Bristol Myers


Criminal Law Austin, Texas


DWI while on probation

August 10th, 2009

I’m opening my blog with a solution to a fairly common problem. The call to my office starts something like this: “I’m on probation, and I picked up (another) DWI. Should I tell my probation officer? Am I going to jail? What do I do next?”

First, check your conditions of probation. Most Texas counties require that you report your arrest to your probation officer within 48-72 hours. Consuming alcohol and getting arrested are two violations. Don’t add a third by not picking up the phone. If your conditions require it, call your P.O., report your arrest, but DO NOT admit drinking or otherwise discuss the details of your case with your P.O.

Second, understand that a motion to revoke your probation and a warrant for your arrest are inevtiable, at least initially. Most adult probation departments in Texas automatically move to revoke for a new arrest. However, unless you are on felony probation, you are likely entitled to a bond on the motion to revoke. Your lawyer can help you navigate the bonding process.

Finally, clean up any outstanding “technical” violations. If you are behind on supervision fees, fines or court costs, pay them up. If you lack community service hours, get caught up. Finish any classes or counseling that you can.

These simple steps will have you and your lawyer well-positioned to argue for reinstatement on probation (or at least some intermediate sanction short of revocation), particularly if the new DWI case is weak.

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