The Potential Consequences of Violating Probation with a DWI Charge
Frequently, when you have pleaded guilty or been convicted of a criminal offense in Texas, party of your sentence will include what is now referred to as “community supervision,” formerly known as “probation.” While the community supervision order remains in effect, you must regularly report to and check in with a community supervision officer, and the court will monitor your actions to ensure that you don’t break the law again. As a general rule, virtually any criminal offense, including driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) will be considered a violation of the terms of your probation, with potential sanctions.
What Can Happen When You Are Arrested or Charged with a DWI While under Community Supervision?
The commission of any crime in Texas generally constitutes a violation of probation or community supervision. Even if you’ve only been arrested, your community supervision officer may ask the court to suspend or revoke your probation. If that happens, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest (on the prior charge), as the community supervision order likely involved a reduction in your potential sentence for the first offense. If a warrant is issued, you can be arrested and face new sentencing for the first offense.
Often, when there has been a violation of the terms of community supervision, followed by an arrest warrant and subsequent arrest, the court is reluctant to allow you to be released on bail. The judge may simply refuse to set a bond, meaning you’ll have to stay in jail until your new sentencing hearing. If the court does allow bond, chances are good that it will be substantially higher than it is typically set, so that it will be difficult or impossible to pay.
You also face the potential of a more severe sentence for the initial crime than you would have initially received, as the court now has evidence of additional wrongdoing.
The Hearing to Determine Whether You Have Violated the Terms of Community Supervision
If you are charged with a DWI, you won’t automatically be considered to be in violation of probation or community supervision. The court must still hold a hearing to determine whether you have run afoul of your probation. You can expect prosecutors to introduce evidence supporting that allegation, but you’ll also have the opportunity to contest the allegations, and to bring in evidence refuting the DWI charges. It’s important to understand, though, that the level of proof required to show violation of probation/community supervision is not as demanding as a criminal charge. To be found guilty of a criminal offense, such as DWI, the evidence must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” To have your probation or community supervision revoked for violation of its terms, prosecutors need only show that it is more likely than not that you operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client, including people charged with criminal offenses. For an appointment with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney, contact us by email or call our offices at (844) 402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.