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So You Broke Probation

So you broke probation…

Despite its forgiving name, probation is not a condition to take lightly. If you’re being monitored and you break that extension of privileges, you may do more than start all over again. That said, there are legitimate reasons—for example, losing a job and not being able to afford restitution—that people just trying to get back on track violate probation.

Here’s what you need to know about probation violation in Colorado.

What constitutes probation violation?

Well, it depends on your offense and what the judge ordered in your case. While all citizens on probation are generally required to remain “law abiding,” or not break the law again while under observation, violations vary based on your specific case. For example, if the court assigned you the probationary condition of regular therapy or community service, you must follow this directive or risk violation. Probation for an alcohol-related offense or an offense by those with documented mental health needs also carry specific orders assigned by special state agencies. Common violations include:

  •  Not paying for restitution
  •  Leaving one of 22 assigned Colorado jurisdictions
  •  Neglecting to check in with an assigned probation officer
  •  Altering or breaking electronic monitoring devices
  •  Failing or not submitting a urinalysis or drug analysis
  • Failing to report an address change

Consequences in Colorado

Whether you’re on probation after spending time in county jail or were never required to serve time for an offense, consequences for violating probation are serious and may include returning to or entering a correctional facility for an extended period. Other penalties include fines, mandated counseling and rehabilitation. There’s also the possibility that you may not be able to expunge your record in the future and may have to complete a previous sentence before being jailed or paying penalties for the new conviction.

What’s the next step?

If you broke probation or think you may have violated a probation directive, call a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense. A defense lawyer can help you navigate the legal processes surrounding probation violation. Having a strong attorney who can provide a compelling reason for why you violated probation is the most effective move you can make.