of probation can be up to ten years for a second or first degree felony or five years for a third degree felony offense.
An individual who is on probation for a misdemeanor offense can face a maximum of two years on probation.
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Conditions to Probation in Dallas
The possible requirements and terms to probation in Dallas are defined in Chapter 42 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. When an individual is placed on probation or community supervision in Dallas, they must agree to follow the specific terms, as set forth by the court. Any failure to do so can result in a violation of the probation. Generally, all individuals placed on community supervision are required to abide by the following conditions:
- Must not commit any other criminal offense
- Must avoid all bad habits, including the use of illegal drugs and alcohol
- Must avoid anyone associated with criminal activity or who would be a bad influence
- Must report to the probation officer on time every month and maintain contact
- Must allow the probation officer to visit home or place of employment
- Must abide by the rules and regulations of the Community Supervision and Corrections Department
- Must find suitable employment and notify the Community Supervision and Corrections Department of any changes
- Must remain in Dallas County or another approved county unless prior approval was received by the court or probation officer
- Must pay any child or family support
- Must submit to random alcohol or drug urine testing
- Must pay any fines, fees or restitution
The court may assign additional conditions to anyone on probation. The terms of probation are generally tailored for each defendant’s specific case, the type of offense committed and whether they will be a significant to threat to society when released on probation.
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Dallas Violation of Probation Hearing
If your probation officer has any reason to believe you violated the terms of your probation, they can give you a warning, request a warrant for your arrest, request the judge add more conditions to your probation, or request your probation can be revoked and replaced with a jail sentence.
In any of these situations, you will be entitled to hearing for your alleged probation violation. At the hearing, you can give your side of the story, in addition to any reasons or defenses to the probation violation. If you have been accused of violating your probation, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent your case at the probation violation hearing.
At the violation of probation hearing, you will usually appear in front of the same judge who originally sentenced you to community supervision for your underlying offense. You are not entitled to a jury at the probation violation hearing. The judge will then determine if there is sufficient evidence that you violated your probation by a preponderance of the evidence standard. This means the evidence does not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but only has to show the violation more likely happened than not. This burden of proof is very low, and only has to weigh 51% in favor of one side.
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Penalties for a Dallas Violation of Probation
Certain probation violations are likely to receive harsher penalties if the judge determines a violation has occurred. For example, committing a new crime, failing a drug test or failing to meet with a probation officer is usually more serious than failing to make a payment on time. However, the type of penalty is entirely up to the judge’s decision, so it is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to advocate on your behalf.
If the judge determines at your hearing there is enough evidence you violated the terms to your probation, your entire probation could be revoked and you could be sent to jail or prison to serve the entire sentence for your underlying offense. However, this option is usually unlikely unless you are a repeat offender or have seriously violated the terms of the probation.
Alternatively, if you are represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the terms of your probation could be modified so they are easier to follow. Or, your criminal defense lawyer could request the judge reinstate your probation as is without any additional penalty or punishment.
Additional penalties an alleged probation violator could face are:
- Additional fines,
- Payment of additional court fees,
- Additional community service hours,
- Additional drug or alcohol counseling or treatment, or
- Any other penalty as the court deems fit.
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Dallas Probation Violation Resources
Texas Constitution and Statutes –Chapter 42 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines community supervision or probation in Texas. Article 42.12 lists the general terms to probation in Texas and the penalties an individual could face for a violation of probation.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice – The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) promotes positive change in offender behavior, public safety and the reintegration of criminal offenders into society. This state government department regulates community supervision and probation in Texas.
Dallas County Community Supervision & Corrections Department – This links is to Dallas County’s community supervision and probation department, which is responsible for regulating, maintaining and supervising probation in Dallas. The adult probation department in Dallas County is located at:
Frank Crowley Courts Building
133 N. Riverfront Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75207
Phone: (214) 653-5300
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The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth Probation Violation Attorney
Contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged probation violation throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is a knowledgeable Dallas criminal lawyer who will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your probation violation. Contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 445-4300 for a consultation about your violation of probation allegations throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County and Tarrant County.