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Questions About Texas DWI and DWI related Probation Revocations

The Coffey Firm - Experienced DWI Attorneys and Criminal Defense Lawyers > Mimi's Blog  > Questions About Texas DWI and DWI related Probation Revocations

Questions About Texas DWI and DWI related Probation Revocations

dwi probationOh no! I Screwed Up My Texas DWI Probation! What Can I Do?

I failed my interlock device. Am I going to jail?

What will happen to me on Texas DWI probation if I test positive for alcohol on my drug test? (Assuming no alcohol is a condition of probation)

How long does it take after you have a drink to pass a drug test for alcohol?

These are all very common questions for someone who is on Texas DWI probation.  Chances are if you are reading this, you may be facing a DWI probation revocation.  Please call us immediately so that we can figure out the necessary steps before any further damage occurs.  We advise that you speak with us immediately before calling your probation officer.

What is a DWI probation revocation?

After you are placed on probation for a DWI, you are legally obligated to live up to all the terms and conditions of probation. This generally includes a substance abuse assessment, DWI classes, reporting, paying of fees, community service and avoiding additional arrests.  Anytime there is a violation of your probation conditions, you risk to jail or prison if the prosecution files a motion to revoke. However, to be legally terminated from probation, there must be a probation revocation. There are often many alternatives to a probation revocation. We, at the Coffey Firm, will guide you through this process and do the best we can to come to the best resolution.

What are common reasons to revoke a Texas DWI probation?

There are many north Texas counties that do not allow any consumption of alcohol while on probation: for eg. Denton, Collin, and Johnson Counties.  There is generally drug testing for alcohol when there is a no alcohol condition.  It is not uncommon for someone on DWI probation to test positive for alcohol at some point. Another source of common probation violations is an alcohol reading on an interlock, in home or SCRAM device.  The most severe form of probation violation is picking up a new offense. It is particularly serious when it is a new DWI charge.

Not all probation issues end up with a motion to revoke being filed. Probation officers do have some discretion. It is very important to call our office before speaking with your probation officer so that we can advise you of the best approach to take.  Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

How will I know when I am in trouble?

Most people meet with their probation officers once a month. Before the meeting, the probation officer will do a criminal check.  However, if there is an alcohol violation from a device (interlock, in home, SCRAM), the provider generally reports to the court right away. The court in turn notifies the probation officer, district attorney and defense lawyer. Interlock violations are not discovered until the device is taken in for monthly calibrations. In home and SCRAM violations are discoverable immediately and generally have a one day turn around before the courts are notified by the provider. If you think the device is in error, please contact the provider immediately for quick resolution.

The best thing to do is to call our office and we will assess the situation and make a recommendation. We understand that this is a stressful time and we want you sleeping at night. Sometimes this involves us getting involved right away, other times we must patiently wait.

Should I hire a lawyer for my Texas DWI probation revocation?

Contact our office and we will assess what stage you are in. There are rare occasions where seeking our intervention is not necessary. If you are fortunate, a probation officer may just give you a warning. It is still very important that you know what your options are.  Once you sign an amendment to your conditions, there is (generally speaking) no turning back.  Most serious violations result in a filed motion to revoke. It is critical at this point to have representation. We get a bond set for you and start working on damage control and options.  Courts assume you are a law breaker when you don’t satisfactorily comply with the judge’s orders. Courts take quicker action on probation revocations.

Warning!  Be Prepared When Going to Your Probation Officer

Sometimes when there is a violation of probation the probation officer will say “Sign right here to these new probation conditions or I am going to arrest you right now and who knows when you can bond out.” We get phone calls from people that regret their decision to agree to new conditions without consulting us. Unfortunately, once you legally bind yourself to new conditions, there is generally no turning back.  A judge must sign a warrant. A the prosecution files a motion to revoke, they will then issue a warrant.  If the police arrest you at your probation visit, we will approach the judge about setting a bond. Once you bond out, we set about in handling your case.  DO NOT BE SCARED INTO DOING SOMETHING THAT YOU WILL REGRET.

What are the options for a Texas DWI probation violation?

  1. Warning
  2. Preliminary amendment to probation (does not involve a filing of a motion to revoke probation or getting a bond)
  3. A motion to revoke probation. This necessitates our law firm setting a bond with the judge. Most probation violation warrants have a “no bond” hold.
  4. Disposition of a motion to revoke a DWI probation can range from:
    1. Dismissal of the motion to revoke petition
    2. Dismissal of the motion to revoke petition with agreed upon additional conditions (may or may not involved jail or prison time)
    3. Revocation and dismissal from probation. This generally involves jail or prison time.

In a DWI probation revocation matter, the State often resorts to state sanctioned “rehab” facilities that are really jail or prison sentences. This means incarceration in county jail or state prison as an inmate and a requirement to attend counseling classes. We at the Coffey Firm do not believe that jails or prisons are the best environments to conduct substance abuse counseling where other alternatives are available.  The Judge is ultimately in control of what will happen; however, we will do everything we can to get the possible resolution of your case.

The Legal Process of a Texas DWI Probation Revocation

Once a potential violation has occurred, it is critical for us to advise you and assess the issues as early on in the process as possible.  We will make a recommendation at that point.  We may advise and direct that you obtain a hair sample or additional drug tests at private facilities (if there is a disputed violation). In other words, we advise damage control measures. If the state files a motion to revoke, we will approach the judge about setting a bond. We will obtain your probation history (“chronos”) via order of the judge and will go over this and your probation experiences in an evaluation.

We will represent you in court and speak on your behalf to the court, prosecutor, and court probation officer. It may be necessary for us to contact your field probation officer. We will make recommendations that are in your best interest and go over all options. If there are no acceptable options, we will discuss the choice of having a contested probation revocation hearing to let the judge decide. We will guide you through this whole process as we attempt to get the possible resolution of your case.

Final Considerations

There are consequences to a revoked DWI probation. For example, a first time DWI probation can result in an additional license suspension. There are very serious consequences to a revoked felony DWI probation. Every prison sentence served counts toward a habitual sentence (25 year to life). We want you to know that we care very much that you make it through this in the best possible way.  Now is not the time to throw in the towel. Now, more than ever, it is time to take productive measures to address the situation and move forward positively.

Although you may in large part be at the mercy of the court, you are responsible for making the best out of the situation here and now and we are here to help.  Everyone makes mistakes. What matters is how we respond. We, at the Coffey Firm, are here to do the best we can to getting you back to your best self, for your sake and the sake of everyone else. Nothing is ever a lost cause. Don’t give up. Give us a call quickly so we can fix this situation. Mimi has handled everything from a simple phone call to a probation officer that handled the situation to full blown contested probation revocations. Most importantly, know that Mimi cares and will fight for you.

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

Mimi is also listed on several “top” directory listings such as DWI Lawyers for Wise County, DWI Lawyer Fort WorthDWI attorney Dallas County, DWI attorneys Collin County and DWI attorneys Parker County. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in DFW, She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.