Judge on the benchThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing early termination of probation in Austin, Texas. My previous post focused on Texas’ laws relating to ending probation early. While Texas law requires judges to review requests for early termination under some circumstances, it does not require approval of those requests. Judges are given complete discretion in the process. For these reasons, a probationer’s ability to provide evidence demonstrating good behavior and positive contributions to society may be extremely important. Engaging an attorney with experience presenting such requests to judges may assist in the process. In this article, I will explain the process of seeking early termination of probation. If you need assistance, contact my office to speak with a lawyer.

At your initial consultation, your attorney will begin the process by determining whether you are eligible to seek early termination of your probationary period. Counsel will review whether enough time has passed since the conviction and whether you have complied with the conditions of your probation. You must be able to demonstrate, at a minimum, that you have paid all restitution payments and other fees required by the court and completed all court ordered counseling or treatment. If these minimum requirements have been met, your lawyer will also gather information about your activities since the conviction in support of your request. Information such as the seriousness of the underlying crime, previous criminal history and input from the probation officer about your behavior may be considered by the judge. In addition, evidence of ongoing employment, community and family involvement, or other positive contributions to society may help persuade a judge that termination is appropriate. An experienced lawyer will be able to present your case effectively to the judge along with all possible information to support your request.

Based on the information the attorney gathers, they will prepare and file a Motion for Early Termination of Probation with the court. Once the hearing is scheduled, the lawyer may meet with the probation officer and prosecutor to discuss the request and obtain support for early termination. The prosecutor is required to receive notice of the hearing in advance and will have the option of entering a formal statement of support or objection in the hearing record.  Your attorney will present objective evidence regarding your behavior and any other circumstances justifying early termination. At the conclusion, the judge will either grant the order, modify the original probation order to shorten the term or deny the Motion entirely.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through this process. If you are in need of assistance, contact my office today to speak with an Austin lawyer. 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.