Judicial gavelThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing early termination of probation in Laredo, Texas. My previous article discussed the effect that terminating probation early can have on one’s criminal record. Criminal activity that is punished by probation will remain on an individual’s record, even if their probationary period is lifted earlier than originally scheduled. It may be possible, however, to obtain an order of non-disclosure to prevent the information from being discoverable on a background check. An attorney with criminal defense experience can help you understand your rights. In this post, I will review the process for obtaining early termination of one’s probation. If you need assistance, contact my office to speak with an attorney.

The first step in the process of terminating probation early is to evaluate one’s eligibility. After counsel has been retained, they will review whether the individual has served the appropriate amount of their sentence and has met the conditions of their probation. The individual must be able to demonstrate that they have paid any court-ordered fees and restitution, attended required treatment or counseling, and attended meetings with their probation officer. Because the judge has complete discretion over the ultimate decision, the attorney will also gather as much evidence as possible in favor of early termination to submit to the court. This may include objective evidence that the person has rehabilitated and does not pose a risk of repeating their criminal activity. Information about educational advancements, volunteerism, community involvement, and other positive contributions may help persuade the judge in the individual’s favor.

Armed with the supporting information, the attorney will file a Motion for Early Termination of Probation with the court. A hearing will be scheduled, at which the attorney will present their case to the judge. Texas law requires that the individual’s probation officer as well as the prosecutor who served in the original case receive notice of the request and of the scheduled hearing. They will have the opportunity to attend or provide statements to the court either in support of or opposed to the Motion. In some cases, the attorney may meet with the prosecutor or the probation officer in advance of the hearing to garner support for their client’s request. It is important to note that the hearing is a formal legal proceeding and the evidence presented must be objective and submitted in accordance with the rules of evidence. An experienced attorney will be familiar with the procedural requirements and be able to clearly articulate the information to the judge on their client’s behalf. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will either grant or deny the Motion in its entirety or modify the sentence to reduce the remaining probationary period.

My office has helped residents of our area to successfully terminate their probation early. If you are serving a term of probation and need assistance, contact my office today to schedule a consultation with a Laredo criminal defense lawyer. I also serve clients in other areas of south Texas.