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- in Probation Issues
- by Stephen Gustitis
Probation can be a welcomed second chance for good folks running afoul of the law in Brazos County. A person on probation (or deferred adjudication) in Bryan-College Station can expect to attend monthly meetings with an adult supervision probation officer (APO), attend education classes for offenses involving drugs and alcohol, perform community service, and pay fines, fees, and court costs. Depending upon the trouble the person got into, there may be other conditions of probation (even county jail time) that must be completed before they are successfully discharged from probation.
Problems arise when a Brazos County probationer begins to violate the terms of their probation. Something as simple as a dirty urine screen can land one back in court to endure the wrath of prosecutor and judge. In most cases motions to revoke probation (MTR) are filed by the prosecutor which result in warrants issued for your arrest. In Texas, if an MTR is filed on a misdemeanor offense the probationer is entitled to a bond. However, in a felony case the probationer can be held in the county jail without bond until the resolution of their case. Occasionally, the judge will set a felony MTR bond after a bond hearing requested by the defendant.
Please remember that everything you say to your probation officer can ultimately be used against you later. If you admit doing drugs while on probation, for instance, the probation officer will come to court later and testify about what you said. Your statement alone can be used by the judge to revoke your probation and sentence you to jail or prison. Like I tell all my clients beginning probation . . . “your probation officer can be your friend, and slit your proverbial throat, all at the same time.”
Consequently, probationers must be guarded in what they say to their APO. Especially folks who tempt fate by violating their conditions hoping the officer doesn’t find out. If you violate probation and are confronted by your officer, remember you have the absolute right to remain silent. In that case, the supervising APO might make your life miserable, but at least you aren’t supplying them incriminating information. The best approach is to contact a qualified College Station criminal defense lawyer before saying anything incriminating to the officer. At a minimum, your criminal lawyer can talk with the officer and prosecutor without the risk of incriminating you.
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Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.