Can You Get Probation for a Felony Drug Charge in Texas?

Can You Get Probation for a Felony Drug Charge in Texas?

May 14, 2021

No one wants to sit around in jail for months or even years, especially if they were brought up on possession charges. The criminal law system in Lubbock, TX actually prefers to give offenders probation whenever possible—it cuts down on how many people are in jail at any given time, and allows the offender to carry out their punishments and obligations while working or going to school. Naturally, most offenders prefer this outcome, too.

Range of punishments

Here’s what you can expect if you’ve been hit with a felony drug charge in Texas:

  • Jail time and fines: Generally, if you’re charged with a state felony drug crime, you can expect to receive six months to two years in jail. You may also be required to pay up to a $10,000 fine.
  • 44A: If you have a state jail felony, the prosecution might agree to negotiate your charge down to a misdemeanor. For example, instead of six months in jail, the prosecution might offer 30 days in jail, a fine and probation thereafter. Keep in mind that this will still be a felony conviction. If you get arrested for another offense later, that conviction will count against you.
  • 44B: A 12.44B conviction is similar to 12.44A, but instead of negotiating the charge down to a misdemeanor punishment while keeping the felony conviction, they’ll consider the charge to be a misdemeanor. This is far more desirable than 12.44A, naturally, but you’re not guaranteed to get an offer like this.

Remember, a felony conviction can affect your right to vote and possess firearms. It may also affect your employment, especially if you have a job where you work with vulnerable populations or in a fiduciary capacity.

When a defendant is eligible for probation

Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 42A, a defendant charged with state jail felony drug charges is eligible for probation (in fact, you must receive probation), as long as they haven’t been previously convicted of a felony.

You are also eligible for probation when you’ve been previously charged with a 12.44A, even if the prosecution doesn’t want to give it to you—the judge is required to give you probation.

Guide to probation

When you’re on probation, remember to follow all the rules exactly as prescribed. Probation is treated as a “second chance,” but you have to prove to the state that you’re serious about straightening up. This means checking in with your probation officer regularly, ensuring you stay on the right side of the law and abiding by any other terms and conditions that might apply. The last thing you want to do is miss an appointment with your probation officer, only to find that there’s a new warrant out for your arrest.

Talking to your attorney regularly can help ensure that you are fulfilling all of your obligations. If you need to work with a criminal law attorney in Lubbock, TX, get in touch with the Law Office of Rob Biggers today to arrange a consultation.

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