PROBATION OR PAROLE REVOCATION
You received probation. Now something has happened. They want to send you back to jail or prison! But wait, there IS Help! On probation, this process may start with a motion to revoke probation or a Motion to adjudicate guilt. If you are on parole, the process begins with the filing of a motion to revoke your parole. The consequences can vary significantly, from admonishment by the judge, to enhanced sanctions, or even additional jail time or fines. When you are facing charges of violating probation or parole it can be confusing. You need a tough, experienced attorney to help navigate through the process and fight for your freedom!
PAROLE & PROBATION VIOLATIONS:
MOTION TO ADJUDICATE GUILT
The most common type of probation in Texas. The Judge defers making a finding of guilt for the period of your probation. As long as you do not violate your conditions, you will not have a conviction for the offense.
When on deferred adjudication probation, you must follow the terms and conditions of your community supervision. If your probation officer believes that you have violated those requirements, they can submit a violation report. Then, the District Attorney can file a Motion to Adjudicate Guilt, alleging that you have violated your probation terms. The motion asks the Judge to adjudicate you guilty, and to sentence you for the offense.
Once a motion to adjudicate guilt is filed, your bond is revoked. Then a warrant issues for your arrest. You may request a hearing on the motion. You may present evidence and testimony. The Judge has the option of either reinstating your probation, adding conditions, extending your probation, or revoking your probation. If probation is revoked, you are sentenced anywhere within the punishment range for the offense. This can even be for a larger amount of time than you were on probation!
What happens at a Motion to Adjudicate Guilt Hearing
You have a right to have a hearing on any allegation of a violation of the terms and conditions of your probation. The State submits evidence regarding the alleged violations, and makes a reccomendation on the punishment. The Defense also has a right to submit evidence as well, which may include testimony, or other evidence. This is the defense’s opportunity to rebut the allegations, as well as introduce evidence about the Defendant’s adherance to the conditions of their probation.
Motion to adjudicate guilt filed? Call LeGrande Law! Our firm has a track record of success in these situations, and our clients have their probation reinstated in over 95% of cases. You have a right to present evidence. You can still keep your probation! Even if the District Attorney doesn’t agree. Don’t sign for time until you get a free consultation!
Parole Revocation: The “Blue Warrant”
If the parole officer believes an offender violated conditions of supervised release, the parole officer submits a violation report. Parole Division officers review the report to determine if probable cause exists. Once an offender is in custody the TDCJ Parole Division decides whether to begin the hearing process. If only technical violations are alleged, a hearing is typically requested immediately. When criminal charges are pending, the Parole Division normally schedules a preliminary hearing while the case is pending. If probable cause is found at the hearing, the revocation hearing is postponed until the criminal charge is resolved.
Parole Revocation: What if the Parole Division requests a hearing?
Once the offender is detained and Parole Division decides on a hearing, the offender is interviewed by a parole officer.
The offenders rights in the revocation hearing process:
- personally served written notice of alleged parole violations,
- a preliminary hearing. This does not apply if there are only administrative violations. This hearing has a probable cause standard. In some cases, the offender may choose to waive the preliminary hearing,
- a revocation hearing
- full disclosure of all the evidence against the offender before the hearing,
- hire an attorney and, under certain circumstances, the conditional right to a state-appointed attorney,
- tell the hearing officer in person what happened and to present evidence, affidavits, letters, and documents to support their position, including the right to subpoena witnesses through the parole officer,
- confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses (unless the hearing officer finds good cause to deny confrontation),
- to respond to the allegations
- If parole is revoked, the offender is given a written report. This report describes the evidence relied upon in finding a violation. In some cases, the offender may petition the Board to reopen the revocation hearing.
Parole Revocation: Administrative Revocation Hearings
Administrative Revocation Hearings are an administrative hearing process before a neutral and detached officer. Specialized hearing officers conduct required hearings. Three member voting panels of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles review waivers and hearing reports.
There are six offices in the state, with the hearing location determining which panel receives the case. Analysts review the hearings and waivers for presentation to the panel. Two main hearings: (1) The preliminary hearing and (2) The revocation hearing (in some cases to just the revocation hearing, the offender has the choice of waiving one or both of the hearings).
- When a preliminary hearing is waived, a report is created. this information is forwarded to the Parole Panel. After reviewing the waiver, a Board Analyst, if there is probable cause to believe a violation occurred, may refer the case to a parole officer to schedule a revocation hearing, or may present the case to a Parole Panel for disposition.
