It’s usually easy to get probation. What’s tough is staying on probation. Sometimes, a person runs into issues with being able to complete their conditions and end up with a Motion to Revoke Probation or a Motion to Adjudicate (if on Deferred Adjudication). If this is you or someone you care about, what should you do?
First and foremost, getting picked up on a warrant is the worst way to deal with the motion, especially if you are going to be unable to bond out because of lack of financial resources or the judge not setting a bond. If you know you are going to be violated because you haven’t done the things your probation officer has told you to do, get ahead of it. Hiring an attorney is the only way to get ahead of it, because no attorney will be appointed until you have been picked up on the warrant. There may be a variety of strategies an attorney can utilize in order to prevent you from going to jail and being able to take care of the motion while staying outside. Once you are in jail, though, it becomes tough to avoid the worst consequences of the motion.
What can happen when a motion to revoke or adjudicate is filed?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that if your attorney brings you in front of the judge on a motion, the judge has all the power and can do whatever they choose to do within the law. The prosecutor can make a recommendation, but the judge is not bound to follow it. The best move to avoid being revoked by the judge, if you are in a court that allows it, is to take it out of the judge’s hands. This is done by convincing the prosecutor to withdraw the motion and alter and amend conditions to their satisfaction. The prosecutors have a lot of leeway in what they can propose for an alter and amend conditions, including and up to a jail sanction.
If you find yourself in front of a judge on a motion, all is not lost. If you can show you are serious about probation and will be successful if given another shot, the judge may deny the motion and continue you on your probation, probably with some new conditions. One way to show you are serious is to actually start completing conditions while you are awaiting your hearing date, if you can avoid staying in jail. This means enrolling in classes, starting community service, paying fees, and other things that have been previously ordered.
If you think you might be facing a motion to revoke or adjudicate because you haven’t been completing your conditions, contact us to discuss your options.