Texas Probation Revocation

Motion To Revoke, Motion To Adjudicate

A probation revocation case begins with either a Motion to Revoke Probation, or a Motion to Adjudicate for defendants on deferred adjudication. These motions will list the alleged probation violations. A warrant for arrest will be issued.

Common Violations

The most common reasons for a probation revocation-

  • committing a new offense
  • failing drug tests
  • not reporting
  • not completing required drug/DWI classes
  • not completing community service
Burden of Proof- Preponderance of the Evidence

Probation violations only have to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a much lower standard.

No Jury Trial

Probation revocation hearings are always held in front of a judge. There are no jury trials for probation revocation hearings.

Range of Punishment

If you are put on regular probation then your original plea bargain contains the maximum number of years you can be sentenced to. For example, if you are on probation for a 3rd degree felony your sentence could be 5 years in jail, probated for 5 years. Lawyers call this "five for five."

Deferred adjudication probation is different. In that case there is no set amount of years set as your maximum punishment. Instead, if you are revoked you are eligible to get the entire range of punishment available.


You are entitled to have a hearing within 21 days for a probation violation if you are incarcerated. If you are on deferred adjudication you are entitled to have a bond set. Regular probationers may be held on no bond.

Common Problems

Not Reporting - Most judges and probation officers take a hard line on not reporting. It is not enough to have an excuse (I was sick). You MUST always report.

What if you miss a date, or can't report? If it is really impossible to report you must document your attempt to report and show up as soon as possible. Call, write, fax your probation officer and let them know exactly why you are absent, and that you plan to be there as soon as possible. This will not be a defense, however, it will show your efforts to report and may help your case.

Getting Arrested

If you do get arrested you must report this to your probation officer within 48 hours. If you can, call you me first so we can discuss how to handle this situation.

Do NOT discuss any new charges with your probation officer. They can and will testify against you. Call a defense lawyer first!

Failing Drug Tests

Many probationers have substance abuse problems. Don't let an addiction send you to jail. Make use of the treatment options available.

What about false positive results? Probation office often use the cheapest urine testing available for drug tests. If you believe these results are a false positive contact my office so we can discuss how to challenge these tests.

Many probation officers will try to bully you into admitting drug use. Don't let them scare you. Speak with an attorney if you have failed drug tests while on probation.

Are you facing a probation revocation?

This is just an introduction to a complex field of criminal law. Probation revocation hearings are much more difficult to win than criminal trials. It is important that your attorney has experience fighting these cases.

Tell me about your case. I'm ready to help. No matter what the allegations, no matter how hopeless or guilty you feel, I can help.

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