There are some significant differences between probation and deferred adjudication in criminal cases in Texas. Anybody facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Tarrant County will want to hire a Fort Worth DWI community supervision/probation attorney.

Probation is formally known as community supervision and involves a sentence being suspended so a person can remain free from jail or prison. When it comes to deferred adjudication, an alleged offender will plead guilty, but a judge does not enter an order of guilty, so a person can avoid a conviction being on their criminal record. 

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DWI Community Supervision / Probation Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (817) 422-5350 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Southlake, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and surrounding areas of Tarrant County, TX area. Our firm has a wealth of experience handling DWI cases. Contact us online to get a consultation so we can help you explore all of your legal options.

How Community Supervision Works in Texas

Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.001(1), community supervision is defined as court placement of an alleged offender under a continuum of programs and sanctions, with conditions imposed by a court for a specified time period during which criminal proceedings will be deferred without adjudication of guilt, or a sentence of imprisonment or confinement and/or a fine is probated, and the imposition of a sentence will be suspended in whole or in part. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.051 states that unless a judge transfers jurisdiction of a case to another court, only the court in which an alleged offender is can grant community supervision, impose conditions, or discharge the alleged offender, and only a judge having jurisdiction of a case can, at any time during the period of community supervision, modify the conditions of community supervision.

Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.052, a judge has the power to authorize a supervision officer supervising an alleged offender or a magistrate appointed by district courts in a county giving preference to criminal cases to modify conditions of community supervision for the limited purposes of transferring an alleged offender to different programs within the community supervision continuum of programs and sanctions or prioritizing the conditions ordered by the court according to the alleged offender’s progress under supervision. A supervision officer or magistrate modifying conditions of community supervision must deliver a copy of the modified conditions to the alleged offender, file a copy of the modified conditions with the sentencing court, and note the date of delivery of the copy in the alleged offender’s file.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.053 establishes that a  judge can suspend the imposition of a sentence and place an alleged offender on community supervision or impose a fine applicable to the offense and place the alleged offender on community supervision. A judge cannot deny community supervision to an alleged offender based solely on their inability to speak, read, write, hear, or understand English.

An alleged offender will not be eligible for community supervision if they are sentenced to serve a prison term exceeding 10 years or a term of confinement under Texas Penal Code § 12.35 relating to a state jail felony. In a felony case, a minimum period of community supervision will be the same as the minimum term of imprisonment applicable to an alleged offense. The maximum period of community supervision is 10 years for a felony other than a third-degree felony and five years for a third-degree felony under applicable provisions of either the Texas Penal Code or Texas Health and Safety Code.

The minimum community supervision period for a felony relating to a child safety zone is five years. The maximum community supervision period in a misdemeanor case is two years.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.055 allows a jury that imposes confinement as a punishment for an offense to recommend to the judge that the judge suspend the imposition of a sentence and place an alleged offender on community supervision. A judge must suspend the imposition of a sentence and place an alleged offender on community supervision if a jury makes that recommendation in its verdict.

An alleged offender will be eligible for community supervision only if, before the trial begins, the alleged offender files a written sworn motion with the judge that they have not previously been convicted of a felony in Texas or any other state and a jury enters in a verdict a finding that information contained in an alleged offender’s motion is true. If a jury recommends to the judge that the judge place the alleged offender on community supervision, the judge must place the alleged offender on community supervision for any period permitted under state law.

Deferred Adjudication in Denton County

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.101 establishes that if in the judge’s opinion, the best interest of both society and an alleged offender will be served, a judge can, after receiving a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), hear the evidence, and finding that it substantiates an alleged offender’s guilt, defer further proceedings without entering an adjudication of guilt and place the alleged offender on deferred adjudication community supervision. After placing the alleged offender on deferred adjudication community supervision, the judge must inform the alleged offender orally or in writing of possible consequences for a violation of a condition of deferred adjudication community supervision.

Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.102(b), a judge can grant deferred adjudication community supervision unless an alleged offender is charged with DWI with a child passenger, flying while intoxicated, assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter, or DWI or boating while intoxicated when, at the time of an offense, an alleged offender held a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or a commercial learner’s permit, or the alleged offender’s alcohol concentration was 0.15 or more, or for which punishment may be increased under applicable provisions of the Texas Penal Code.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.103 states that in a felony case, the period of deferred adjudication community supervision cannot be more than 10 years. In misdemeanor cases, the period of deferred adjudication community supervision cannot be more than two years.

Conditions of Community Supervision

Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.301, a judge having jurisdiction over a case will determine conditions of community supervision after considering the results of a risk and needs assessment conducted with respect to an alleged offender. The assessment needs to be conducted using an instrument validated for the purpose of assessing the risks and needs of an alleged offender placed on community supervision.

A judge can impose any reasonable condition not duplicative of another condition and designed to protect or restore the community or the alleged victim, or punish, rehabilitate, or reform the alleged offender. In determining the conditions, the judge must consider the extent to which the conditions impact the alleged offender’s work, education, community service schedule or obligations, and ability to meet financial obligations.

