How do I know what my legal rights are for jail time? 2 Answers as of July 20, 2011I am on probation in Texas and behind on my payments. I had an administrative hearing Thursday before last and was given a 10 day sanction. However I was told after a week in jail that I could not get out till I pay what I am behind. I was in jail for a week and then was released last Thursday and given until today to get the money or I will have another 10 day sanction. My question is the first seven days I was in jail do they count for anything. I feel that I was wrongfully imprisoned for the first seven days. Is there anything I can do?
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
IF I understand your question correctly, the answer is no. The sanction as you called it was likely "terms and conditions" time and does not count for back-time nor does it count towards fines, cost, etc. It is exactly what it is, extra punishment for failure to comply. Think of it this way, you do something wrong, your mother catches you and grounds you for a week (no TV) and 6 days later, she catches you watching TV and adds another 3 days to your grounding period. The extra 3 days are extra punishment. T&C time is similar, extra punishment.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42.12 section 21 (c) provides: (c) In a community supervision revocation hearing at which it is alleged only that the defendant violated the conditions of community supervision by failing to pay compensation paid to appointed counsel, community supervision fees, or court costs, the state must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was able to pay and did not pay as ordered by the judge. The court may order a community supervision and corrections department to obtain information pertaining to the factors listed under Article 42.037(h) of this code and include that information in the report required under Section 9(a) of this article or a separate report, as the court directs. If you do not have other violations, they cannot revoke your probation for inability to pay. I am not sure about "sanctioning" you for the inability to pay when the result is incarceration. The reason for this section is that in Texas we do not have debtors' prison for anything other than failure to pay child support. Did you also realize that if you are eventually revoked that you do not get credit for the time you served as a "sanction"? (Or at least I do not think you do. I know that you do not get credit for time served as a condition of probation.) If I were you, I would talk to a local lawyer to see if you can do anything about this, or contact a local law school to see if you can get help. I have not done research but this does not seem right.
Answer Applies to: Texas