Not everyone convicted of a criminal offense in Colorado Springs goes to jail or prison. Many courts order people to serve probation rather than an active sentence. Probation, in this sense, offers a second chance. If you comply with all terms and conditions of your probation through the end of your probation period, you can serve out your punishment while living and working in the community and among your family and friends.
However, people on probation can make mistakes. They might miss a scheduled visit with a probation officer, for instance, or commit some other violation. Getting your probation revoked is one possible result of a violation charge. But it doesn’t have to be the outcome.
To learn more about your options, get help today from an experienced Colorado Springs probation violation lawyer at Peakstone Law Group, LLC. We have the experience, knowledge, and tenacity to protect your rights and pursue your goals if you face a probation violation charge.
Allow us to review your case in a free and confidential consultation.
How Does Probation Work in Colorado?
An adult or juvenile in Colorado can be placed on probation if convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. Typically, the District Probation Department files a Presentence Report that assesses a person’s risk of reoffending before the person is put on probation. The level of risk determines whether the person goes on supervised or unsupervised probation in Colorado. It also determines the extent of supervision. For instance, a person with a high-level risk may need intensive supervised probation.
The Fourth Judicial District Probation Department in Colorado Springs supervises adults and juveniles on probation in El Paso and Teller counties. If a person gets probation after an impaired driving conviction, the Alcohol Drug Driving Safety Unit (ADDS) will supervise their probation. If a psychiatric condition contributed to the offense that led to a person getting probation, they may go through the Alternatives to Incarceration for Individuals with Mental health needs (AIIM) program.
An attorney can work with prosecutors and the court to find the best option for a person who has been convicted and will be placed on probation.
What’s the Difference Between Parole and Probation Violations?
Probation is not the same as parole. Probation provides an alternative to serving an active sentence. Parole, on the other hand, is granted to people already serving a sentence. It is a way for a person to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community rather than in custody.
What probation and parole have in common is that they are conditional. A person must follow all terms and conditions. If they fail to follow those rules, they risk a court revoking their status and ordering them to serve all or the remainder of their activated sentence.
Failure to comply in Colorado is a serious matter. For this reason, any parole or probation violation should be taken seriously. It’s important to get legal help immediately to protect your rights.
How Often Do Probation Officers Visit in Colorado Springs?
If you are placed on probation, you may wonder, “How often will probation officers visit my home?” The answer will depend on your assessed risk of reoffending and whether you are under supervised or unsupervised probation.
Generally, if you are a first-time offender or deemed to present a low risk, you would face relatively lighter supervision than if you were a repeat offender. Some people present a risk that’s too high to be eligible for probation.
Most people have scheduled visits with the probation officer overseeing their case. The visit may occur in the department’s office or at the person’s home. Depending on the level of supervision, a person may also be able to check in with their probation officer by phone.
In Colorado, probation officers are not required to notify you of their home visits. They can visit at any time – even outside normal working hours. In the course of the visit, the probation officer can search the person’s car or their home as well.
What Counts as a Probation Violation?
The terms and conditions of probation vary. Many terms are a matter of law and apply to all people on probation in Colorado. For instance, a person cannot commit other crimes while on probation. Other terms may be tailored to the person and the circumstances surrounding their conviction. For example, a person convicted of taking property from another may need to pay restitution.
Probation violations in Colorado Springs generally will be either:
- Technical violations – When you violated a term or condition of probation such as failing to make a scheduled visit with your probation officer, having contraband in your car or home, or failing to pay restitution, court costs, or fines.
- New case violations – When you committed another crime while on probation, such as driving under the influence. If this occurs, you could face an activated sentence in addition to any new punishment imposed for the new offense.
Probation officers can make mistakes, too. In some cases, a probation officer may have misunderstood the person they were supervising, or a miscommunication between them may have led the officer to find that a violation occurred where none did.
If you are accused of any probation violation, make sure to work with a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado Springs who will look closely at all the facts in your case and help you to develop the right strategy.
What Should I Expect at a Probation Violation Hearing?
If a probation officer finds that a violation occurred, the officer will file a complaint. The document will summarize your record while on probation, describe the alleged violation, and provide a recommendation on punishment. The District Attorney’s office can accept the recommendation – and often does – or ask the court for a different punishment.
A hearing takes place before a judge if a person does not admit the probation violation. The judge – not a jury – decides if a violation occurred. If so, the judge decides the punishment for it. At the hearing, the person can offer evidence, challenge the violation, or ask the judge to be lenient if it finds that a probation violation has occurred.
Given the stakes of a probation violation hearing, you should not face the court alone. You have the right to have a lawyer represent you. Get help as soon as possible from an experienced criminal defense attorney at Peakstone Law Group, LLC.
What Are the Penalties for Violating Probation?
If you are found guilty of violating your probation in Colorado Springs, the court could decide to revoke your probation. If that occurs, the jail or prison sentence the court suspended while you were serving probation gets activated. The court could also place you in Community Corrections or continue your probation using different terms to address the violation. Our attorneys can help you understand the evidence in your case, the possible outcomes, and the best way to tackle the allegations against you.
A Colorado Springs Probation Violation Lawyer Can Help You Today
At Peakstone Law Group, LLC, we are ready to fight for your rights and your future if you have been charged with a probation violation in Colorado Springs. We can investigate the alleged violation, including speaking with the probation officer and help you negotiate with the prosecutor or challenge the case against you in court. We will always make sure you understand your case and your options.
To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation.