This is the next post in my series on the handling of drug possession charges in Austin, Texas. My last article discussed what to expect when you attend trial for drug possession charges in our state. It is important to remember that an individual is entitled to a jury trial where the decision makers are a group of impartial everyday citizens. Trials are complex matters and it is important to retain an experienced attorney. In this article I will be discussing what it looks like to serve probation after having been convicted of drug possession. If you or a family member have been arrested then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer. I have been practicing law since 1995 and I am Board Certified in Criminal Defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Probation offers Austin residents a second chance to become a productive member of society
When an Austin resident is convicted of a crime, a judge may sentence them to a certain amount of years in prison, but also offer probation in lieu of them having to be immediately incarcerated. Probation allows someone convicted of a crime to serve their sentence outside of prison as long as they follow certain conditions. It essentially offers individuals the chance to be a productive member of society as opposed to serving this time locked away. It is also often viewed as a second chance for such people to not make the same mistake twice. However, if you fail to meet the requisite conditions of your probation, then you may be required to serve your time in prison.
Conditions that must be met may include paying certain administrative fees, taking drug tests if you have been convicted of drug charges, and maintaining contact with your probation officer. Your probation officer is responsible for supervising you and ensuring that you do not commit new crimes. Your officer will also make sure that you are following the terms of your probation, such as ensuring that you obey applicable curfews and geographic restrictions. Being on probation also means that your rights as an American citizen are limited. For example, your probation officer can walk into your home and search it at any random time. Whereas if you were not on probation, this would be illegal. If any of the terms of your probation are not followed, your supervision may be revoked.
Austin residents must understand that revocation of probation does not only occur when another crime is committed
You do not need to commit a new crime in order to receive consequences such as your probation being revoked and being sent to prison. Rather, your probation can be revoked for less serious mistakes. For example, this could include moving to a new home and not letting your probation officer know. It could also happen if you simply fail to check in with your probation officer as required by the terms of your supervision. If your probation is in fact revoked, however, it is sometimes possible to negotiate for its reinstatement. This will take heavy negotiations with the prosecutor and the judge. If the judge does decide to reinstate your probation and not send you to prison, the terms of your probation will be even stricter than before. If you fail to adhere to the terms on your next chance, you may need to carry the rest of your sentence out in prison.
It is important to consult with an attorney with experience handling criminal matters if you are accused of violating your probation. Your attorney will advocate on your behalf and keep you updated throughout your complicated matter. I am an Austin drug possession lawyer and I understand the serious nature with which the government takes such matters. I will give your case the attention it deserves and my office prides itself on providing a high level of service. This includes quickly responding to phone calls and promptly replying to emails. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. My office also serves the cities of Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, and San Marcos, Texas.