Is there any way to avoid jail time due to a violation on probation for falling behind on payments on class B misdemeanor DWI?

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Is there any way to avoid jail time due to a violation on probation for falling behind on payments on class B misdemeanor DWI?

I was recently stopped for a traffic violation and a police officer let me know I had a warrant for a violation on my probation which is in hunt county. I had this transfered to tarrant county and have taken my classes and finished my community service hours. I also have gone to all po meetings. So the only thing it could be is falling behind on payments. I am due to be off on the 17th of august. The only reason I fell behind is because I had to take my maternity leave and was not gettin paid. I can’t go to jail I don’t want to loose my children. Is there any way to avoid jail time?

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Every county is slightly different in their approach to revocation defenses, but all are bound by the same general rules.  When it comes to fees, an inability to pay is a defense to revocation.  If you can demonstrate to the judge that you simply haven't had the money, but you have otherwise been compliant, then the judge should modify, instead of revoke, your probation.  This is the option if you have a court hearing on the issue of revocation.

Another option is to talk to your probation officer in Hunt County.  They tend to be lighter on defendants that are only facing technical violations like non-payment.  You want to talk to this P.O. instead of the one in Tarrant County, because the Tarrant County P.O. is not going to have access to the judge in your case.  Talk to the P.O. about options for an agreed modification.  For example, if you were on probation for six months and non-payment is your only issue, see if you can get your probation extended and your payments restructured so that they are easier to make each month.  It means you still be on probation, but it's much better than going back to jail.  Another possible option is to find out from you P.O. exactly how much you still owe and get a small loan to cover the rest of what is due.  Once the payments are satisfied, many P.O.'s don't see a reason for move forward and will withdraw the motion to revoke without any additional action.

 

If your probation officer isn't working with you for some reason, obtain an attorney (either retained or court appointed) to help you negotiate the modification in exchange for the DA dropping the revocation. 


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