In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about overcrowding in our nation’s jails and prisons, especially in California, Texas, and Florida. Since judges, prosecutors, and taxpayers want the criminal justice system to focus their dollars on violent criminals, a lot of less serious convicted criminals are placed on probation, a type of “community supervision.”
When people receive probation, they must abide by a strict set of conditions. Such conditions typically include not committing any new crimes, staying away from victims, staying away from drugs and alcohol, staying within a certain area, maintaining employment, and supporting dependents, etc.
Justice for Victims
Sometimes when probation is violated, it’s serious and places victims in danger. This can happen when someone is convicted of domestic violence and they contact the victim and assault them again. In such a case, revoking the probation may be the best way to bring justice for the victim. But other times, the violation wasn’t particularly serious. Perhaps the offender accidentally missed a meeting with their probation officer, they lost their job, or they unintentionally ran into a known criminal. In these scenarios, a probation revocation may be an overreaction that will likely yield undesirable results – it will cause more harm than good.
Justice for Probationers
In all of our years practicing criminal defense, we have observed how the different counties and judges handle probation revocations in their own unique way. Even Dallas and Collin counties have their nuances.
Because each judge handles revocation proceedings differently, it’s important as a criminal defense lawyer to have a good idea of which probation violations will lead to a revocation and which ones will not. Because revocation hearings are administrative, defendants do not have a right to a jury trial. Also, since a revocation affects a person’s freedom, their revocation can’t simply be taken without due process of law.
Related: Will I Have to Give a Sample of My DNA in Texas?
If your probation is at threat of being revoked, contact our firm to meet with a Plano criminal defense attorney about the best way to defend you at the hearing.