Asked in Criminal Law and DUI / DWI for Texas

Q: Am I responsible if my probation officer has not enforced my conditions of probation?

I was sentenced to 10 years probation back in 2016. I was ordered to do 1 weekend in jail a year until I complete 100 hours to honor the victim and have never done a weekend yet. I got a violation in 2018 and completed the conditions for that revocation. I got another violation in 2020. I was ordered to have a breath analysis machine. At the time I didn't have a vehicle so I got an in home unit and was supposed to blow 3 times a day at certain times. Because of work I missed a lot of those times. My PO never said anything and I have since got it in my vehicle so I only have to blow when I drive. Will the missed times ever catch up to me. Also that violation I was ordered to do 5 48s in jail and had 6 months to do them. The time it was brought up by my PO he just said the jail wasn't taking anyone bc of Covid and hasn't brought it up since and it has been a year. Its the PO job to send the paperwork to the jail for me to turn myself in so can this also come back on me?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It is YOUR responsibility to comply with the terms and conditions of probation. The court put you on probation and only the court can modify or revoke your probation. Your probation supervision officer's role is to monitor your progress and report to the court regarding your compliance (or non-compliance.) If the PO decides to recommend that your probation be revoked, expect them to list every little thing you did wrong, even that one time you were 5 minutes late for a meeting. Yes, even if the PO seemed "cool with it" at the time, expect it to show up on any violation report.

Each time you get revoked increases the chance that they will send you to the pen. If you are facing a third MTR that will carry some weight against you even if the first two were flimsy. So you are "skating on thin ice" at this point. Make it a priority to do all the things, even if your PO isn't reliable. For example, don't take the PO's word that the jail isn't taking anyone because of COVID, get it in writing from someone at the jail. Then follow up in a few months and get THAT in writing too. Create your own "paper trail" documenting your efforts because you will need that to show the court that you have been diligent in your attempts to comply with the terms.

Chad Zubi agrees with this answer

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