Probation, also known as community supervision, is where you have been determined guilty of an offense but instead of serving jail time, the Judge orders you to follow certain conditions. There are many standard conditions you must follow, and if probation believes you are not abiding by these conditions, then they can recommend your probation be revoked and you sent to jail. If there is ever a motion to revoke your probation, you have a right to have a lawyer represent you.
Often, probation revocation cases are about mitigating the conduct alleged as opposed to disproving the violations. Probation violations aren’t about finding you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the underlying offense but about the state being able to prove that you more likely than not didn’t follow the terms of your probation. If the state thinks you violated any condition, they will file a motion and the court will either issue a warrant or summons you to court to hear the motion. Many times, I am able to settle these cases without you being sent to jail. Everything depends on what violations the state alleges.
There are 2 types of community supervision in Texas for felonies and misdemeanors. The first type is simple straight probation where you are found guilty on a charge, and you are sentenced to a certain amount of jail time, but that sentence is suspended/probated for a term so long as you complete all your conditions. The other type is known as Deferred Adjudication. Deferred Adjudication is where you have not been found guilty and are not sentenced to any jail time, rather, the finding of guilt is probated while you complete your terms and conditions of community supervision. As long as you successfully complete you probation, there is never a conviction (or a finding of guilt) and the charge is essentially dismissed. However, if a judge finds that you did not successfully complete the terms and conditions of probation then you are not only subject to a finding of guilt, you are exposed to the entire punishment range of the charge that was probated. To you, although the consequences may be different, the behavior expected is the same.
Standard probation conditions in Texas include but are not limited to the following, commit no new offenses, abstain from the use of any alcohol or drugs, no traveling without permission, report as directed to your supervisor, provide a sample of breath or urine on request, and pay your court ordered monies. A judge may impose any other reasonable condition of probation. The maximum length of misdemeanor probation is two years and the maximum length of a felony probation is 10 years.