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Violation Of Probation In Texas

Violation of Probation in Texas is a much different legal affair than being convicted of a crime. The Texas Attorney General issued an opinion written by then Attorney General of Texas Jim Mattox. The date of the of the opinion is 1984 and it is still relevant today.

The Assumption of Due Process and Civil Liberties

One of the issues that this opinion clarifies almost immediately is the distinction between being arrested for violation of probation and being convicted of a crime.

What is important to understand is that the two legal processes are not the same. Yet, people who find themselves defending their actions still need a lawyer on their side. The focus at a probation violation trial is not about whether or not you are guilty of a crime. That process already occurred when you were accused and tried for the crime for which you are on probation. Instead, the focus is whether or not you have committed a breach of your probation contract. That is a fine line, but it is critical.

Violation of probation in Texas does not carry all of the civil liberties that a criminal case offers defendants. In fact, the entire due process changes. There is still a semblance of due process, but it is stripped back. This is one of the biggest reasons that you need a defense lawyer who is well versed in the probation laws in Texas. You have rights, but they are very limited. For example, how and why a district attorney decides to file a petition to revoke your probation is very specific. What the Mattox's opinion states is that the issuance of a petition to revoke probation cannot be at the whim of a probation officer. It must be a deduction made by the district attorney's judgment.

What Are Your Options?

When a person faces a violation of probation the best case scenario is that the district court judge dismisses the petition filed by the district attorney. There are a number of reasons why this can occur. One of those reasons is the failure to follow due process, limited as it is. The judge may also take into account other factors. So even if you are very familiar with the entire process you need a lawyer. The key is understanding the difference in rights between a criminal trial and a hearing to decide probation violation in Texas.

To fully discuss your case, contact R. Todd Bennett, P.C. Mr. Bennett is experienced in violation of probation cases in Texas.

Source: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/47mattox/op/1984/htm/jm0194.htm

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