The goal of any Texas probation program is to rehabilitate, so people who are facing felony convictions can successfully integrate into society as productive and law-abiding citizens. In this respect, probation can benefit those who have been convicted of crimes as much as it can help society as a whole. But, just because it’s beneficial, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to navigate. If you make one false move, you could go back to prison.
When Probation is Awarded in the State of Texas
Most felons can get probation in Texas by negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution. A defendant might be able to bypass the Texas indictment process with a grand jury by agreeing to a plea deal in which he or she pleads guilty to avoid prison time. Instead, the defendant will get a probation sentence. A sympathetic judge might give a first-time offender a second chance by issuing a probation sentence instead of prison time.
The Terms of Felony Probation in Texas
The rules for Texas probation will depend on the defendant, the conviction and whether the sentencing judge issued any special probation conditions. Felony probations requirements in Texas will usually require defendants to:
- Attend the regularly scheduled meetings with their probation officers. These meetings will usually happen on a monthly basis, but the judge might give them a different probation meeting schedule.
- Keep a job in a reliable and lawful occupation.
- Not break any federal, state, and local laws (even laws in other countries).
- Not consume alcohol, illicit drugs, or other control substances.
- Stay away from criminal associates. They can’t even socialize or spend time with people who could potentially lead them into engaging in some type of criminal activity.
- Allow probation offices to carry out unscheduled visits at their homes or workplaces.
- Allow probation offices to perform random and unscheduled searches.
- Complete a specific amount of community service.
- Request approval before moving into a new residence, changing jobs, or traveling out of Texas.
- Pay all court costs, supervision fees, and fines.
- Submit to regular drug tests by their probation officers.
Be sure to speak to a qualified attorney for more information.
Special Conditions of Probation in Texas
Texas criminal courts can impose special conditions on a probation sentence, as long as it falls within Texas probation laws. These special terms of Texas probation can depend on a number of factors related to the case. They can even include a creative form of punishment that’s specific to your case.
Special conditions of probation in Texas will usually involve the completion of classes, rehabilitation programs, and other requirements that can include the following:
- Sex offender registration.
- Texas drug offender programs.
- Victim impact programs.
- Drug and alcohol assessments.
- Life skills classes.
- Mental health counseling programs.
- Drunk driving education programs.
- Ignition interlock device installation.
Be sure to speak with a qualified attorney for further details.
Felony Probation in the State of Texas
This is the most serious type of probation in Texas, because it can come with the consequences for committing a felony crime (such as a drug crime or sexual assault). You will most likely be supervised by someone from the Department of Corrections, and it will most likely be for at least 18 months or even for many years. You also need to get permission from the state if you want to move. You could even be monitored with measures that can include, but may not be limited to:
- Drug testing.
- GPS tracking.
You may also have to report where you are to your assigned officer or team.
Misdemeanor Probation in the State of Texas
Because it’s less serious than a felony probation, the rules for a misdemeanor probation in Texas isn’t as strict. While every case is different, you will usually have to report to your probation officer. You will also have to go to all scheduled legal appointments, stay out of trouble with the law, and get a travel permit before you leave the state.
Deferred Probation in the State of Texas
Also called “deferred adjudication,” deferred probation is issued when a judge defers your prison sentence until you have completed your probation. But, if you don’t follow the rules, your deferral could be revoked and be sent to prison. If you’re on regular probation, you might not go to prison if you break