If you are convicted of a crime in Texas, probation (now known as “community supervision”) will likely be a part of your sentence. While under community supervision, the court will oversee your behavior. You will be required to abide by specific rules and follow certain guidelines, and you must avoid breaking any laws. You’ll be assigned a community supervision officer (formally known as a probation officer) and will need to check in with them periodically.
Because you are required to obey the law at all times while on probation, being arrested for DWI can come with serious consequences. The court could find you in violation of your probation and could revoke it and send you to jail for the original crime, plus potentially other penalties for the DWI charge.
If you were arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated while on probation, do not take this matter lightly. Be sure to hire an experienced DWI defense lawyer to defend your rights and protect your freedom. Dallas DWI lawyer RJ Harber was a former prosecutor, so he knows how the state will handle your case. He’ll be ready to put his knowledge and experience to work on your defense and will work to get the best possible outcome for you.
Call RJ Harber and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss the charges you face and your defense today by calling (214) 389-1189 or by filling out a contact form on our site today.
How a DWI Will Affect Your Probation/Community Supervision in Texas
As mentioned above, any crime – DWI included – is considered a violation of community supervision in Texas. If you’ve been arrested, your community supervision officer may file a Motion to Revoke Probation. A judge could also issue a warrant for your arrest for a probation violation. As a result, you could be arrested and might be forced to appear in court to face punishment for your prior conviction.
In many instances where individuals violate the terms of community supervision, the judge will refuse to set bond for your release. This means that without bail, you will be forced to remain in jail until your court date. If your attorney can convince the judge to set bail, the amount will often be higher than the typical charge and might be difficult to meet.
If your community supervision is ultimately revoked and you receive a sentence for the crime you originally committed, you may be incarcerated for a longer period because you could also be sentenced to jail time for violating your probation.
While the penalties for violation of probation/community supervision are harsh, and the consequences may seem terrifying, know that all hope is not lost. With an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, you could avoid jail time, especially if this is your first probation violation. Your lawyer could convince the judge to issue a warning, could negotiate for an increase in the length of your community supervision, or could alter the conditions and restrictions of your community supervision. Your lawyer’s goal will be to minimize the negative consequences of the probation violation as much as possible.
What Happens at a Probation Violation Hearing?
Every individual in Texas is entitled to a hearing if they are accused of violating their probation. At the hearing, the prosecutor will present evidence that you violated the terms of their community supervision; in this case, operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You have the right to refute these allegations and testify or present evidence that contradicts these claims.
What makes probation violations more challenging is that the prosecution does not have to meet as high of a burden of proof as they do during the standard criminal trial. While securing a conviction for a crime requires a prosecutor to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you are guilty of the crime, the burden of proof for a probation violation is much lower. During the hearing, the prosecutor will only have to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that it is “more likely than not” that you drove while intoxicated.
This is the legal equivalent to placing a feather on the scale of justice (the balance only has to be slightly tipped in favor of the prosecution), versus a rock (which is what the prosecution normally has to prove in a traditional criminal trial).
Because the burden of proof is so low for proving violations of community supervision, it is crucial to hire an attorney with the right experience to build a convincing case on your behalf and fight for your freedom. Attorney RJ Harber’s experience as a prosecutor gives him a distinct advantage over attorneys who’ve never been on that side of the aisle before. He knows how the prosecution will handle your case, and he knows how to negotiate with the other side and with the judge to secure a favorable outcome for you.
How Will Being on Probation Affect My DWI Case?
While getting a DWI will have an impact on your original criminal conviction, having a criminal record can also influence the penalties you’ll face for a DWI conviction. Texas’ DWI sentencing guidelines do suggest harsher punishments for individuals who have prior criminal convictions on their records. With each subsequent offense in Texas, the penalties become much harsher, and if you violate your probation with a DWI, you could face a lengthy period of incarceration and may have your license suspended for several years, among other penalties.
Don’t Despair. Call RJ Harber for Help
While there is no doubt that being arrested for DWI while on probation is a serious legal matter in Texas, know that there is help available to you. Dallas criminal defense attorney RJ Harber understands how serious these charges are, and he will aggressively work to minimize the impact they have on your livelihood and your freedom. It’s important to act quickly, so don’t hesitate to call the team at the Law Offices of RJ Harber at (214) 389-1189 to schedule a consultation.