What Is A Motion To Revoke? Our Houston DWI Attorney Explains
If you have pled guilty to the charges against your or have been convicted of a crime in the state of Texas a judge might possibly grant you “community supervision.” That term is synonymous with a legal status that is commonly referred to as being on probation. Typically the arrangement involves a series of requirements and programs that you are required to follow during a designated time period, depending on your case’s circumstances. If you violate your probation term, you might be faced with a motion to revoke. It can have very serious implications for your freedom and life. Although you always should rely on a DUI lawyer in Houston Texas to help you with the specifics, it can be useful to have some general information. Learn more about our firm here.
Overview of the Probation Process
Community supervision for criminal cases is provided for by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which a court might be imposed for a specified time period. An order of probation suspends the imposition of a sentence or defers criminal proceedings, as long as you remain in compliance with the conditions that have been specified.
If you breach your probation’s terms, your conduct might trigger a motion for revoking the probation process. When it is determined by the officer who is in charge of your case that you have violated your probation terms, she or he might try to get the matter resolved without involving the court.
However, most likely the officer will directly take this matter to the District Attorney (DA), and that will trigger the process of a motion to revoke probation. The motion will be filed by the DA with the court in the jurisdiction where the underlying crime took place, and ask that a hearing date be set in order to determine whether or not you violated your probation terms. A warrant for your arrest will be included with the request.
Hearing For Motion To Revoke Probation
Probation violation proceedings are similar to those in a trial. The DA will present evidence concerning your alleged violation. You will also have the chance to defend yourself against these charges and have the right to have an attorney.
However, a motion to revoke probation hearing does have some key differences:
- The matter doesn’t address issues involving the underlying crime. You cannot ask for a different sentence, re-argue the facts or present new evidence.
- The standard of proof, unlike with a criminal trial, is a preponderance of the evidence. What this means is the DA must prove it is more likely than not that you violated your probation.
- You don’t have a right to a jury for determining the motion to revoke probation.
If through a preponderance of the evidence, the DA succeeds in proving you violated your community supervision terms, the judge has the discretion to determine an outcome. There is the possibility that your probation won’t be revoked by the judge. You might be allowed to continue to be on probation, there might be some additional conditions, or your probation could be extended.
However, the judge might grant the motion of the DA and revoke your probation. In that case, you will be faced with the maximum sentence that had been suspended at the time you originally pled guilty or were convicted of the underlying crime you were charged with.
Fighting A Motion to Revoke
When facing a motion to revoke probation, you do have some options. However, the first step that you need to take is to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent your interests. Having a lawyer with extensive experience working on probation violation cases can help you with the following:
Presenting Defenses: Although the motion to revoke proceedings has a lower standard of proof, you still have the chance to present a defense. A DA’s case might have flaws in it, or there might be holes in the stories of witnesses that are testifying against you. Your attorney will attack the weaknesses in order to fight the allegations that have been brought against you.
Potential for Agreement: You might be able to come to an agreement with the DA in some cases. A lawyer can negotiate for you to get your probation term extended, order a fine or have completion of counseling or another program required, or other potential arrangements. If they succeed, it can help you avoid harsh penalties and stay out of prison due to a probation revocation.