For criminal offenders, to be placed on probation in Colorado is a little like being given a second chance. The term probation refers to a sentence handed down by the court when someone pleads guilty to a criminal offense or is found guilty of a criminal offense. It is a period of surveillance following a conviction in which the behavior of the offender is monitored. If the offender can demonstrate good behavior they may be able to avoid jail, prison or other more serious sentence.
The conditions of each person’s probation are determined by the court and differ depending on what crime or crimes they committed, but can include community service, mandatory counseling and screening for substance abuse.
While some of the conditions will be quite obvious and apply to everyone- for instance, don’t break laws- others may differ based on what crime was committed- for instance, compulsory addiction counseling. The duration of a probation sentence will vary also, depending on individual circumstances, but typically ranges from 1 to 3 years.
In Colorado, probation can be an alternative for juveniles and adults who have been convicted of particular misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. However, the following offenses will render someone ineligible for probation:
- A conviction of a class 1 felony or a class 2 petty offense,
- Two convictions of a felony in any state,
- Convictions of one or more felonies in the U.S. over the past 10 years of a class 1, 2 or 3 felony conviction,
- A conviction of second-degree burglary,
- A conviction of a felony against a child,
- A conviction of theft of an object valued at greater than $500, or
- A conviction of any of the previously mentioned crimes in other states.
Someone can violate their probation in two different ways; 1) with a technical violation, which is essentially violating one or more of the conditions of your probation, i.e. testing positive for drugs, or 2) with a substantive violation which involves committing an offense completely unrelated to your primary conviction.
Violations of your probation terms most always carry consequences. With any luck, your first violation may get you only a warning from your probation officer, however, probation violations can land you back in front of the judge.
If a complaint for a violation of your probation is filed with the court, a hearing will be held to determine whether if you have indeed violated your probation. Your probation will be revoked if it is determined that you have violated any condition. Undoubtedly, there will be consequences. Those could include:
- Fees or fines
- Jail or prison time
- Community corrections
Probation: Understanding Your Rights
In some cases, completion of the conditions imposed by your probation could qualify you for early termination of probation. Additionally, if your probation agreement is a deferred judgement and sentence, you could have your criminal record sealed upon successful completion of the conditions of your probation.
However, a probation violation could result in arrest based on a “no bond” warrant.
Before accepting probation, make sure you can adhere to the terms and conditions outlined by the court.
Anyone sentenced to probation has inherent rights. Those include the right to:
- Receive a written notice of violations you’re being charged with
- A fair court trial
- An attorney
- Provide evidence in support of your case
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, it is important to speak to an experienced Boulder criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your attorney will be able to fight for your rights and protect your future by building a solid defense from the start. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.