Can I Get Probation if I Am Convicted of a Criminal Charge in Texas?
In Texas, a person is generally eligible for probation after they have been convicted of a crime if they can prove that they have never been convicted of a felony.
However, there are numerous exceptions to this rule. For example, a person is never eligible for probation if they have been finally convicted of certain serious offenses.
In What Cases is Probation Not an Option?
Section 42A.056 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure states:
A defendant is not eligible for community supervision under Article 42A.055 if the defendant:
- Is sentenced to a term of imprisonment that exceeds 10 years;
- Is convicted of a state jail felony for which suspension of the imposition of the sentence occurs automatically under Article 42A.551;
- Is adjudged guilty of an offense under Section 19.02 (Murder), Penal Code;
- Is convicted of an offense under Section 21.11 (Indecency with a Child), 22.011 (Sexual Assault), or 22.021 (Aggravated Sexual Assault) of the Penal Code, if the victim of the offense was younger than 14 years of age at the time the offense was committed;
- Is convicted of an offense under Section 20.04 (Aggravated Kidnapping), Penal Code, if:
- The victim of the offense was younger than 14 years of age at the time the offense was committed; and
- The actor committed the offense with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually;
- Is convicted of an offense under Section 20A.02 (Trafficking of Persons), 20A.03 (Continuous Trafficking of Persons), 43.04 (Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution) , 43.05 (Compelling Prostitution), or 43.25 (Sexual Performance by a Child), Penal Code;
- Is convicted of an offense for which punishment is increased under Section 481.134 (Possession of Controlled Substance in a Drug Free Zone)(c), (d), (e), or (f), Health and Safety Code, if it is shown that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense for which punishment was increased under any of those subsections; or
- Is convicted of an offense under Section 481.1123 (Manufacture Delivery of a Controlled Substance), Health and Safety Code, if the offense is punishable under Subsection (d), (e), or (f) of that section.
Additionally, it is important to note that there are certain offenses for which a persona can ONLY get probation from a jury and not a judge. These are known as 3(g) offenses. A person can get around this restriction and receive probation from a judge if they secure an offer of deferred adjudication.
Is There Any Way My Attorney Can Get Probation on a Murder or Sexual Assault Case?
As you can see, determining whether or not your case is eligible for probation, can be extremely complicated. If you are facing a serious charge or jail time, you need an attorney to advise you of the possible ways a probation agreement could be worked out with the prosecutor.
Even if you are charged with a crime that is not eligible for probation, an attorney may be able to reduce or modify your charges by negotiating with the prosecutor. By reducing your charges, your attorney may be able still be able to secure probation in your case. Your attorney can also work out a deal for deferred adjudication. This would make you eligible for probation even if you are charged with a crime where probation is usually not available.
If you are facing a serious charge, contact the Law Office of Jorge Vela in order to see if you could qualify for probation in your case.