Monday, February 15, 2010

Probation and the Motion to Revoke

Probation can be a welcomed second chance for good folks running afoul of the law. A person on probation can expect to attend monthly meetings with a supervision probation officer, attend education classes for offenses involving drugs and alcohol, perform community service, and pay fines, fees, and court costs. Depending upon the trouble the person got into, there may be other conditions of probation, even county jail time, that must be complied with before they are successfully discharged from probation.

Problems arise when a probationer begins to violate the terms of their probation. Something as simple as a dirty urine screen can land one back in court to endure the wrath of prosecutor and judge. In the worse cases, motions to revoke probation are filed by the prosecutor which result in warrants issued for your arrest. In Texas, if a motion to revoke is filed on a misdemeanor offense the probationer is entitled to a bond. However, in a felony case the probationer can be held without bond, in the county jail, until the resolution of their case.

An important thing to remember is that everything you say to your probation officer can ultimately be used against you later. If you admit doing drugs while on probation, for instance, the probation officer can come to court later and testify about what you said. Your statement alone can be used by the judge to find a probation violation and sentence to jail, or prison. Like I tell all my clients going onto probation, your probation officer can be your friend, and slit your proverbial throat, all at the same time.

Unfortunately, probationers must be guarded in what they say to their probation officer. Especially folks who tempt fate by violating their conditions hoping the officer does not find out. If you violate probation and are confronted by your officer, remember you have the absolute right to remain silent. In that case, the supervising officer might make your life miserable, but at least you aren't supplying them information to use against you. The best approach is to contact a qualified Bryan|College Station criminal defense lawyer before saying anything incriminating to the officer. At a minimum, the criminal lawyer can talk with the officer and prosecutor without the risk of incriminating you.

No comments: