Early Termination of Probation in Texas

Fighting for Your Rights in San Antonio

While the dismissal of all criminal charges is always the goal of your criminal defense attorney, this sometimes is not the result. Occasionally, the district attorney will offer to reduce a more serious charge to a lesser charge, or in other cases, you may just not want to risk trying your case to a jury where possible incarceration is on the table. When this is the case, the plea bargain offer made by the district attorney will often involve probation.

Understanding Probation

Probation involves some suspended jail sentence that is held over a period called probation, where the court orders you to follow certain rules.

Those rules almost always involve:

  • abstaining from drugs and alcohol
  • completing any applicable classes
  • paying court fines and costs
  • completing community service
  • reporting to a probation officer at least once per month
  • and not leaving your county of residence without court permission

If you do not strictly comply with these rules, then the probation department can move to revoke your probation and ask the court to impose that lengthy jail sentence that is held over your probationary term. The length of probation for misdemeanors is up to two years, and two years to ten years for felony cases.

Different Forms of Probation

There are two types of probation, regular probation, and Deferred Adjudication, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Deferred Adjudication occurs when the court places you on probation but literally defers making a finding of your guilt; if you complete the probation successfully, the court dismisses the case, and in most cases you can return to court at a later date and ask for a Non-Disclosure where the court seals your record for that case.

The caveat is that the entire range of punishment for this type of offense is held over your probationary term so there is much to lose if you have problems completing your probation, whereas, with regular probation, an already agreed upon jail sentence is the most that can be imposed should you not comply. If you are placed on regular probation, you have officially been convicted of the alleged crime, and it will remain on your criminal record forever, short of a pardon from the governor. Good luck with that one.

Working Toward Early Termination

A criminal defense lawyer can ask the court to terminate your deferred adjudication probation after you have completed all the tasks required of your probation, even if you complete those tasks in a few short months and regardless of the length of your probation sentence.

Your regular probation can be terminated after you have completed the tasks AND in most, you have served one-third of your probation sentence; e.g. one year completed of a three-year probation. Probation for offenses involving alcohol, such as DWI and Intoxication Assault, cannot be terminated early.

There's no reason for you to remain on probation any longer than necessary. A criminal defense lawyer can immediately determine if you are a good candidate for early termination of probation. Call my office today at (210) 201-7622 to get this process started.


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