If you’ve been convicted of (or plead guilty to) a crime, you’ll face certain charges. These vary depending on individual circumstances, but some people can get probation in Colorado. This means the court will outline a specific set of rules and guidelines that you need to adhere to. If you break your commitment to follow these rules, you could face serious consequences.
Depending on the seriousness of your violation, you could face additional penalties in the state of Colorado if you violate probation. These penalties could include:
- Having your probation extended
- House arrest
- Electronic monitoring
- Additional restrictions on your existing probation
- Jail time
- Mandatory counseling
- Community service
- Alcohol monitoring
The point of being put on probation in Colorado is to give you a chance to show the courts you’re willing and able to adhere to the punishment handed down by the judge. If you choose to violate the terms of your probation, the courts will likely seek further means of punishment. This is why you need an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney on your side.
What Does It Mean to be Put on Probation in Colorado?
Probation in Colorado is somewhat of a second chance for criminal offenders. It’s a period after conviction in which offenders are monitored for good behavior to avoid a more severe sentence, such as jail or prison.
A probation violation occurs when someone goes against the terms of his or her probation sentence. When this happens, probation violation consequences are almost a guarantee.
So, what are the probation violation consequences in Colorado? To understand what happens when you violate probation in Colorado, we must first understand what exactly probation is.
About Probation in Colorado
The court issues a probation sentence after an adult is found guilty of or pleads guilty to a criminal offense.
Terms of probation are set forth by the court and vary by person and individual incident. Some terms are straightforward and obvious (i.e., don’t break any laws) while others may depend on the crime committed, such as a requirement to attend mandatory addiction counseling. The length of time one has to endure probation also varies but usually spans from 1 to 3 years.
Probation is an option in Colorado for adults and juveniles who have been convicted of certain non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. Exceptions include:
- Those convicted of a class 1 felony or a class 2 petty offense
- Those who have been twice convicted of a felony in any state
- Those who have been convicted of one or more felonies in the U.S. in the past ten years of a previous class 1, 2, or 3 felony conviction.
- Those who have been convicted of second-degree burglary
- Those who have been convicted of theft of an object valued at more than $500
- Those who have been convicted of a felony against a child
- Those who have been convicted of the aforementioned crimes in other states
Types of Probation Violations in Colorado
There are two types of probation violations: technical and substantive.
- Technical probation violations are violations of probation terms set forth by the court. An example of a technical probation violation in Colorado may include testing positive for drugs or failing to show up to a mandatory counseling session.
- Substantive probation violations are new criminal charges that arise during your probation sentence. A crime that’s unrelated to the crime you’re originally charged with constitutes a new crime and a substantive probation violation.
Since there is a difference between technical and substantive probation violations, they each come with their own respective set of consequences.
Colorado Probation Violation Consequences
Probation violations almost always come with consequences. If it’s your first violation and you’re lucky, you may get by with a warning from your probation officer. Otherwise, you will have to face a judge.
To determine if probation has been violated, a complaint will first be filed with the court. The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether or not probation has been violated. If the court determines probation has been violated, then probation will be revoked, leading to next steps.
If you violate your probation terms, you’re almost guaranteed to receive consequences. Consequences of probation violation may include:
- Community corrections
- Jail or prison time
- Fines and fees
Colorado Probation Laws: Your Rights
If you are charged with a probation violation in Colorado, you must understand your legal rights to avoid additional consequences.
Your legal rights include:
- The right to receive a written notice of the violations you’re being charged with
- The right to a fair trial in court
- The right to an attorney
- The right to present evidence to support your case
COVID-19’s Affect on Probation Violation in Colorado
During these unprecedented times, it’s possible that you may not be able to see a judge in a timely manner. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to break probation. If you are caught doing something you’re not supposed to be doing, the courts can still hand down harsh penalties that can cost you time and/or money.
During COVID-19, be sure to check in with your probation officer as instructed, even if the appointments are online or via phone. If you have questions, reach out to your attorney. Although many businesses are closed to the public, many of them are still operating at limited capacity behind the scenes.
A probation violation of any kind is a very serious matter. If you find yourself accused of violating the terms of your probation, you could be facing financial penalties, counseling, or even jail time. The best thing you can do is contact a qualified criminal defense attorney to examine your case and mitigate any potential consequences.
If you in need a probation violation attorney, contact the Law Offices of M. Colin Breese for a free consultation. We’re ready to fight for your case.