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Texas Parole Attorney

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PROBATION IN TEXAS

Understanding Your Community Supervision Terms

Texas probation can be pretty complicated, but it is a system designed to protect the community and to accommodate the rehabilitative needs of individual defendants. As a result, every community service plan is different and the consequences for probation violations can vary based on the type of probation, the type of violation(s), the individual probation officer and probation office, and the nature of the underlying offense. If you or a family member has questions about the details of probation in an individual case, the best place to start is with the probation officer.  It is sometimes worthwhile hiring an attorney to help if it appears likely that the probation may be in jeopardy due to any number of possible factors. Our office does not represent people in Texas probation violation proceedings, but we can offer the names of highly qualified attorneys in your area who do.  

Typical Types of Probation in Texas

All probation is formal, meaning it takes place under the close supervision of a probation officer. Moreover, the terms of a specific community supervision plan can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case and the discretion of the judge. Nevertheless, there are two main types of Texas probation :


  • DEFERRED ADJUDICATION - Deferred adjudication probation is most commonly available to first-time offenders and allows the defendant the chance to forgo a criminal record- although evidence of the proceeding may still exist. Essentially, the court defers entering a conviction pending the defendant's completion of a period of community supervision. If the defendant is successful, the charge is dismissed, although it may still be counted as a conviction for certain purposes.  The only major drawback to deferred adjudication probation is that, if it gets revoked, the judge may sentence the defendant to any length of a term of incarceration, irrespective of the length of the deferred adjudication probation.  Many prosecutors insist on 10 years as athe term of deferred adjudication probation. 

  • SUSPENDED SENTENCE - Sometimes called "straight probation", a suspended sentence can be granted either as part of a plea deal or as an aspect of the penalty imposed after a trial and conviction. With a suspended sentence, the defendant still has a conviction on his or her record, but usually avoids having to serve any jail time, although a period of incarceration may still be a condition of some plans.  Straight probation can still be revoked, but if it is revoked, the judge cannot order a term of incarceration greater than the term of straight probation.  This is very important, because first degree felonies in Texas carry a range of punishment of 5 to 99 years.  Thus, a person with a sentence of 10 years straight probation cannot be sentenced to more than 10 years in TDCJ, whereas the person with deferred adjudication probation could see 20, 30, 40, or more years as the prison sentence following their probation revocation.  

How the Probation You Receive Affects You

While deferred adjudication is usually the preferable option when it comes to types of Texas probation, the consequences of violating probation must never be overlooked.  Since probation is the court's way of offering a person a second chance, the probation is not easy to keep in place if the defendant appears to have no respect for the second chance opportunity that has been given.  Some judges will sentence a probationee far more severely than what the same person would have gotten had he or she agreed to incarceration at the beginning, rather than probation.

"Kevin, I knew from the day we met that I had made the right choice. I will definitely recommend you to everyone I can...I cannot begin to express my deepest gratitude."


J. Solis- September, 2012


"Mr. Stouwie, I want you to know that my loved ones and I are very satisfied with your services. In my opinion, everything you did was perfect. You went above and beyond in your efforts to gain my freedom. I thank you for never giving up on me."


G. Flores - August, 2012


"Thank you so very much for winning my freedom back...My whole family says thank you as well...We made it!"


T. Morris - August, 2012


"Thank you for your hard work. I'm very grateful for having my son back."


M. Nguyen - June, 2012


"I'm stuck on WOW!!! During our interview, we discussed not expecting a miracle this go around. Repeat offender, two 18 year sentences, running cc, and you made my first parole! I'll be serving right at two years on this. UNBELIEVEABLE!...I'm just so grateful to you and your office for helping me gain my freedom...Nothing I can write on this paper could begin to express my gratitude."


Catherine B. - April, 2012


"I was granted the FI-2 and of course I am overjoyed and I want to thank you for all your assistance...I will recommend your services to others who may need trusted assistance in their (parole) review process."


T. Chau - March, 2012


"Thank you for all your help! May your family be blessed and you law office prosper and succeed. My freedom is precious and I shall not take it for granted."


​B. Henderson - November 2011

Attorney Kevin Stouwie chooses to focus his law practice on representing Texas prison inmates seeking early release through parole because he believes people can learn from past mistakes and society as a whole benefits when former inmates receive opportunities to build new lives.