Frequently Asked Questions
General Legal Questions and Answers Provided by Houston Criminal Lawyer Greg Tsioros
If I am eligible for probation, does that mean that I will automatically get probation?
No. Just because you are eligible for probation does NOT mean that you are entitled to probation. It is often the case that prosecutors will not offer you probation and the judge will likely not give you probation. Your defense attorney needs to be able to evaluate your case with you and explain to you the likelihood that you will get probation from the Judge or the Prosecutor.
I have successfully completed my deferred adjudication probation. Can I have my criminal record cleared?
This is a common misconception. Contrary to popular belief, a successful deferred adjudication probation sentence cannot be expunged, except in the case of certain class C misdemeanor offenses. However, depending on the particulars of your case, you may well be eligible for an order of nondisclosure.
I failed or refused to submit to a breath or blood test. Is my driver’s license automatically suspended?
No. If you request hearing through the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) process within fifteen days of your arrest, your license will remain valid until the hearing takes place. It can often take several months to schedule a hearing. Your license will be valid at least until the date of the hearing. At the hearing the State must prove certain facts. If they fail to do so, your license will not be suspended.
What if I’m guilty of the charge? Do I still need a lawyer?
Absolutely. Your attorney is the only person with the knowledge and the motivation to get you through the legal system with the minimum amount of consequences. The prosecutor, the court clerks, and even the judge have their interests in mind, not yours. Quite often this means they will recommend what will save them the most time, not what will obtain the best result for you.
What is the process for getting out of jail once a person is arrested?
After being arrested a person will be booked into jail; followed by an arraignment; bail will be set, and once the bail money is paid a person will then be booked out.
What is an occupational driver’s license, and why would I need one?
An occupational driver’s license is a restricted license issued by DPS which allows you to drive to and from work, school and in the performance of necessary household duties during the period of suspension. The license may limit the times you are allowed to drive to specified hours, counties or roadways.
Can I get probation if I have a prior felony conviction?
You still may be given probation if the Judge decides that justice will be better served to grant you probation or if the District Attorney offers probation as a plea bargain.
What is the difference between Probation and Deferred Adjudication?
Probation results from a guilty finding and from a suspended sentence. Upon fulfilling the probation requirements, you will not be sent to prison or jail. In Deferred Adjudication, the Judge finds that there is enough evidence to find you guilty, but defers a guilty finding while he places you on community supervision, i.e. probation. In a regular probation, the maximum the Judge can sentence you to in prison is the number of years that you were given on probation. For example if you are on a straight probation for a felony drug charge and you received 3 years of probation, the maximum amount of time you can receive in prison if you are revoked is 3 years.