- If a revocation hearing is waived at the initial offender interview, the parole officer forwards the waiver with attachments to the panel. A Board Analyst reviews the waiver and attachments to decide if a preponderance of evidence shows that a violation of parole or mandatory supervision occurred.
Parole & Probation Violations: Preliminary hearings vs. Revocation Hearings
- After a pre-revocation interview, the parole officer schedules a preliminary hearing and notifies the offender of the date and time.
- A hearing officer conducts the hearing, reviews all information and evidence, and determines if probable cause exists to believe offender violated one or more conditions of parole.
- Proceed to revocation hearing or give the offender the option of waiving the hearing.
- When a panel receives a preliminary hearing waiver packet, the panel generally takes one of the following actions:
- Continue the parole in a manner warranted by the evidence, this may include transferring the offender to a treatment facility, halfway house, or Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility.
- Direct the case to proceed to a revocation hearing, or
- Revoke the offender’s parole (hearing waived).
- Evidence must show a parole violation occurred by a preponderance of credible evidence.
- If evidence indicates at least one parole violation, the hearing officer moves to the mitigation phase of the hearing.
- Within a reasonable time after the hearing, the hearing officer forwards to the Parole Panel a report summarizing the evidence, including all submitted documents. The hearing officer and parole officer each make a recommendation for resolving the case. A Board Analyst, who also makes a recommendation, presents the case to the Parole Panel. The panel disposes of the case may either:
- Continue the parole in a manner warranted by the evidence; this may include transferring the offender to a treatment facility, halfway house, or Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility.
- Direct the case to proceed to a revocation hearing, or
- Revoke the offender’s parole (hearing waived).
- If revoked, the supervising parole officer provides the offender a copy of the hearing officer’s report and notice of the right to petition to reopen the hearing.
Parole & Probation Violations: The Parole Hearing Process
(1) The allegation phase: Limited to presenting evidence for alleged violations. There must be proof of at least one violation to proceed.
(2) The Adjustment phase (also known as a mitigation hearing). Provides an opportunity to weigh evidence about an offender’s adjustment while on parole. This phase takes into consideration things such as work history, previous parole violations, and compliance with required programs and conditions of administrative release. What are the options available to the panel when deciding what actions to take?
- Continue parole or mandatory supervision but transfer the offender to a treatment facility, halfway house, Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility, or an Intermediate Sanction Facility;
- Proceed to a revocation hearing;
- Allow to discharge if the offender is past the discharge date;
- Revoke the parole or mandatory supervision release;
- Continue on supervision, with or without modifying conditions, and
- Reverse a previous revocation.
What Do the different parties do during the hearing?
- Hearing Officers conduct the hearing, they determine the relevant facts of the case and submits summarized information in a report for the Board.
- Parole Officers attend hearings and present evidence of the violations. They obtain subpoenas for all offenders and adverse witnesses. They also provide hearing officers with copies of all evidence.
- The Offender must be present but does not have to answer questions, but may testify on their own behalf if they choose. The offender can an attorney. The offender may request witnesses (making the request directly to the parole officers). They can cross examine witnesses, present documentary or other evidence. They may also object or present motions regarding procedure or evidence. If the offender has an attorney, the attorney will take these actions on behalf of the offender.
Parole Revocation: Legal authority for handling parole revocation matters:
- Texas Government Code, Chapter 508 (Parole and Mandatory Supervision Law),
- Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 42.19 Interstate Corrections Compact,
- Rules of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and
- Applicable Court Rulings.
Facing a Motion to Revoke probation or parole?
CALL LEGRANDE LAW!
You still have rights, such as the right to an attorney, to confront witnesses and to present testimony in your defense. You can be in violation of your probation or parole for a many reasons, including:
- Drug test failure
- Not completing your community service
- Committing a new crime
- Not reporting to your probation officer
Have you violated your parole or probation? You need help! You need professional assistance for the purpose of reinstatement, contact Houston criminal defense attorney Tristan LeGrande as soon as you can. If you are facing a revocation of your parole or probation you could be looking at months to years in jail or prison – it is critical you have an aggressive defense attorney in your corner. Tristan LeGrande of LeGrande Law will fight for your rights and liberty, call today for a free consultation.