September 28, 2023
If you are put on probation, you still have to display excellent behavior and stay out of trouble. Actions that are perfectly legal for anyone else may put you back in the courtroom – or possibly even jail.
Depending on the terms of your probation, one of those actions may be the seemingly innocuous decision to have a few drinks. Ty Lawson is learning this the hard way.
Back in 2015, when Lawson was still playing with the Denver Nuggets, he was arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles. He was pulled over by police because he was speeding, admitted to drinking before getting behind the wheel, and failed several roadside sobriety tests. The arrest was Lawson’s fourth DUI in seven years.
Afterward, Lawson was put on probation. Usually, DUI offenders are told that during probation, they need to stay sober to get out of trouble. After allegedly failing three tests for alcohol, Lawson is back in the courtroom again. He is facing accusations of violating his probation.
The now-Sacramento Kings player has denied violating his probation. After appearing in court in late March, he was granted a six-week stay, and will head back to court on May 4. Colorado authorities have reported that they are looking to revoke Lawson’s probation, which could mean jail time for the basketball player.
If Lawson is charged with violating his probation, he will need to come up with a good defense strategy. In addition to testing positive for alcohol three times (he was told to stay sober for at least a year), Lawson has allegedly not completed the community service that was ordered as part of his probation.
Testing positive for alcohol three times in one year is typically very solid evidence against someone who is accused of violating their probation by drinking. However, if you read our blog post from last week, you know that breathalyzers may not be as reliable as we think.
To sum up the story, hundreds of Breathalyzers used in DUI cases from 2013 on may not have been properly tested or certified. The device in question, the Intoxilyzer 9000, has also caused big problems in states like Texas and Georgia. While the details of when Lawson tested positive for alcohol and what type of tests were used are not clear, the recent speculations around breathalyzers gives Lawson a reason to fight the charges against him.
If You Are Charged with Violating Probation
Drinking Can Put You in Jail If You’re On Probation. If you are put on probation, it is very important to read through all of the terms of your probation after you leave the courtroom. While the terms of your probation are determined by the crime that you committed (it is unlikely someone that committed fraud or a white collar crime would be asked to refrain from alcohol), they should still be reviewed so they can be completed on time.
Defense Strategies Are Available. Don’t give up, even if prosecutors tell you they have solid evidence against you. Failed breathalyzers is just one defense strategy that could keep you out of jail.
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer. Your best defense strategy? Get legal counsel. A Denver probation violation lawyer can help you understand the terms of your probation, and how to fight charges if you are accused of violating them.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.