Having the option to be on probation instead of going to jail can seem like a second chance for those accused of criminal offenses in Texas. Probation is a far better alternative to incarceration for many, but it is a process that is deceptively difficult to complete.
Probation is both expensive and complicated, which leaves people in Texas at risk of violating the terms of their probation and winding up serving a jail sentence anyway.
If you don’t have the money to pay, you will serve your sentence
Probation isn’t cheap. In addition to any court costs, attorney’s costs and fines you incurred during your criminal proceedings, you will have to also pay thousands of dollars for the duration of your probationary period.
Those fees can quickly overwhelm someone who may struggle to secure gainful employment because of their criminal conviction. If you don’t pay the costs associated with probation, you can find yourself in violation and facing the sentence you originally thought you avoided.
Getting arrested isn’t the only way to violate probation
There’s a common misconception among most adults that probation violations stem primarily from an arrest or additional criminal activity during probation. While those situations certainly do occur, they are far from the only issues that lead to probation violations.
The terms of probation often restrict someone’s ability to socialize by limiting their contact with others convicted of crimes, as well as restricting or eliminating their right to consume alcohol or be at places that serve alcohol. Sometimes, just having the wrong person as your roommate could mean a probation violation if they get arrested or hide a previous criminal charge from you.
Being late or failing to arrive for an appointment with your probation officer, failing chemical testing and a whole host of other mistakes can lead to a probation violation. As with the initial criminal charge, you can defend against violation allegations to protect your freedom and potentially remain on probation.