Surprise, Your Weekend Service is Revoked

By Allen, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Kyle T. Therrian
Office Number: (972) 562-7549
24 Hr Jail Release: (214) 403-6522

Serving a jail sentence intermittently, or during weekends, can make serving a jail sentence more appealing – sometimes even more appealing than the option of probation. However, even when your attorney is able to persuade the judge to exercise his discretion and grant weekend service, there may be hidden terms and conditions of this order. In Collin County, almost every judge has a standing order with the Collin County jail which authorizes the jail to drug test folks doing weekend service and to revoke that service in the event a drug test comes back positive. This sounds a heck more like probation than it does a jail sentence . . . surprise!

Personally, I perceive a number of legal issues with this practice. First, although there is no right to demand weekend service – once the “privilege” has been granted by a judge under the law, the individual has been granted a liberty interest which cannot not be arbitrarily withdrawn – certainly not by a deputy at the jail. At a minimum Due Process requires the right to a hearing and the opportunity to be heard before weekend service is revoked. Second, an individual should be informed of any standing orders prior to exiting the courtroom on the day of his/her plea. The Code of Criminal Procedure requires that an individual’s sentence be pronounced in his presence and creates no exception for weekend service contingencies.

Unfortunately, weekend service usually corresponds with fairly short jail sentences. This means that if the trial court decides not to afford these protections to an individual, they may never be addressed by a higher court. The moral of this story is to make sure you are not checking in for your weekend service with funky stuff in your pee–especially if when a judge puts you on notice that your weekend service may be revoked.

*Kyle Therrian is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice on any case you should contact an attorney directly.

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