If you are arrested in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, or anywhere else in Texas, there will in almost every case be a prosecutor assigned who will fight tooth and nail to punish you to the full extent of the law. Depending on the charges against you, however, a skilled Dallas criminal defense attorney can help keep you out of jail, either by having the charges against you dropped, securing an acquittal at trial, or entering into an agreement with the prosecution.
What is Community Supervision?
Sometimes, instead of being sentenced to a Texas prison or Texas state jail, a good lawyer can negotiate an alternative route for you, referred to as “community supervision.” There are two different types of community service in Texas, deferred adjudication and probation. Both of these allow you to avoid prison, and both require you be monitored by state officials for the duration of your sentence.
There are two kinds of “community supervision” under Texas law: first, deferred adjudication; and second, probation. Under both options, you are able to avoid time behind bars, although you will be monitored by state officials. During your period of community supervision, you will likely be regularly drug tested, and there will probably be a community service component to the sentence. While on probation you must stay out of legal trouble. If you are arrested while on any type of community service agreement, it could be revoked and the remainder of your sentence will then have to be served in prison.
Deferred Adjudication v. Probation
Both deferred adjudication and probation allow you to avoid going to jail, but they have significant differences. Deferred adjudication is preferable, because if successful, upon completion there is no conviction on your criminal record.
Probation, while still allowing you to avoid prison, leaves you with a conviction on your criminal record. You may or may not be able to have that record expunged, but it will be on your record no matter what. Another disadvantage to probation is that it can go on for a very long period of time, even up to ten years. If you make a legal mistake at any point during your probation, you may spend the remainder of your sentence incarcerated.
Probation Can Be Expensive
Many of our clients are surprised to learn that even if they negotiate a deal to avoid incarceration with probation, money must be paid to the State of Texas in the process. If a person on probation does not pay the probation officer on a regular basis, it might be considered a violation of the deal, and you could be sent to jail for the remainder of your sentence. Dallas County and Denton County have a website that actually allows you to pay probation fees online.
Do You Need to Call a Dallas County Texas Defense Attorney?
A criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life. Even worse than a criminal record for many people is the prospect of going to prison. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Dallas, Fort Worth, or Plano area that could result in incarceration, and you would like to learn more about community supervision, let Chris Abel help. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.