If you are under probation, you have some experience with the Texas legal system, and you understand exactly how important it is not to violate the terms and conditions of your probation. The fact is, however, that if you are not well-versed in the terms of your probation, you could violate those terms without even recognizing it. Understanding common ways that people inadvertently violate their probations can help you avoid making similar mistakes.
In the unfortunate event that you are accused of violating your probation, it’s important to understand that you are facing extremely serious criminal penalties. As a result, you should contact a Killeen criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can.
Avoiding Common Probation Violations
While you no doubt know that you should not break the law while on probation – including having and/or selling illegal drugs – there are other less obvious ways to break the terms and conditions of your probation. These can include:
Not appearing before the court when scheduled to do so is a probation mistake that is not uncommon, but that is easy to avoid. While anyone can mix up or forget appointments from time to time, court dates are non-negotiable. Etch the times, dates, and location of your probation court dates in your calendar and in your memory. Always show up for your court dates, and always put your best foot forward by dressing in a conservative manner that reflects your respect for the court before which you appear.
Not reporting to one’s probation officer is another common mistake that is easily avoidable. The fact is that you are on probation, and your goal is to move past it – and on with your life. Reporting to your probation officer is part of the process, so carefully note these appointments and show up for them. It is important to recognize that your probation officer’s good word can go a long way in your efforts to successfully complete your probation.
Not paying one’s fines is a needless complication. These fines are part of your probation, and they need to be paid. If you are unable to pay them, consult with your probation officer regarding your best path forward. If you simply have not bothered to pay them as yet, you are doing yourself and your probation a disservice. If moving past probation is your intention, it is in your best interest to mind your p’s and q’s by scrupulously adhering to the terms of your probation.
If, despite your best efforts, you do violate your probation, your probation officer will likely give you a warning for that first offense. If you violate your probation a second time, you may have to appear before the court for a probation hearing. Again, your probation officer has discretion in the matter. As such, you do yourself a favor when you make an effort to foster a communicative relationship with your assigned probation officer.