Probation is a common punishment in Harris County It spares you from time in custody, but you must abide by certain rules and avoid breaking any laws. However, traffic stops still happen, and if you are pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) while on probation, it can mean serious trouble.
If you find yourself charged with DWI while on probation in Houston, you need to contact a Houston DWI lawyer immediately. Don’t try to handle it on your own or simply accept a probation violation.
Arrested For DWI While on Probation
A DWI is considered a probation violation. Your arrest may lead your probation officer to file a Motion to Revoke Probation. In other words, the DWI charge can result in your probation being revoked and you returning to jail – even without a conviction.
Aside from dealing with the DWI, you will need to work with your lawyer to obtain your release. Your attorney will request bail, which could be a significant amount.
The circumstances involved and your prior record matter a lot when a judge is deciding to revoke your probation. Having a lawyer on your side will be critical to highlighting any mitigating circumstances or getting the DWI dismissed.
DWI Porbation Hearings
You are entitled to a hearing regarding the alleged violation, and the prosecutor must prove you violated one or more terms of your probation. If the prosecutor proves you violated probation, you may be sent back to jail and forced to serve out the rest of your original sentence. Your sentence can be extended because of the probation violation itself.
Additionally, you’ll still face the penalties of the DWI charge.
However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you may avoid jail time for a first-time probation violation. The judge may issue a warning, increase the length of your probation, and/or alter the conditions of your supervision.
By hiring an attorney, you have someone who will strive to reduce the potential consequences of a probation violation and fight the DWI simultaneously.
What about Probation Violations for a Prior DWI?
If you are on probation for a DWI and have been charged with another drunk driving offense, you need to contact a DWI lawyer right away.
DWI probation is a legal compromise. Therefore, you are granted less time in jail in exchange for agreeing to certain terms. Some of the most common terms of DWI probation include:
- Paying community supervision fees.
- Paying all court fees, fines, and restitution.
- Reporting to a community supervision officer on a regular basis.
- Completing community service.
- Attending required meetings or classes.
- Completing a substance abuse evaluation.
- Attending court-ordered therapy.
- Abstaining from alcohol.
- Submitting to periodic or random drug and/or alcohol testing.
- Finding and maintaining employment.
- Refraining from committing other offenses.
If the prosecutor can prove you violated your DWI probation, then you may be sent to jail. You will have to complete the remainder of the original sentence or an additional term for the violation.
To avoid the potentially harsh consequences of a DWI while on probation, retain an experienced defense lawyer. You can negotiate for the best possible outcome, highlight any mitigating circumstances, and fight to prove you did not violate the terms of your probation.
Harsher Penalties for a DWI During Probation
If you got a DWI while on probation, it means you already have a criminal record. This can impact the sentence you face for the current charges if convicted.
The potential penalties for a second, third, or fourth DWI are automatically greater than for a first-time offense. You face harsher penalties without any consideration for the fact you were on probation.
For each level of DWI, there is a range for the potential term of incarceration. For example, a second DWI can lead to between one month and one year in jail. A third DWI can result in up to 10 years in prison.
Because this is not your first offense, and because you committed the DWI while on probation, the judge may be more likely to sentence you to the maximum term of incarceration.
Charges with a DWI While on Probation? Contact Us for Help
When you are on probation for a previous criminal conviction, you must be careful. Any interaction with the police can be significant. Following a DWI arrest, you could be in court for a probation violation. You run the risk of being sent back to jail or prison.
The best way to avoid incarceration for both a probation violation and a DWI charge is to work with an experienced and aggressive DWI lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett. You can reach us through our online form, or you can call (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.