Is there a regulatory organization that oversees Probation Officer Practices?

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Is there a regulatory organization that oversees Probation Officer Practices?

My daughter had a shoplifting charge that happened in 2006 when she was 17 years old. The item shoplifted was $50 – $100. She was given 12 months probation, + $600 probation fee + 40 hours of community service. Her attorney charged $750 fee. She has completed all of the above requirements. During the 12 months probation period, she rarely visited the probation office because she did not have the money to make payments. On the last couple months of probation, she was in contact with the probation officer who told her to pay $600 before she gives her a release. She paid and the probation officer accepted the payment. She was schedule to appear in court for case discharge or dismissal. But when she returned to court for case discharge, she was given a new set of fines and probation to do all over. Her attorney did not explain why. The court has now asked her to do another 15 months probation, + a new 40 hours community service, + pay another $600 + $400 court cost. My assumption is that the probation officer sent an unfavorable report to the court and give not give her a release. This case is in Denton, Texas Court Jurisdiction.The attorney promised to get the case dismissed with fewer penalties. Now my daughter has to do 27 months probation for shoplifting a $50 item at 17 years of age. We feel that the attorney did not do what he promised to do. And the probation officer shouldn’t have taken the $600 if she wasn’t going to give my daughter a release.1. Do we have any recourse?2. Can we file an appeal? If so, to which court?3. Is there a regulatory organization that oversees Probation Officers?

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You need to hire a lawyer, plain and simple.  Stop attempting to handle this on your own. Was her lawyer a public defender? If so, you may need to talk to a private attorney to discuss the possibility of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Further, in terms of the probation officer complaint, while you may have something there, an excuse that your daughter rarely visited the probation office because she didn't have the money doesn't help.  Your daughter should never have done that, a simple excuse of no money is not sufficient.  Probation is serious business.

Your private criminal defense counsel will help determine if a complaint should be filed against your daughter's probation officer.

Try www.attorneypages.com and check his or her record at the Texas State Bar.


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