Probation in Colorado is somewhat of a second chance for criminal offenders. It’s a period of time after conviction in which offenders are monitored for good behavior to avoid a more serious sentence, such as jail or prison. The terms of probation vary from person to person and depend on the crimes committed, but may include mandatory counseling, community service and alcohol monitoring.
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? In order to understand what happens when you violate probation in Colorado, we must first understand what exactly probation is.
About Probation in Colorado
A probation sentence is issued by the court 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 from person to person. 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
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 actually 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, it’s imperative that you 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
A probation violation of any kind is a very serious matter. If you find yourself accused of violating the terms of your probation, the best thing you can do is contact a qualified criminal defense attorney to examine your case and mitigate any potential consequences.
If you’re in need of a probation violation attorney, contact us for a free consultation. We’re ready to fight for your case.