Probation offers an alternative to serving jail time when facing criminal charges. It is a sentence itself with many conditions to complete. Failing to complete the conditions can create a new set of problems when one is involved in the criminal justice system.
When you are accused of violating probation, the case re-opens the original criminal case. If you are facing this situation, you need legal representation from criminal defense lawyers to receive a fair outcome. Your lawyers can provide essential guidance throughout the entire legal process.
Contact Wolf Law LLC today for expert legal representation on matters regarding criminal charges, probation violation hearings, jail or prison sentences – whatever stage in the process you may be facing.
What Does It Mean to Violate Probation in Colorado?
Violating probation means that someone has violated the terms of court-ordered supervision. The terms of probation can vary based on different factors, such as the severity of the crime committed and personal circumstances.
Individuals who fail to comply with any condition of probation may face many consequences for violation. Whereas some offenses may be minor and only result in a warning or modification of the conditions, other violations may be more serious and lead to severe consequences including revocation of probation and being sent back to jail or prison.
Types of Probation Violations in Colorado
Violating any term or condition of your agreement can result in being charged with a probation violation.
In Colorado, there are different types of probation violations, such as:
- Failing to report to your probation officer as required: This can happen if you move without notifying your probation officer, or if you fail to attend a scheduled meeting.
- Committing a new criminal offense while on probation: This means that you committed a crime during your probation.
- Failing a drug test: If drugs were part of the original offense, testing positive will likely result in severe consequences. These include revocation of probation or extension of the sentence.
- Missing curfew: A probation officer may require you to be home by a specific time each day. Failing to comply could result in revocation of the sentence.
- Failing to pay restitution, fines, or fees: You must pay any court-ordered fines and restitution on time.
- Failing to perform community service: You may be required to complete court-ordered community service hours or programs.
The Consequences of a Probation Violation
When a person is granted probation, he or she must comply with all the terms and conditions set by the court.
Failure to comply could result in these minor-to-severe consequences:
- Revocation of probation: One consequence of a probation violation is that it can lead to a probation revocation hearing. If a judge decides to revoke probation, you could be taken back into custody, and your original sentence could be enforced.
- Probation restrictions: In some cases, you may be given additional rules and regulations. Restrictions could include mandatory drug testing, curfews, travel limitations, or other requirements.
- Commitment to Youth Offender Services: Juvenile offenders may be sent to the a Juvenile Detention Facility. A young offender may be given an intensive probation supervision program.
- Charges entering on your criminal record: Violating your probation can also result in criminal charges entering onto your record that may originally have been deferred. These could mean more fines, jail time, or even prison time, depending on the severity of the offense.
- Loss of personal opportunities: A violation on your record could affect future opportunities, including employment prospects or obtaining loans from financial institutions. It may also negatively impact child custody arrangements during divorce proceedings.
If an arrest warrant is issued for violating your probation, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Discuss with that attorney, turning yourself in as soon as is practical. Waiting for law enforcement to apprehend you is not necessarily always the best idea. Discuss with your attorney the potential benefits of turning yourself in, relating to displaying good faith and demonstrating that you are taking responsibility for your actions.
How Much Time Can You Get for a Probation Violation in Colorado?
In Colorado criminal law, violating your probation opens you up to the original sentencing options available to the court on your original conviction. This could include potential jail or prison time in the same range as prior to being granted probation. A significant concern for anyone facing a probation violation is how much time he or she will get.
If you have violated probation, several factors are considered before issuing a sentence. These include:
- Whether or not harm was done during the offense
- Whether or not innocent parties were involved
- The severity of the violation
- Any previous criminal history
- Any previous probation violations
- Mitigating factors present in your life, such as:
- Your current employment status
- Your family situation
- Drug and/or alcohol treatment
- Mental Health treatment
To learn more about the penalties you may face for a violation of probation, consult a Colorado criminal defense lawyer. He or she can guide you through every step in your legal proceeding.
What to Expect at a Probation Violation Hearing in Colorado
Facing a probation violation hearing alone can be overwhelming. During the hearing, you can expect the following:
- You can attempt to reach an agreement with the prosecutor and probation officer. A lawyer can help negotiate this outcome prior to the case going to a hearing.
- If you do not reach an agreement, you will have a probation revocation hearing. Attend court on the given date and time for your hearing. You may want to consult with a criminal defense attorney beforehand on how best to present mitigating evidence.
- During the hearing itself, your legal representation will present your arguments. Your lawyer can argue that there is either not a preponderance of evidence or proof beyond a reasonable doubt (in the event of a new law violation allegation) as to whether you violated your probation terms.
- The judge will then make a decision based on all presented arguments. If the judge agrees with the prosecution, consequences may include revocation of probation or even a jail or prison sentence. The decision depends on the severity of the offense committed.
In the end, beating a probation violation requires proper preparation before your court date. You must take every step necessary towards preparing your defense. Seek the help of trusted legal counsel, like our attorneys at Wolf Law LLC.
3 Strategies to help your Probation Violation in Colorado
Navigating a probation violation can be a stressful and complex experience. However, with the right legal team supporting you, it is possible to beat a probation violation.
To beat probation violation charges, you can:
- Request a hearing to contest the charges. Your attorney can help you prepare for a hearing, where you will be able to present evidence and testimony on why your probation should not be revoked or modified.
- Prove that you have met all the terms and conditions of your probation. Your attorney can help you get documentation and evidence to show that you have been compliant with all the requirements of your probation.
- Seek alternative sentencing options. You can seek alternative forms of sentencing, such as an increase in community service hours. You can also inquire about available treatment programs and the like.
How Can a Lawyer Help With a Probation Violation?
If you are facing a probation violation case, it is essential to have the guidance and assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Hiring legal help is worth it, because:
- A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights. Your legal team can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. They will help you develop an effective strategy for defending against the charges.
- A criminal defense lawyer will review the terms of your probation. This is done to determine whether or not you violated any conditions. If there is not a preponderance of evidence necessary to sustain the revocation, you may avoid jail or other consequences.
- A lawyer will check for any issues with how evidence was obtained or other procedural defects. Depending on how evidence was gathered, there may be room to avoid a violation in your case. Your constitutional rights may have been violated by the probation department or law enforcement. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge these matters successfully in court.
Our Attorneys Can Represent You at Your Probation Violation Hearing
Violating probation is a serious offense that can lead to severe consequences. Following the terms of your probation and reporting to your probation officer helps you maintain your freedom.
However, if you do find yourself facing a probation revocation hearing, seek assistance before your court date. This can make all the difference in avoiding a harsh outcome.
At Wolf Law LLC, our criminal defense lawyers have years of experience in helping people like you. We readily defend and seek justice for clients facing probation violation hearings. We understand how to navigate Colorado’s criminal justice system effectively.
The right lawyer can make all the difference. Protect your rights and get help seeking a positive outcome for your probation violation case. Contact our lawyers at Wolf Law LLC today. Call (720) 479-8574 or complete the online form to schedule a free consultation.