Someone googled:

“Whose decision is it to put someone in jail if you fail a drug test while on probation?”

Well, if you fail a U/A while on probation, your probation officer will file a motion to revoke which causes paperwork asking that a warrant issues to be sent to the court for the judge’s signature.

On some minor violations the court will actually issue a summons instead of a warrant (at least in Austin) but most judges around here will authorize the warrant for a positive specimen.

So initially the ‘decision’ is the PO’s and the judge’s, if you’re talking about the decision to issue a warrant. If and when you bond out of jail, however you still face revocation proceedings in court.

I think this is what the question is really asking about, and the answer is: the judge.

In Texas – and I’d bet in almost every place as well – you are not entitled to a jury trial to decide whether or not you are in violation of probation. And worse still, the state need not prove the violation beyond a reasonable doubt, but only “by a preponderance” which means more likely than not.

So, try not to fail any U/As on probation, and there’s really only one good way to make sure of that, if you catch my drift…


  • patecakes

    If the person is on probation for a misdemeanor charge totally unrelated to drug issues, and is required to submit to drug testing a part of probation, and if the person had an alco/drug evaluation that indicated no treatment needed and fails a drug test, then what? Is this just another ploy for getting more fees? If jails are crowded already, then it would seem revoking probation for something like this when the evaluation is to the contrary is contradictory and extreme.

  • Sadly, Courts are unsympathetic to the specific needs of drug offenders. Most Criminal Court Judges simply lump all defendants into one group for “treatment”.