What are Probation Violations?

A probation violation means you allegedly broke the rules of community supervision for a criminal case. It can be something as simple as failing to report to a probation officer. Or it can be a more serious violation like getting arrested for a new crime. If this happens, then you will need a probation violation attorney to help you with your case.

This is because a probation violation can send you to jail. To understand why, we need to review how courts in Texas deal with a person who breaks the rules of probation. In particular, this is how judges in Bexar County, Texas deal with these issues.

First, the probation officer will tell the prosecutor and the court about the problem. Next, the State will file a Motion to Revoke Probation (MTR). After that, the judge will likely issue an MTR warrant for the defendant. The MTR warrant tells police to arrest the person because he or she broke the rules of probation.

Once police arrest the defendant for the probation violation, then the court will set the case for an MTR hearing. However, Texas law also gives people specific rights during an MTR hearing. As a result, this post will show you how to handle an MTR warrant. And it will give you options to help you deal with probation violations.

What is a Motion to Revoke Probation (MTR) in Texas?

When a person breaks a rule or condition of probation, then the State will file paperwork with the court asking the judge to revoke the person’s probation. The law calls this paperwork a motion to revoke probation. Lawyers call it an “MTR.” Once the State files the MTR, then the court will issue an MTR warrant for the defendant.

Further, the main takeaway is that an MTR asks the judge to end the probation and send the person to jail. But surprisingly, the judge has lots of options to deal with a probation violation. In other words, the judge does not have to send the person to jail. To explain, the judge can send you to jail, keep you on probation, or do something in between.

Equally important, the MTR tells the person how and when he broke the rules. Plus, the most common probation violations are:

  1. Failing to report on a certain date;
  2. Testing dirty for drugs on specific dates;
  3. Not paying fines or court costs;
  4. Failing to complete community service hours; or
  5. Getting arrested for a new crime.

Anyone of these violations is enough to get your probation revoked. (With the exception of not paying fines or court costs.) Yet at the same time, these violations vary in degree and seriousness. Consequently, this is where an MTR lawyer can ask the judge to take a measured approach and hopefully keep you on probation.

What are my rights at a probation violation (MTR) hearing?

The MTR hearing guarantees a person the following rights:

  1. The State must provide the person with written notice of the rules he broke. The notice is the MTR;
  2. The person has a right to plead “Not True” and force the prosecutor to prove up the violations;
  3. The person must have a probation violation attorney help him with the case. He also has the right to present witnesses and evidence in his defense. And, he has the right to challenge the government’s evidence;
  4. The judge must be neutral and fair during the hearing; and
  5. Finally, the judge must provide a written statement explaining why it revoked the probation.

In short, these are the rules your probation violation attorney will use to help keep you out of jail.

I have an MTR. The judge remanded me without bond (R.W.O.B.) Can an MTR lawyer set a bond for me?

If the judge issues an MTR warrant and remands you without bond, then an MTR lawyer can help you. First, remanded without bond (R.W.O.B.) means there is no bond set. When this happens, then the person cannot bond out of jail until the judge sets a bond.

An MTR lawyer will file a motion to set a bond with the court. And then the lawyer will talk to the judge and ask it to set a bond in your case. Many judges in Bexar County, Texas will set a bond on an MTR if you ask them to. But some will not. And this will depend on both the judge and the type of probation violation you are facing.

If the judge sets a bond in your case, then your probation violation attorney can also help you bond out through the satellite office if you are not already in jail. This office is located in the basement of the Bexar County Courthouse. It’s a quick and easy way to turn yourself in, get your warrant pulled, and get a court date for your case.

Can an MTR Lawyer work out a plea deal for a probation violation?

Yes. In many cases, an MTR lawyer can workout a plea deal with the State to deal with the MTR. Nevertheless, this option depends on two things: the judge and the prosecutor. If they both agree, then you can do a plea deal. On top of that, a large number MTR cases get worked out this way.

What are the two worst things you can do while on probation?

These two things will hurt your chances of staying on probation. The first is to do nothing while you are on probation. The second thing is to get arrested for a new crime.

To explain, doing nothing means exactly that. You do not report to probation. You do not pay fines, court costs, or complete community service hours. And you make no effort to complete probation. If this happens, then judges and prosecutors are less likely to keep you on probation.

Similarly, if police arrest you for a new crime like drug dealing or assaulting your spouse, then this will also make it tougher to stay on probation.

Nevertheless, even when these two things happen, it is still possible to stay on probation. But the road becomes really bumpy and the outcome will not be certain.

San Antonio Probation Violation Attorney.

A person with an MTR has options. These options include working with the State to stay on probation. Or, the person can say the allegations are “Not True” and request a hearing to challenge the allegations. An MTR lawyer can help in either case.

San Antonio MTR Lawyer Genaro R. Cortez.

Genaro R. Cortez is a criminal defense attorney with over 20 years experience handling criminal cases in San Antonio and South Texas. During this time, Genaro Cortez handled hundreds of MTR cases in Bexar County. This includes helping people stay on probation and also asking the judge to end the probation term early.

Lastly, if you have an MTR case, then call 210-733-7575. Genaro R. Cortez offers free case reviews. He will also offer you ideas to help stay on probation.