When you are put on probation for a felony in Texas, you agree to live your life according to court-ordered conditions. If you carry out this period successfully, you can reduce your jail sentence or possibly avoid going to jail entirely. However, if you violate those conditions, the court will punish you by sending you to prison to serve your original sentence or extending your probation period.
Losing more time and money to carry out additional charges is the last thing you need after a felony conviction. It’s important to understand what Dallas considers as violations if you want to carry out this sentence successfully and return to your family and friends sooner.
What should you avoid doing on probation?
Probationers in Dallas report to the Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD). The Dallas County CSCD outlines several common offenses that could be considered violations of probation:
- Committing a crime – This is the most straightforward violation. By putting you on probation, the Department of Corrections trusts you to stay out of trouble.
- Failing to report – The court will order you to check in with your assigned probation officer regularly. If you miss a report, the CSCD may revoke your probation.
- Consuming drugs or alcohol – Probation terms differ based on your offense. Your probation may require that you undergo drug or alcohol testing. Some probation terms may even restrict you from visiting places that serve alcohol, like bars or clubs.
- Failing to support dependents – Child support and alimony payments do not stop when you go on probation. Your responsibility for keeping up with these payments remains the same.
- Missing counseling or education sessions – The justice system is invested in your well-being. As a result, the court can require you to participate in group counseling or other programs to help you get better. For drug or alcohol offenses, the court may order you to attend rehabilitation or substance abuse education programs.
- Missing required payments – Arrests come with costs. You are responsible for paying court fees, fines and probation fees on time and in full.
- Failing to complete community service – Your probation may come with a required community service sentence. The court will tell you how many hours you are required to serve and the deadline for completing those hours.
Read the fine print
It’s crucial to review the full terms of your probation since the conditions of these sentences can drastically vary depending on what you were convicted for and any previous convictions in your past. Even if you do not end up in a prison cell, you still have several limitations you need to be aware of.
You should address any questions and concerns you have about the probation sentence right away before you do something that could put your professional and personal life more at risk. If you have questions about probation violations, seek assistance from someone who has legal experience in criminal defense.