When someone is convicted of a crime in Texas, the court may sentence that individual to community supervision, or probation, rather than jail time. If a convicted offender who is granted community supervision fails to follow that court order, he or she may end up facing more severe consequences. A motion to revoke probation can be filed. If an individual is placed on a deferred adjudication, another type of community supervision, can also be subject to a motion to revoke.
A motion to revoke probation is a formal document provided by a probation officer to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that alleges that a convicted offender has violated the terms of his or her community supervision/probation. This document details the time, location, and manner in which any probation violation(s) took place. If the offender violated conditions of their probation, the Prosecutor must prove by a preponderance of evidence (a lower burden than at trial), that the offender violated those terms. It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney available to help the offender defend his or her case.
If an offender ends up in court to defend against a probation violation, the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and offender often can come to a negotiated resolution before scheduling a hearing. However, in cases where such a resolution cannot be reached, a date is set for a hearing; a judge will preside over the proceedings and listen to testimony from both prosecution and defense to determine the validity of the allegations that the offender violated the terms of the sentence. During this hearing, the offender has fewer rights: he or she has no right to a jury of peers; there is a low burden of proof; and hearsay is permissible and admissible as part of the testimonial evidence.
The judge must determine if any violations of written conditions or regulations of the probation have occurred based on testimony and any evidence presented in the case; he or she must decide if it is justifiable to revoke the offender’s sentence of community supervision/probation. If the judge decides a probation violation has occurred, he or she can revoke the original sentence of community supervision/probation revoked and issue a new sentence. The sentence could include time in jail, an extended probationary period, extra conditions to the original probation, more fines, additional criminal charges, etc.
A probation violation is a serious allegation. Hiring a criminal defense attorney to manage your case is the most efficient and effective way to avoid more severe legal consequences for a probation violation. If you or a loved one needs professional legal representation in Austin, Texas or the surrounding area, the experienced and competent counsel at Erskine Law can help you. Austin criminal defense attorney Brian Erskine is a professional, board-certified lawyer with years of experience handling a wide variety of legal cases in Texas. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with theft, contact Brian Erskine at Erskine Law to discuss how he can help you reach the best possible outcome in your case.