Community supervision, which is often referred to as probation, is a commonly-used alternative to jail sentences when individuals have committed criminal offenses. There may be a number of reasons that a judge decides or the state agrees sentence an individual to a term of community supervision as opposed to a jail sentence. For instance, the jail may be overcrowded, or a jail sentence may seem disproportionately harsh for a certain offense.
While practices differ from one Texas county to the next, community supervision typically requires that you meet with a probation officer about once a month. For more serious offenses, you may be required to undergo in-home visits by a probation officer. Other conditions of probation may vary, but they usually require you to comply with all state and federal laws, maintain a job, pay all court-ordered fines, fees, and child support, complete community service hours, and remain drug and/or alcohol free. You could be subject to random drug and/or alcohol testing in order to ensure compliance.
If you violate the terms of your community supervision, you could face sanctions. Specifically, the prosecution could file a petition to revoke your probation with the court. You are entitled to a hearing on any allegations of revocation of probation, at which the state’s attorneys must prove that you violated the conditions of your probation by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This is a less stringent standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard required to convict individuals of criminal offenses.
Depending on the results of that petition, you could end up serving a jail or prison sentence. For example, if you are deferred adjudication probation, you could be sentenced to a term of incarceration that is equal to the maximum sentence available for the underlying offense. If you are on straight probation, or probation following a conviction for a crime, then you are limited to serving the term of incarceration that you were given at the time of conviction.
If you find yourself charged with any type of criminal offense, you need legal advice that only experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys can offer you. As the consequences of any criminal conviction may be severe, you should immediately contact a skilled defense lawyer for help if you have been accused of a criminal offense. Peek & Toland provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who are charged with various crimes. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights. Call us at (512) 359-3362 and schedule an appointment to speak with us today.