Can I Get Off Probation Early?

Thanks to the War on Drugs, a “tough on crime” lege, and pro conviction appellate courts Texas now has over 400,000 probationers, 25% more per capita than the average state. These probationers all have one thing in common- they don’t want to be on probation. Luckily, probationers in Texas can petition the court for early termination of community supervision.

What cases are eligible for early termination?

All offenses are eligible except Penal Code Sections 49.04-49.08, Sex Offender offenses, and 3g offeneses.

49.04 -49.08 are intoxication offenses; driving while intoxicated, flying while intoxicated, assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated (really, look it up).

Sex offender offenses are self explanatory. 3g offenses are really bad stuff, and some drug cases- Murder, capital murder, indecency with a child, agg kidnapping, agg sex assault, agg robbery, school zone drug offenses, or an offense in which you used a deadly weapon.

Find out if you are eligible for early release before taking a plea offer.

Does anyone else find it outrageous that we put DWI defendants in the same boat as sex offenders? MADD’s DWI hysteria lobbying again proves to be more effective than the DWI defendant lobby. Moving on.

Ok, so who is eligible? Some drug cases, most misdemeanor cases besides DWI, most non violent theft cases.

When can I apply for early termination?
After you serve 1/3 of your community service time, or 2 years, whichever comes first.

Will the judge grant my motion?
It depends. In my experience the most important factors for early release are
1. How long you have been on probation. The longer the better.
2. Your probation performance. Pass your pee tests, report, and don’t get arrested!
3. $$$$$. The government needs your fines, fees, and court costs. Paying those will help your case.
4. Your PO’s (probation officer’s) recommendation. This is the most important. If your PO will sign off on early termination often the DA will agree, and if the DA agrees, then the judge is more likely to grant the motion.
5. Your overall criminal record. If you have been to the pen a few times, that’s not good.

Unfortunately, many DA plea recs also assume you will get off early. Therefore, you may get a 7 year probation plea offer because the DA assumes you will be off in 2 years anyway. The existence of the early release statute has an inflationary effect on plea offers.

Remember, you are not guaranteed early release. Don’t sign up for 10 years probation expecting to get off in 2.

Work with your PO
Once you are on probation let your PO know that you want to get off early and make that your goal. Ask your PO what it would take to win his/her recommendation for early termination and follow through.

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7 responses to “Can I Get Off Probation Early?”

  1. Jerry Hernandez says:

    ive been on probation for 31/2 yrs. I got arrested for possesion with under a gram of cocaine the first year i came out dirty the only one. I been clean eversince im currently going to school and been employed for five years i just payed a lawyer 700 hundred he said there was a 90% chance i would get off. I wanted your opinion

  2. Amber says:

    I want to know what lawyer you used that only cost $700 to file for early realease… We’ve been quoted $2500 for a lawyer to sign a piece of paper! Not even counting if the request goes back to court.

  3. diana says:

    hi i been in probations for 4years and 5 months and i was sentence 6 years of probation. and have been done paying all my fees of court. but there is one issue. court ordered me to make presentation at schools. but i have done it for the first 2 years but after that no school wanted to book me in for more presentations. my lawyer is fighting that cause it not my fault and have proves. what do you think are my possiblites to have the judge to grant me a early termationa

  4. christopher stone says:

    Thanks for the helpfull info. I am looking towards college and getting everything lined up for my own buisness I hope to start in Chicago soon for a night club/perfomance stage with all acts involving music, comedy, spoken work, corperate and government meetings and more. before i go i will be going to tcc to get my degree as a peramedic and save for the big move. I am excited and thank you for that info. I am at this point on my 2nd year out of 5 and am doing all the right things. Thank you and good luck to a new year to everyone in this country, we all need our own kinda change.
    ~Christopher L Stone

  5. christopher L stone says:

    I messed up on some spelling haha… Does this lawyer answer your questions? I looked at the top, seemed good to me!

  6. Joe says:

    I have a unique situation. I plead guilty to a sex crime as a juvenile in Washington state. To my understanding I am required to register for 10 years. That date arrives in April of this year. In 2006 I was arrested for Failure to Comply and put on probation on deferred adjudication. I have served 3 of the 5 years as of November 21st of last year. Do I qualify to apply for early release from probation under these circumstances? I am having trouble finding answers and hope you can help me.

  7. Poppin says:

    I’ve been on probation for 7 months out of 1 year.. cost of this is for bringing 3.5 grams of marijuana to school. it is also my first offence. and i completed all community service hours and payed court fees and everything cleared, no violations, and past all pee test, my PO said she will sign up for termination but what are the chances of me getting off?

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