Violation of Probation
In 2003, the 71st Texas Legislature changed the term adult probation to community supervision. Despite the new name, the basic concept remains largely the same and many people still refer to community supervision as probation. Whatever one chooses to call it, probation or community supervision is usually viewed as a favorable alternative to a prison sentence when a person has been convicted of a criminal offense.
People placed on community supervision are usually first-time or nonviolent offenders, and individuals who receive probation must abide by some very strict rules from the court during the time that they are under community supervision. If an alleged offender violates the terms of his or her probation, that person can possibly have his or her community supervision and may end up incurring new penalties—which may include being sentenced to prison.
Lawyer for Probation Violations in Fort Worth, TX
If you allegedly violated the terms of your community supervision in the DFW area, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC aggressively defends clients Fort Worth, Arlington, and many other nearby communities in Tarrant County.
Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes also represent individuals in Weatherford, Cleburne, and surrounding areas of Parker County and Johnson County. You can have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call 817-502-3600 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Tarrant County Violation of Probation Information Center
- How might a person violate the terms of community supervision?
- What are the consequences of a probation violation?
- Where can I find more information about violation of probation in Fort Worth?
When an alleged offender is sentenced to a term of community supervision after pleading guilty or being convicted of a criminal offense in Texas, the court can establish a number of conditions for that probationary period. The conditions can be modified by the alleged offender’s supervision officer (often called a probation officer).
Some of the basic discretionary condition of community supervision established under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.301 include, but are not limited to:
- Commit no offense against the laws of Texas or of any other state or of the United States;
- Avoid injurious or vicious habits;
- Avoid persons or places of disreputable or harmful character, including any person, other than a family member of the defendant, who is an active member of a criminal street gang;
- Report to the supervision officer as directed by the judge or supervision officer and obey all rules and regulations of the community supervision and corrections department;
- Permit the supervision officer to visit the defendant at the defendant's home or elsewhere;
- Work faithfully at suitable employment to the extent possible;
- Remain within a specified place;
- Pay in one or more amounts the alleged offender’s fine, if one is assessed, and all court costs, regardless of whether a fine is assessed;
- Support the alleged offender’s dependents;
- Participate, for a period specified by the judge, in any community-based program, including a community service project under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.304;
- If under custodial supervision in a community corrections facility, remain under that supervision, obey all rules and regulations of the facility, and pay a percentage of the defendant's income to the facility for room and board, and the defendant's dependents for their support during the period of custodial supervision;
- Submit to testing for alcohol or controlled substances;
- Attend counseling sessions for substance abusers or participate in substance abuse treatment services in a program or facility approved or licensed by the Department of State Health Services;
- With the consent of the victim of a misdemeanor offense or of any offense under Title 7 of the Texas Penal Code, participate in victim-defendant mediation;
- Submit to electronic monitoring;
- Reimburse a law enforcement agency for the analysis, storage, or disposal of raw materials, controlled substances, chemical precursors, drug paraphernalia, or other materials seized in connection with the offense;
- Pay all or part of the reasonable and necessary costs incurred by the victim for psychological counseling made necessary by the offense or for counseling and education relating to acquired immune deficiency syndrome or human immunodeficiency virus made necessary by the offense;
- Make one payment in an amount not to exceed $50 to a crime stoppers organization;
- Submit a DNA sample to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of creating a DNA record of the defendant; and
- In any manner required by the judge, provide in the county in which the offense was committed public notice of the offense for which the defendant was placed on community supervision.
Violations of probation are either technical or substantive. A technical violation usually involves an alleged offender’s failure to fulfill a term of the community supervision (such as paying a fine), while a substantive violation is when an alleged offender commits a new criminal offense while on probation. Either type of violation can result in penalties for the person on community supervision.
When an alleged offender is accused of violating the terms of his or her community supervision, the probation officer may simply give that person a warning. In other cases, the probation officer can seek a warrant for the alleged offender’s arrest and/or request that the judge add more conditions to or simply revoke the community supervision.
Alleged offenders in such cases are entitled to hearings when accused of violating the terms of their probation. Community supervision violation hearings are far different than ordinary criminal trials as there is no jury. The judge who originally sentenced the alleged offender to probation will hear the case and render the decision.
Additionally, the State does not have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an alleged offender committed a probation violation. Instead, the burden of proof in these cases is simply a preponderance of the evidence, which means 51 percent of the evidence supports the State’s argument or the alleged offender “more likely than not” violated his or her probation.
The court has multiple options when it renders a decision in a violation of community supervision case. Some of the possible penalties may include, but are not limited to:
- Maximum prison or jail sentence for the original underlying crime;
- Additional fines;
- Community service;
- Court fees;
- Mandatory counseling; or
- Mandatory completion of drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.
Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD) | Tarrant County — The CSCD supervises offenders sentenced to community supervision by local courts as well as those living in Tarrant County who received community supervision in other counties or states. On this website, you can pay probation fees, learn more about programs and services, and view answers to frequently asked questions. CSCD has six satellite locations throughout the county and one central office at the following location in Downtown Fort Worth:
200 W. Belknap St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) — In addition to managing offenders in state prisons, state jails, and private correctional facilities that contract with TDCJ, the agency also provides funding and certain oversight of community supervision and is responsible for the supervision of offenders released from prison on parole or mandatory supervision. Visit this website to learn more about the divisions and departments of the TDCJ, access various publications, and review answers to frequently asked questions. You can also find a community supervision brochure and fact sheet.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC | Fort Worth Violation of Probation Defense Attorney
Did you allegedly violate the terms of you community supervision? You will want to seek legal representation as soon as possible in order to help achieve the most favorable outcome to your case. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC today.
Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Fort Worth who represent individuals all over Tarrant County, including Arlington and Fort Worth as well as communities in Parker County and Johnson County such as Cleburne, Weatherford, and many others. Call 817-502-3600 or complete an online form to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.