They Are Revoking my Probation! What Can I do??!!

By Bo Kalabus
bo@kalabuslaw.com
Office: 972-562-7549
Collin County 24 Hour Jail Release 214-402-4364
www.kalabuslaw.com
www.rosenthalwadas.com

I’ve blogged before about how difficult probation can be. Probation can be very technical and it can get on top of you before you know it. As I have written before–to survive on probation you have to be organized, disciplined, and have a little bit of luck. People do make it through probation, but for many the road through probation is hard.

Let’s say you plead guilty to a possession of marijuana charge in Collin County Texas and were put on probation in the fall of 2011. The deal you took was 90 days jail probated for 12 months and a $600 fine plus court costs. The terms and conditions of your probation were to take a substance abuse evaluation, complete a drug class, submit to random drug checks, and complete 45 hours of community service.

Fast forward to the summer of 2012 with 3 months to go on probation. You forgot to report to your probation officer in May, but no big deal. You are also behind on your community service and payment of your fine and court costs. You meet with your Collin County probation officer the next month in June and the first thing he hits you with is a drug test–which you fail because it was your best friend’s birthday last week….And BAM, the probation officer files a motion to revoke your probation for failure to report in May, failed drug test in June, failure to pay fine and court costs, and failure to complete community service.

What happens next?–a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you will have to turn yourself in. If it is a motion to revoke misdemeanor probation, you will be entitled to a bond, so you will have the ability to be bailed out.

The next step will be going to court. This process will mirror the court appearances you had with the original case–you will have a first appearance that will allow your lawyer to take a look at the motion to revoke and the State’s punishment recommendation. Yes, get a lawyer. A motion to revoke is a tricky process and I highly recommend you get a lawyer on board to represent you considering the State will most certainly take the position that you have already been given a chance and screwed it up and it will be very difficult for you by yourself to argue otherwise to the prosecutor.

What’s going to happen? On a typical motion to revoke, you will either be extended on probation, or you will receive a jail sentence and be done with probation. If you do not like the State’s recommendation you can set the motion to revoke for hearing and make the State prove-up the allegations in their motion. Here’s the hitch–take the example above–the State need not prove up every allegation in the motion to revoke to win, but only one. If they can prove you failed to report in May, the State has won the motion to revoke. As you can see, there is very little room to maneuver here if your probation is being revoked for legitimate allegations.

After reviewing the facts and negotiating with the State, a lawyer can advise you of your chances of winning the motion to revoke at a hearing. Or perhaps buy you some time to get caught up on the items the State wants to revoke you on to get your probation extended or the get the motion dismissed outright.

Probation revocation is a difficult time. You should have competent counsel review your case that can put the most options on your table based on the specific facts of your case.

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