Can I Early Terminate My Probation?
Motion to Early Terminate Probation
If you are on probation or deferred adjudication in Texas, you may be eligible to apply to early terminate your community supervision. There are several advantages to terminating your probation or deferred adjudication early. Early termination can save you money, limit your risk of violating community supervision in the future, and keep you from having to report, drug test, comply with ignition interlock/gps, etc. We advise clients not to stay on probation or deferred adjudication any longer than you absolutely have to.
In order to terminate early, though, you have to complete all the terms and conditions of your community supervision (or have the court waive those requirements). How early you can apply to early terminate depends on whether you are on deferred adjudication or probation. Early termination is also not available for certain types of offenses, such as DWI or any offense in which the defendant is required to register as a sex offender, or a felony offense listed under Tex. Crim. Code Art. 42A.054 (murder, cases involving a deadly weapon, first degree injury to a child, aggravated robbery, first degree burglary with intent to commit a violent crime, etc.).
When can I apply for early termination of my deferred adjudication?
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.111 allows you to apply for early termination of your deferred adjudication at any time after you have satisfactorily completed all the terms and conditions of your deferred adjudication community supervision. Whether the judge grants the early termination will depend on if (in the judge’s opinion) the best interest of society and the defendant will be served.
There are certain offenses that are prohibited from applying for early termination, such as DWI and any offenses that require sex offender registration. So make sure you are not applying to early terminate a prohibited offense.
The deferred adjudication early termination statute (Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.111) does not provide for any mandatory review by the court to address early termination. Compare this to the mandatory review for early termination in probation cases under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.701 (discussed below).
When can I apply for early termination of my probation?
Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.701 prevents early termination of probation until after the you have satisfactorily completed one-third of the original community supervision period or two years of community supervision, whichever is less.
Art. 42A.701 requires the court to conduct a mandatory review for early termination after completion of one-half of the original community supervision period or two years of community supervision, whichever is less, UNLESS the defendant is delinquent in paying required costs, fines, fees, or restitution that the defendant has the ability to pay or defendant has not completed court-ordered counseling or treatment. This mandatory review, however, does not require the court to grant the early termination, it just requires the court to review the case for early termination. It’s also important to know that a motion to revoke (probation) and motion to adjudicate (deferred) bear some subtle differences.
Do I need an attorney to file a motion to early terminate probation?
Yes. Applying for early termination may seem simple enough, however, you will want to request the court grant you judicial clemency at the time you request early termination. While some community supervisors will request an early termination of your probation at no cost to you once you successfully complete all the terms and conditions of your probation–that request will not include a request for judicial clemency.
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What is judicial clemency?
There are two different types of termination (discharges) from probation. The most basic one just simply discharges you from probation and still leaves you with all the penalties and disabilities resulting from your conviction. The other type of discharge, also known as judicial clemency, not only discharges the defendant from probation, but also releases the defendant from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction (with two exceptions). First, the conviction shall be made known to the judge if the defendant is ever subsequently convicted.
Judicial clemency is important because it restores a significant number of rights back to the convicted felon, such as the right to vote, right to bear arms, right to serve on jury. Soyars & Morgan Law assert that the judicial clemency also works retroactively to bar a defendant from being charged with felon in possession of a firearm or body armor if the defendant objects at trial to the use of the judicially dismissed conviction. See Matew v. State, NO. PD-0609-22 (Tex. Crim. App., Dec. 22, 2022).
How much does it cost to apply for early termination?
Fees vary, however, a motion to early terminate probation with a request for judicial clemency generally runs around $500 for misdemeanors and around $1000 for felonies.
What if I applied for early termination and was denied, should I apply again?
Nothing prevents a defendant from re-applying for a motion to early terminate. We suggest finding out why the court rejected the early termination though before spending more money on another attempt to early terminate. Sometimes the court has indicated it will not even consider allowing you to early terminate, other times–the court is just looking for a certain time period to pass before ultimately granting the motion to early terminate.
Experienced Attorneys You Can Count On
It’s critical to have knowledgeable legal counsel on your side if you’re thinking about filing a motion to early terminate probation in Texas. Our knowledgeable, award-winning attorneys at Soyars & Morgan Law can assist you in navigating the intricate early termination criteria since they have a thorough understanding of the legal procedure.
We’ll engage in endless effort to create a compelling argument and fight for your rights so you can get the greatest result. To arrange a consultation and find out more about how we can assist you with your motion to early terminate probation, call us today at (210) 390-0000.
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