If you have been convicted of a crime, you may be placed on probation for some time. However, if you violate any of the terms of your probation, there are consequences. The most serious consequence is that you could be sentenced to prison.
This means that if you violate any aspect of your probation, such as testing positive for drugs or missing appointments with your probation officer, you run the risk of incarceration again. If this happens, it can have a devastating impact on your life and your family.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to avoid this outcome and help ensure that your criminal record stays clean.
Consult with an experienced Fort Worth attorney at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC before taking any action on your own behalf so that we can advise you about how to beat a probation violation. We have the tools you need for a strong, case-specific defense.
Types of Probation Violations and Your Top Defenses
The first thing that you should do if you receive notice from your probation officer about a violation is to contact your lawyer immediately so they can advise you on how best to proceed. The second thing to do is to prepare for your court date.
When you are facing a probation violation, it’s important to know what possible defenses you may have. The following is a list of some common violations and defenses that your lawyer can explore so we can fight the probation violation.
Failing To Appear in Court
If you failed to appear in court on a scheduled court date, this is a violation of your probation terms. Iif you can show you had a good reason for missing the hearing, the judge may accept this defense and allow you to request another date for the hearing.
If you have proof of why you missed the hearing, such as an illness or emergency, your lawyer may be able to make this argument on your behalf. For example, evidence of an emergency medical situation or family emergency can help.
Failing a Drug Test
If you’re on probation for drug charges, you’ll typically have to submit to random drug tests throughout the duration of your probation.
If you fail one or more of these tests, or if your probation officer believes there’s probable cause, then they may issue an arrest warrant for you. This also applies if you test positive for alcohol or other drugs while on parole or in prison.
Your lawyer could contest the validity of the drug tests or argue that you didn’t knowingly partake in drugs. For example, you may have been given drugs without your knowledge, and those drugs appeared on your drug test.
Leaving Town Without Permission
If you’re on parole or on probation, it’s important to get permission before leaving town, even if it’s just for a weekend trip. If your parole officer finds out that you’ve left town without permission and thinks there’s cause to believe that you’re fleeing prosecution, then they may issue a warrant for your arrest.
Your lawyer would need to contact the prosecutor and explain that you were out of town on a family emergency or another valid reason. It’s important that this be more than just an excuse. It needs to be a real reason.
Your legal team may also argue that this was not an intentional violation of probation because it was caused by an unexpected situation. For instance, you may have had car trouble that prevented you from returning to town when you were expected.
In many cases, if you have a legitimate reason for being gone, the prosecutor may agree to dismiss the case. Be warned, however, that if you leave town without permission while on probation in Texas, the judge may take action and can send you back to jail.
Reach Out for Legal Aid from a Probation Violation Lawyer
It’s important to know what your probation conditions are before you violate them. If you’re not sure what your probation conditions are, ask a defense attorney to explain them to you.
When you’re worried about beating a probation violation in Texas, an experienced criminal defense attorney like those at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC can help. We can develop the best strategy for your defense by focusing on the specific details of your case, not a generic excuse.
Ready to speak with a probation violation lawyer? Contact us by calling 817-334-7900 or by filling out our online contact form below for a consultation.