I Know Some Law Stuff

Since Paris Hilton may be going back to the hoosegow, I thought I'd throw out how the typical probation violation should work. (Assuming she had been originally arrested in Texas, leaving Frilly's after midnight, and headed to my house.) (1) A plea agreement is struck. (2) Normally it would be something like this: 180 days in the Wise County Jail but that jail time would be probated for a specific period of time, say 12 months. There would also be a a fine and a bunch of hoops the defendant would have to jump through to satisfy the probation department. But all the conditions of probation are in the judgment. You know what you have to do. (3) The probation order means this: You're on probation for 12 months and if you don't screw up the probation, The Government can never send you to jail. If you do screw up the probation, and The Government can prove it before a judge, that judge can sentence you up to 180 days in jail. (4) One of the conditions of probation will be that the defendant "not violate the law of this state or any other state." (California probably does this as well) (5) Paris had a suspended license and she was caught driving on a suspended license while on probation. Assuming she knew her license was suspended, that's a violation of the law. (6) It would be up to the prosecutor to decide if that violation was "bad enough" to try and revoke the probation. (Although I think she had some other "technical" violations as well.) In Paris case, the prosecutor decided to go forward with a Motion to Revoke. (7) In Wise County, if the prosecutor successfully attempts to revoke your DWI probation, the judge normally will sentence someone to jail in the 120 to 180 day range. (8) Paris got what? 20+ days. I don't know what the maximum number of days she could have received. (But here's where you hear some confusing reports in her case. Is she being sent to jail for driving on a suspended license? Well, yeah. But it is more accurate to say that she is being sent to jail for violating the conditions of a DWI probation.) (8) Not all violations cause a Motion to Revoke to be filed. Say someone falls behind in their community service or the paying of fines but is doing everything else right. Most of the time, the probation will try and work with a defendant instead of alerting the prosecutor to this minor violation.