3 Reasons to encourage clients to terminate probation early

When navigating the criminal justice system, clients can get confused with the amount of information swirling around them. Plea Bargains. Deferred Adjudication. Orders of Non-Disclosures. These words are like second nature to a criminal defense attorney but for most clients, they have never heard nor understand what you are talking about. During a plea bargain, it is imperative to explain to a client exactly what they are agreeing to AND why it is the best option for them.

Clients in the past literally cringe when discovery the offer on the table from the district attorney is 5 years probation. They begged and plead to get a better offer. However, it is important for everyone to realize that five years DOES NOT necessarily mean 5 years. There is generally an opportunity to terminate probation early and not take the full 5 years.

Termination of probation early is one of the easiest tasks a criminal lawyer Arlington TX trusts can do, but it takes experience to know exactly when to approach a judge. According to the law, a probationer on straight probation is eligible to terminate his/her probation after he/she has served one third of the time or two years, whichever is less. However, judges are not required to review the request until a probationer has served half the time he/she received. Alternatively, a probationer is eligible to terminate probation early when they are placed on deferred adjudication once all conditions are met. Again, just because all conditions are met does not mean the Judge has to terminate, only that the judge can terminate. In this type of probation, knowing when and how to ask the Judge is paramount to being successful.

Termination of probation also requires a probationer to meet the conditions that were placed onto him/her when placed on probation. Typically, those conditions are fines, community service, and classes. As long as the probationer has fulfilled the conditions, he/she should be an eligible candidate for termination. However, there are several crimes that are disqualifying crimes for even being eligible to have your probation terminated early. The list of disqualifying crimes is lengthy, which is why hiring a good attorney from the beginning before a defendant agrees to a term of probation is key. The last thing a defendant wants is to agree to a term of 10 years probation thinking he/she can get off after a little over 3 years and learn at that point that the entire 10 years may have to be served.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into criminal defense practice.