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Early Termination of Probation Attorney in Weatherford, Texas

In Texas, probation is called “community supervision.” It allows someone convicted of a crime to serve part of a sentence through supervision rather than incarceration. The purpose is twofold – to rehabilitate those convicted of crimes and save the state the incarceration costs.

The Texas criminal justice system offers two options for community supervision for criminal offenses: probation and deferred adjudication. A judge may sentence you to probation after conviction of a crime in court or after your guilty or no contest plea.

Deferred Adjudication

Deferred adjudication is a special type of probation that may allow you to keep a criminal conviction off your public record. Rather than sentencing you after a plea or a conviction, the court will instead place you on deferred adjudication probation. The terms of deferred adjudication are often similar to regular probation, and if you fail to meet the terms, the judge can then sentence you in court.

Terms of Probation

In exchange for avoiding a prison sentence, you must meet certain conditions for probation or deferred adjudication, including:

  • Finding and keeping a job,

  • Enrolling in school (obtaining HS diploma or GED)

  • Meeting regularly with your probation officer monthly,

  • Paying fines, court costs, supervision fees,

  • Submitting to drug testing,

  • Supporting your dependents,

  • Remaining in the county,

  • Following curfews,

  • Avoid convicted felons

The court may also impose other probation requirements specific to you and your type of offense.

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Ending Probation Early

In theory, you may be able to obtain early release from probation after serving at least one-third or two years of your probationary sentence, whichever is less. However, the courts rarely grant release from probation this early. Your petition for early probation release is much more likely to be successful if you’ve served at least one-half of your probation.

You must also have completed all community service requirements as part of your sentence and have paid ALL fines you owe. The only unresolved item, because it is an ongoing monthly commitment, is the supervisory fee – you must be “zeroed out” on every other commitment. It’s also essential that your drug tests be clean. If you’re interested in the early termination of your probation, you should maintain a good relationship with your probation officer. Your probation officer will often be the one to suggest that you contact your attorney to file a motion for early termination.

In contemplating an early release of probation, a judge will also consider:

  • The seriousness of your crime,

  • The rate of recidivism for your crime,

  • Your criminal history,

  • Whether you’ve completed all community service,

  • Whether you’ve paid all court-imposed fines,

  • Completion of all assigned classes or therapy,

  • The opinion of your probation officer, and

  • The opinion of the prosecutor in your case.

If you haven’t completed all of the requirements for early probation, the judge will typically advise you in writing and tell you how to successfully complete the terms of your probation. However, early release from probation is not available for some categories of crimes and serious felonies, including:

  • Driving while intoxicated,

  • Sexual offenses requiring registration as a sex offender, and

  • Serious offenses listed in section 42A.054 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. These offenses include murder, aggravated kidnapping, trafficking of persons, sexual assault, indecency with a child, aggravated robbery, compelling prostitution, among other first-degree felonies.

Ending Deferred Adjudication Early

In Texas, there is no defined waiting period to end deferred adjudication early. Rather, it’s entirely up to the judge, and they may terminate it early if it serves the best interests of society and the defendant. Your attorney should file a motion for early termination of deferred adjudication in the same court where you received your sentence. Unless the court has a new judge, the same judge may consider your motion. The judge will consider many of the same factors they would for ending straight probation, including:

  • Whether you’ve completed the terms of your sentence,

  • Whether you’ve paid your fines,

  • The opinion of your probation officer, and

  • The opinion of the prosecutor in your case.

You don’t have any right to early termination of deferred adjudication. It is entirely within the court’s discretion.

Hire an Experienced Texas Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are contemplating early release from probation or deferred adjudication, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Kenneth Mullen is a seasoned Texas criminal defense attorney with years of experience defending clients, including negotiating on their behalf. Call The Law Office of Kenneth W Mullen PC at 817-406-9656 or contact us online.