Early Termination: Don’t Spend Unnecessary Time on Probation


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


Early Termination of ProbationThe Texas Code of Criminal Procedure incentivizes diligence by permitting early termination of probation. Article 42.12 Section 20 provides that “at any time after the defendant has satisfactorily completed one-third of the original community supervision period . . . the period of community supervision may be reduced or terminated by the judge.”

The operative word of the statute is “may.” The judge is under no statutory obligation to discharge a probationer early—a judge must be persuaded that early termination is appropriate on a case-by-case basis. This is also referred to as judicial discretion. While there is no precise formula which triggers a favorable exercise of judicial discretion, there are certainly factors which get plugged into the discretion matrix with different weight.

Factors Which Are Usually a Pre-Requisite to Early Termination:

  • Payment of all fines, fees and court costs;
  • Payment of any restitution that was ordered;
  • Completion of all community service;
  • Completion of any treatment ordered as a condition of probation;
  • Completion of any courses assigned as a condition of probation;
  • Completion of any evaluations required as a condition of probation;
  • Completion of any counseling required as a condition of probation.

Factors Which Improve the Chances of Early Termination

  • Arriving punctually to probation meetings and other probation obligations;
  • Passing every single drug test;
  • If required to have an ignition interlock – good test records;
  • Full-time employment or school enrollment;
  • Good relationship with the probation officer;
  • Accomplishments above and beyond that required by probation;
  • Accomplishments regarded as self-help or self-improvement.

Factors Which Probably Eliminate Chances of Early Termination

  • Multiple or recently failed drug tests;
  • Multiple failed ignition interlock tests;
  • Multiple unexcused absences from probation meetings;
  • New offenses while on probation;
  • Underlying offense involved egregious facts

Statutorily Disqualified

  • DWI Cases
  • Generally, the most serious of felony offenses defined by the Code of Criminal Procedure as 3(g) offenses.



*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.

Speak Your Mind