Getting Sued and Texas Criminal Probation

Getting Sued and Texas Criminal Probation

Recently I had a client come into my office because he was getting sued on an unrelated case. This was a big deal to him because he’s on criminal probation. He was worried that getting sued while on probation could get him revoked. If you’re on misdemeanor or felony probation in Texas, if you get revoked, you may be looking at years in prison. This is the same as staring down the barrel of a gun for most people. However, just to ease your fears, you can’t have your  probation revoked for being sued in an unrelated civil lawsuit. These two things are like apples and oranges.

Civil lawsuits, Getting Sued, and Texas Criminal Probation

In a previous post I talked about the different types of probation in Texas. You can read more about it there by following that link. First, if you’re involved in a civil lawsuit or, as it’s usually called “getting sued”, that is a separate issue from your criminal probation. This is assuming that the civil lawsuit and your criminal case (the reason you’re on probation) aren’t related.  Whether you’re on a Deferred Adjudication or a “Straight Probation”, getting sued shouldn’t affect the conditions of your probation.

Civil law and criminal law are different parts of our legal system. Civil law involves suing someone for money, property, or performance under a contract. These are cases where someone owed you money, you were injured, did not perform services that you paid for, or you did not receive the thing which you bargained for. The can also include consumer protection violations where fraud and deceptive business practices are claimed.

Just like a criminal case, you have the right to a jury trial in a civil case.

Civil lawsuit don’t have jail time attached. Jail time is only associated with criminal law. Don’t be afraid to mention a civil case to your probation officer. There is no need to hide it. Follow your conditions of probation and you should be just fine.

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