What Happens If I Violate My San Antonio, TX Probation?
If you’ve been accused of a crime in Bexar County, Texas and accepted a plea bargain to avoid spending time in jail or in prison, it is likely you have been put on deferred adjudication or probation. The formal term for probation is community supervision. Deferred adjudication and probation are contracts between you and the judge. Those contracts are an agreement that you will do certain things, and in exchange the judge will not send you to prison. Hopefully, everything goes smoothly. But what if something goes wrong? This post will give you a step-by-step guide to what will happen if you violate your probation or deferred adjudication.
What kind of probation violation do you have?
There are two kinds of probation violations: substantive and technical violations. Substantive violations involve new criminal accusations; while technical violations involve a non-criminal violation of the terms of your probation.
What Happens if I Got Arrested on Probation?
Substantive violation means that you have been accused of committing a new crime. If you are arrested during your probation or deferred adjudication and you bond out, you will be arrested a second time once the judge finds out about your new arrest. This sucks. Many times, people are arrested in a different county and it takes weeks or months for Bexar County to find out about the arrest. Here’s where a lawyer can help. We can go to the judge and tell the judge that you have been arrested. No, we’re not being narcs. We are getting ahead of the game. When judges hear FROM A LAWYER that their probationer has been arrested, they know that the probationer is taking the issue seriously and will be resolving the issue through the court system. They will talk to us about the problem, give us a timeline as to when the warrant will be issued, and give us an idea of what the amount of the bond that will have to be posted.
If you wait, you will likely be arrested the next time you see your probation officer. You will also likely be remanded without bond (RWOB), and an attorney will have to go see the judge. Think about it. The judge knows that YOU KNOW you’ve been arrested, but you didn’t hire a lawyer or tell your probation officer. So, the judge is less likely to think that you made a mistake or that they are going to put you back on probation. The judge will hit you harder by remanding you without bond. While this gets sorted out you will likely be sitting in jail. It is far better to short circuit this process by notifying the court in advance.
What if I Drank, Tested Positive, or Failed to Report?
A technical violation occurs when you break the rules but don’t commit a new crime. Sometimes technical violations are grouped with substantive violations. For instance, a DWI can be a substantive violation (breaking the DWI law) coupled with a technical violation (drinking). Usually the terms of your probation include reporting a new arrest within a certain number of hours to your probation officer, so, they get you when you don’t report, and can allege both a hard to prove substantive violation (DWI for example) and an easier to prove technical violation (failing to report a DWI). This is another good reason to hire a lawyer as soon as you get arrested while you are on probation. Substantive violations are sometimes hard to prove (they have to do a whole bench trial) so the State likes to look for any little technical violation to make their job easier.
What is the process after I am accused of violating probation?
If you are accused of a technical violation, the probation officer will send a violation report to the judge. The judge will then issue a warrant for your arrest. Usually you will be remanded without bond. A lawyer needs to talk to the judge to get a bond set. Once the bond is posted you will need to report to pre-trial and probation.
At The Locke Law Group we have a great deal of experience handling all kinds of probation and deferred adjudication. We know how to talk to the judge to take care of your bond, your alleged violations, and get you back on track. Give us a call at (210) 229-8300 today!