Conditions of community supervision can include conditions requiring an alleged offender to:

  • commit no offense against laws of Texas or of any other state
  • avoid injurious or vicious habits
  • report to a supervision officer as directed by a judge or supervision officer and also obey all rules and regulations from the community supervision and corrections department
  • permit a supervision officer to visit the alleged offender at their home or elsewhere
  • faithfully work at suitable employment to the extent possible
  • remain within a specified place
  • pay in one or more amounts their fine and all court costs
  • support the alleged offender’s dependents
  • participate, for a period specified by a judge, in any community-based program, including a community service project 
  • if a judge determines that an alleged offender has financial resources that enable them to offset in part or in whole costs of legal services provided to the alleged offender, including any expenses and costs, reimburse the county in which prosecution was instituted for costs of legal services in an amount that a judge finds the alleged offender is able to pay, except that an alleged offender may not be ordered to pay an amount that exceeds actual costs, including any expenses and costs, paid by the county for legal services provided by an appointed attorney, or if an alleged offender was represented by a public defender’s office, the actual amount, including any expenses and costs, that would have otherwise been paid to an appointed attorney had the county not had a public defender’s office
  • when under custodial supervision in a community corrections facility, remain under such supervision, obey all rules and regulations of the facility, and pay a percentage of their income to the facility for room and board
  • submit to testing for alcohol or controlled substances
  • attend counseling sessions for substance abusers or participate in substance abuse treatment services in a program or facility approved or licensed by the Department of State Health Services with the consent of the alleged victim of a misdemeanor offense or of any offense under Title 7 of the Texas Penal Code, participate in victim-alleged offender mediation submit to electronic monitoring
  • reimburse compensation to victims of crime fund for any amounts paid from that fund to or on behalf of an alleged victim of the alleged offense or if no reimbursement is required, make one payment to the compensation to victims of crime fund in an amount of up to $50 if the offense is a misdemeanor or up to $100 if the offense is a felony
  • reimburse a law enforcement agency for any analysis, storage, or disposal of raw materials, controlled substances, chemical precursors, drug paraphernalia, or other materials seized in connection with an alleged offense
  • reimburse all or part of the reasonable and necessary costs incurred by the alleged victim for psychological counseling made necessary by an alleged offense or for counseling and education relating to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) made necessary by the offense
  • pay a fine in an amount of up to $50 to a crime stoppers organization, as defined by Texas Government Code § 414.001, and as certified by the Texas Crime Stoppers Council
  • submit a DNA sample to the Department of Public Safety under Subchapter G of Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code, for the purpose of creating a DNA record of the alleged offender
  • in any manner required by a judge, provide in the county in which an alleged offense was committed public notice of the alleged offense for which the alleged offender was placed on community supervision

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.302 stipulates that when a judge who has jurisdiction of a case requires as a condition of community supervision that an alleged offender submits to a term of confinement in county jail, such term of confinement cannot exceed 30 days in a misdemeanor case or 180 days in a felony case. A judge cannot impose a term of confinement that exceeds 24 months.

Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42A.402, a judge granting community supervision to an alleged offender convicted of an offense under Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code can require as a condition of community supervision that an alleged offender submits to an evaluation by either a supervision officer or a person, program, or facility approved by the Department of State Health Services for the purpose of having the facility prescribe and carry out a course of conduct necessary for the rehabilitation of the alleged offender’s drug or alcohol dependence condition. If the director of a facility to which an alleged offender is referred determines that the alleged offender is not making a good faith effort to participate in a program of rehabilitation, the director must notify the judge who referred the alleged offender to the facility of that determination.

If a judge requires that an alleged offender participates in a prescribed course of conduct necessary for the rehabilitation of their drug or alcohol dependence condition as a condition of community supervision, the judge must require that the alleged offender pays for all or part of the cost of the rehabilitation based on their ability to pay. The judge, in their discretion, can credit against the fine assessed the cost paid by the alleged offender, and in determining an alleged offender’s ability to pay the cost of rehabilitation under this subsection, the judge must consider whether the alleged offender has insurance coverage that will pay for rehabilitation.

A judge who grants community supervision to an alleged offender convicted of an offense under Sections 49.04 to 49.08 of the Texas Penal Code must require if an alleged offender has not submitted to an evaluation under Article 42A.257 before receiving community supervision, that the alleged offender submits to the evaluation as a condition of community supervision. If that evaluation indicates to the judge that the alleged offender needs treatment for drug or alcohol dependency, the judge must require the alleged offender to submit to such treatment as a condition of community supervision in a program or facility that is approved or licensed by the Department of State Health Services or complies with standards established by the community justice assistance division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, after consultation by the division with the Department of State Health Services.

Fort Worth, TX DWI Community Supervision / Probation Resources 

Community Supervision and Corrections Department — Visit this website to learn more about the Tarrant County Community Supervision & Corrections Department (CSCD). CSCD has six satellite locations throughout the county and one central office in downtown Fort Worth. Find drug testing information, programs and services, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Policy Reforms Can Strengthen Community Supervision — The Pew Charitable Trusts is a global nongovernmental organization that seeks to improve public policy, inform the public, and invigorate civic life, and this article examines a framework to improve probation and parole in the United States. The article states that one in 55 American adults (or almost 4.5 million people) are on probation or parole. The article notes that community supervision is a leading driver of incarceration, excessive rules can present barriers to successful completion of supervision, agencies often inappropriately supervise low-risk individuals, overextended supervision officers have less time to devote to high-risk, high-need individuals, and many people with substance use or mental health disorders do not receive treatment.

Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Community Supervision / Probation Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

If you were arrested for DWI in Tarrant County, do not try to go to court without legal representation. Make sure you have a skilled criminal defense lawyer working to preserve your rights.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has handled scores of DWI cases all over Texas and knows how to fight to help people achieve the most favorable outcomes for their cases. You can call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation that will allow our firm to really examine the details of your case and explain to you what options you might have.

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