So You Violated Your Probation
Posted By: Jacob Martinez
If you were convicted of a crime, you know that the repercussions from that crime don’t quickly go away. Even if you were placed on probation instead of being incarcerated, you may have a long road ahead of you to make sure you’re compliant with your probation sentence.
For many, probation can be complicated because of the numerous rules and restrictions involved. If you don’t follow those rules and restrictions completely, you will be in violation of your probation and will have to suffer the consequences.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of your probation sentence.
Terms and Conditions of Probation in Colorado
So what are the rules of your probation?
Depending on the nature of your crime, your terms could be different from someone else’s. Both adult and juvenile felony and misdemeanor offenders can be placed on probation. Whatever your situation is, a risk assessment will be conducted in order to determine the amount of supervision necessary so that you won’t commit a crime again.
If you were convicted of a drug offense, you may have your case assigned to Drug Court, which requires a high level of supervision because one of your probation terms will be to maintain sustained sobriety.
The court can use its own discretion to set the terms of your probation sentence, but there are certain conditions that are the same for anyone. These conditions are:
- The defendant can’t commit another criminal offense while on probation.
- The defendant will make restitution – pay any fines or fees imposed by the court.
- The defendant has to comply with any court orders regarding drug testing or substance abuse treatment.
- The defendant can’t harass, molest, threaten, retaliate against, or tamper with the victim or any witness to the crime.
In addition to these terms, you are also responsible to pay $50 a month as a supervision fee if you are on supervised probation.
The court can also require the defendant to adhere to special conditions. These special conditions may include that a defendant:
- Have a steady job or enroll in education courses or vocational training that will provide the defendant with the necessary tools to secure a job.
- Be treated for a medical or psychiatric condition or remain in a specific facility in order to undergo that treatment.
- Attend or live in a facility intended for people on probation.
- Participate in restorative justice programs where the harms associated with crimes are identified and repaired.
- Provide support to his or her family, including child support.
- Pay reasonable court costs and supervision costs of probation.
- Not be in possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon unless permission is granted by the court or probation officer.
- Refrain from excessive use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or an abusable drug without a prescription.
- Report to a probation officer.
- Allow a probation officer to visit his or her home.
And so on and so on. As you can see, a probation sentence can be very restrictive and limiting as to what you can and can’t do while you’re on probation. The terms and conditions of your probation could be so complex that you might not even realize you’re breaking your probationary terms.
If you don’t understand the terms of your probation, you may want to contact a probation lawyer to explain the terms – and your rights.
So what happens if, for some reason, you violate the terms and conditions of your probation?
Maybe you missed a meeting with your probation officer. Maybe you failed a drug test. Maybe you were caught with a firearm. Or maybe you didn’t go to work one day or you were somewhere you weren’t supposed to be.
Whatever the reason, if you violate your probation, you could be in serious trouble. Your probation officer will most likely file a complaint with the court, requesting a hearing to evaluate and review your probation. The court will then decide if you did in fact violate your probation and whether your probation should be revoked.
If your probation is revoked, you could be re-sentenced to a new probation sentence, Community Corrections, or even jail.
If you have violated your probation or your probation officer believes you are likely to have violated your probation, you should contact a skilled defense attorney who has experience with probation violations. A knowledgeable probation violation attorney will be able to look at the terms of your probation and try to reduce the consequences or possibly avoid them entirely. Contact a probation attorney today to see how a lawyer can help you.
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.