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Can I Do The Rest Of My Probation Time In Jail?

Houston, TX |

I Am A First Time DWI Offender, I Was Given A Year Of Probation.
I Have Court Fees, Probation Fees, and Interlock Fees.
I Have Been In Probation For 3 Months Now, And Its Seems Lately I've Been Falling Behind In Payments Due To Financial Problems.
My Question Is: Could I Do My Remaining Probation Time In Jail?
Will It Take Some Fees Of Me?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. The easy answer to your question is, yes, you can always do jail time. No judge will tell you that you cannot go to jail. Most Harris county judges will give you more jail time than you would probably want to do though. A revocation of your probation would also involve suspension of your license for probably a year. Then you have to get an occupational license and SR22 and all of the expenses that follow that.

    No judge in Harris county will want to lock you up over financial problems. Talk to your PO and your lawyer. You can complete your probation. The judge can lower or waive your monthly fees; the judge can remove the interlock at 6 months... jail and losing your license is not your only option.

    Don't just give up.

  2. If you turn yourself in, you will no longer be on probation. You will be sentenced to jail instead. The judge can sentence up to the entire range of punishment you agreed to when you signed your plea paperwork. In other words, if you were sentenced to 180 days in jail probated for six months, you could be sentenced to up to the entire 180 days (not just the remaining three months you have on probation). Also, be aware that the judge can still require you to pay the court costs (or sit them out with additional time) even if you sit the case out.

    You can self-revoke if you just know you'll never be able to get your fees paid off. I would go back to your original attorney and ask him to negotiate this for you. Or you can always just walk into the court and tell the judge what your intentions are. My guess is that she would try to talk you out of it. Probation officers will get on to you about being late on fees, but as long as you are making efforts they will not revoke you unless your probation is about to expire. Even in that situation, you can do an agreed modification to extend your probation the additional time you need to finish paying. So it is not an all or nothing proposition.

    Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.

  3. I think Mr. Medley has spelled out all the options for you with your probation. I would inform your probation officer about the difficulty of making your financial obligations and inform the defense attorney of the same issues. Your attorney should be able to approach the judge and see if they can amend your conditions to help you complete the remainder of your probation. I don't see why you should have to go to jail over the financial difficulties. It may be helpful to know which court you are in if you are willing to provide that information. Good luck.

  4. I agree with the other lawyers. I think the most significant consequence of doing jail time will be the driver's license suspension that will result from the "final" conviction.

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