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Can help you stay out of jail,
continue working, living with your family
and fulfilling your goals in life.
Here’s how you can do it
The Judge has spoken
|So, you made a mistake - made the wrong decision - and were arrested. The Judge placed you under the supervision of the Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (Adult Probation.)
If you think being on probation is easy, think again. You will need to comply with some stringent rules and regulations. Depending on your assessment and evaluation you may also need to attend, treatment meetings, as required by the courts.
The big advantage to being on probation is that you will not be incarcerated. Instead, you will be able to continue working at your job and living at home with your family. If you comply with all the conditions of your probation, you may even be eligible for early release or eligible to have your record sealed. The decision of how you comply with the conditions of your probation will be yours and yours alone. Your probation officer will be available to answer any questions or doubts you may have and to give you the support you may need. You may also consult your attorney if you have additional questions.
Always keep in mind that if you do not satisfy all the conditions of your probation, the alternative is that the Judge may need to make a decision that could impact your freedom to come and go as you please.
Basic conditions of probation
|The judge will impose such conditions on your probation as Indicated by the offense committed and by your life's circumstances. These would include:
- Reporting once a month or as required by the court to your assigned probation officer.
- Refraining from committing new crimes.
- Abstaining from abusing alcoholic beverages, other drugs.
- Avoiding all visits to bars and night clubs.
- Providing your dependents and family members with the needed economic support.
- Attending court ordered group counseling and drug education programs.
- Participating in alcohol and drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation programs as ordered by the court.
- Performing community service restitution work.
- Paying probation and court fees ordered by the court.
Where to go for help
|The first person you need to ask for help is your probation officer. He/she is your link to the courts and all services provided by the Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections Department. The Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Services (CATS) department is administered by the Dallas County CSCD and performs mental health and substance abuse screening. In most instances the services available to you depend on the risk assessment. The Assessment Unit decides if an offender is placed on regular monthly or intense weekly supervision.
So many questions / So many decisions
|Being arrested, going to court and getting sentenced is not something you wanted or needed in your life. Fortunately, you were placed on probation and not sent to prison, but what can you do now to make sure you comply with the terms of your probation? Do you tell your boss what happened, your wife, mother, children, and siblings? How can you tell your boss you may need some time off to report to your probation officer or to attend some of the required classes? Will your boss understand? Will your friends refrain from teasing and pressuring you to go for a drink with them? Will you be able to take the peer pressure from them and refuse to go? For how long?
What if I lose my job? What if I can't find another because I now have a police record? What if I can't stop drinking? What about my family? What do I do now?
Setting goals should be first
|Now that you’re on probation, the first question you have to ask yourself-before asking all those other questions – is what do I really want to do with my life? What is my goal for the future? Do I have a goal? Do I really want to continue my life reacting to my mistakes, instead of taking control of my actions and avoid repeating the same errors. Remember,
the next time you are arrested the judge might not be so lenient.
First, write down your goals and make a contract with yourself on the things you want from life now.
These could be:
- Stop drinking and abusing drugs.
- Take better care of your family. Show your wife/husband and children, mother/father and siblings that you love them, and they can count on you.
- Take care of your job or find another. If you like the job you have now prove to yourself and your boss, you can do better. If you do not like your job, look for another that will be more challenging and more to your liking.
- Enlist the support of your family. Surround yourself and your family with the people and things that help with your success and bring all of you closer together.
Tips on complying with probation
|Achieving your goals has the advantage that it goes hand-in-hand with complying with your probation. If you were placed on probation for DWl, one condition is to avoid drinking and abusing drugs. Here are some tips on how you can do that:
Be sure you have a valid reason for failure to report. Call your probation officer and reschedule your meeting as soon as possible. Be sure to take a written excuse from your doctor, boss, etc. for your prior absence. Do not lie to your probation officer, it will make things worse and it will go on your record.
- Avoid going out with your negative influences. Peer pressure is difficult to resist, particularly when your friends start teasing you for not drinking. You need to keep your cool and say no, or get new friends. If you are seen in a bar and if you are stopped again for drunk driving, this violates your probation.
- Do not fail to report to your probation officer. If you are not going to make your appointment on time or cannot be there at all, call your probation officer and advise him/her of your problem.
Overcoming an addiction is not easy and your probation officer understands. He/she can offer the help you need. The Dallas County CSCD has several programs designed to help you take control of your addiction.
- Do not commit more crimes. If you feel you cannot control your drinking, your use of drugs or your temper, talk to your probation officer. Ask for help. Most second, third and following offenses are committed under the influence.
While most alcohol and drug abuse education programs are on an outpatient basis, the department has two residential treatment centers that offer rehabilitation.
“How could this have happened to me? I will now have a record. What will my bosses
say? Will I be fired? What will my father/mother say? Nobody in my family has ever been arrested. How can I face my wife, my children, friends/coworkers? Will be able to comply with all the requirements of probation? I don't know,”
Attend all court ordered programs. Dallas County CSCD offers several counseling and education programs, including those on alcohol and drug abuse, anger management or cognitive behavior. It's to your benefit to attend. Being arrested tends to have a sobering impact on the individual and whether we want to admit it or not, it hits our confidence, particularly if it's your first arrest. You start second-guessing yourself.
Participating in those programs will give you the answer. So will your probation officer. If you find
yourself in trouble again, and the judge orders you to a treatment center, go. Take advantage of the services provided to help you.
Perform your community service as ordered by the courts. The amount of time you need to give to the community is designated by the judge. The work you will perform during that time depends on your talents and skills.
- Pay your fines and fees as ordered by the court. The judge will stipulate how much in fees you will have to pay the probation department every month. But you will have to explain your economic situation honestly to the judge. The judge will set your fees, making sure your family does not suffer, you need to pay your fees, other wise your probation release will be delayed, and you need to be responsible for supporting your family.
Standard Operations Procedure
for Satellite Offices
- Entering the office:
- Everyone must pass thru the metal detector. DO NOT bring putty knives, mace, or anything that could be classified as a weapon. If you wear steel toed boots or shoes, you may be required to remove them. Everyone must sign in at the door.
- No guests are allowed. Only people on probation are permitted to enter the building due to safety issues. Reporting with children is discouraged, however if you must bring them they must be in your presence at all times. Please keep
your children quiet or you may be asked to leave the building. This is an extension of the Court so children must behave and be respectful. Sex offenders report to this office so watch your children.
- Food and drinks are not allowed.
- Smoking and or the use of chewing tobacco is not permitted.
- Complete a monthly report at every visit. It is okay to take some home so you do not have to spend time completing a form before being seen. Be sure and complete every blank and sign the form.
- Sign in. Your probation officer will check the clipboards to see who is here. Please do not ask the clerk to contact your probation officer. It is very important for you to keep all appointments and be patient. Payments are made to the Clerk, but please report first. We only accept money orders. NO CASH will be accepted. If you would like to pay by credit card or check your balance please visit www.payfeesnow.com.
- Keep your appointment date and time. Your probation officer has an average of 15-25 clients each report day. If you are late, then your probation officer’s schedule is affected.
- Respect. This is a Probation Office an extension of the Court. Please turn off your cell phone and use your quiet voice.
- Proper attire. You will not be allowed to wear any provocative attire. This includes swimsuits, halter tops, short shorts, and PJ’s. Shoes must be worn at all times, please no house shoes. Inappropriate attire could result in you being rescheduled to come at another time.
- Parking. You can park in any space except the designated Handicap Space, Police Parking Space and Supervisor parking space.