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What Georgetown, Texas Residents Can Expect When Serving Probation in Williamson County

Defendant in CourtThis is the next post in our series on what Texas defendants need to understand about probation. Our last post discussed the need for people to be honest with themselves regarding their ability to succeed when deciding whether to accept a plea agreement which requires probation. Being honest with one’s self is important as a defendant may be setting him or herself up for failure when agreeing to supervision. In this article we will discuss what one can expect when serving probation in our state.

One will be placed on probation after they have pled guilty to an offense, typically due to an agreement with the prosecution. Many requirements will be standard; defendants will be required to report in with a probation officer, there will be a requirement to stay out of trouble, one will be required to maintain employment or attend school, and there may be additional obligations imposed by the Court. It is important to understand that one gives up many of their rights once they are placed on formal probation. This means, for example, that a supervising probation officer can often enter the defendant’s house and conduct a search without a warrant. Also, the relationship between a defendant and their probation officer is not one of equality.

A defendant’s probation officer is under no obligation to “cut a defendant some slack” or to give one he or she supervises multiple chances. If the officer thinks one has violated their probation then it is entirely within their discretion to suggest a revocation to the Court. Similarly, if one has technically violated their probation then the officer will have discretion to give the defendant another chance. For these reasons it is important that one build up credibility with their supervisor after being placed on probation. This credibility can be established by being on time to their check-in appointments, quickly obtaining employment and maintaining the job, and otherwise being a “low-maintenance” probationer. By building up credibility one puts themselves in a position where, should they have a problem while on probation, they are more likely to receive a level of understanding from their supervisor.

If you violate your probation then you will face a revocation proceeding and possibly go to prison. We will discuss this more in depth in a later post. How well you have performed prior to the violation will factor into whether you are required to serve time. If the violation is for another crime, however, then you will likely face additional criminal charges in addition to the revocation proceeding. This can mean serving time for your original offense as well as for any new charges you receive.

Our Georgetown criminal defense lawyers assist defendants throughout Williamson County, including Austin, Bartlett, Cedar Park, Florence, Granger, Hutto, Jarrell, Leander, Liberty Hill, Round Rock, Taylor, Thrall, and Weir. We pride ourselves on the level of service we provide to clients and will make sure that you know what to expect from the probation process and will give advice as to how you should proceed. Contact us today to speak with an attorney.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to provide general information and is not to be constituted as legal advice. If you need help with a specific issue, please seek the advice of an attorney. 

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