Information About Probation In Travis County, Texas
This will provide some basic information about being on probation in Travis County, Texas as well as some advice on successful completion.
Can I be placed on probation if I move out of state?
As a general rule, no.
None of the Travis County Court at Law Judges will allow supervision of your probation to be transferred out of State.
Some of the Travis County District Court Judges will allow transfer of your supervision, but only under very limited circumstances.
Am I allowed to drink alcohol while on probation?
No. And no lawyer can ethically advise you to violate a term or condition of your probation.
Now, that answer I just gave is legally and ethically complete and accurate. But I would be less than informative if I didn’t mention that there are rumors that some people drink alcohol even though they’re on probation. As the story goes, some get away with it and others don’t.
All that said, those who drink alcohol while on probation and get caught usually wind up very sorry they drank.
What is the best way to succeed on probation?
When he or she meets a probationer, a probation officer is basically trying to decide which group to sort you into: the problem children or the probationers who don’t really need supervision. If you were the probationer, you would of course prefer to be sorted into the “doesn’t really need supervision” group.
So, you ask: “how do I nudge my probation officer into sorting me into that group?” By following a couple of rules. First, your probation officer will tell you to do your community service hours usually at a pace of 8 hours per month. Do it faster. Knock those hours out as fast as you can. Second, if you have any classes you haven’t already done yet, do them sooner than your probation officer’s deadline for you to complete them. Third, do you know that army expression that goes “if you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late, and if you’re late, you’re … let me see if I can clean that up a bit … if you’re late, you’re in big trouble”? So be early. Always. Fourth, e-mail, don’t call. If you have a question, e-mail it.
If you call a probation officer, they might well not call you back. They aren’t being rude. They are over-worked, under-paid, loyal, but unappreciated laborers in the judicial system and they don’t have time to return your call. So work with them the way they would prefer you to. And besides, if you get permission to leave the county or state by e-mail, your probation officer is going to have a hard time later arguing that you didn’t get permission before going.
And, of course, no matter how much you hate being on probation, be polite. Don’t annoy your probation officer. He can make your life harder.
The next rule is that your probation officer will believe the machine, not you. Here’s what I mean. If you have to blow into an ignition interlock device (“IID”), or a portable alcohol monitor (“PAM”), and it registers positive, then your probation officer will believe you’ve been drinking. It doesn’t matter that you (foolishly) used hand sanitizer immediately before you handled the device. Nothing matters, because the probation officer will always believe that the device is accurate and that you are lying if it reports you had a positive specimen and you deny it. So what do you do if you blow and it comes up positive even though you haven’t been drinking? Go rinse your mouth out with water (and wash that hand sanitizer off with soap and water) and go blow again within 2 minutes. It’s the only way to persuade them that you weren’t drinking.
The last rule is that your probation officer might act friendly toward you, but your probation officer is never, ever your friend. They might smile when you arrive to report and might even laugh at your jokes. But put one toe out of line and you’ll find out just how deep your friendship goes.
If you wind up on probation, and you follow these rules, you might well be reporting in person every other month, or every third month before you know it. Violate the terms and conditions of your probation and you’ll probably see the inside of a jail mighty quick.
It’s your choice.