WHAT ARE PROBATION VIOLATIONS?
Probation allows people to avoid jail sentences and enjoy a more normal life. However, this freedom is contingent on some important conditions like:
Not committing any new crimes.
Not possessing any weapons.
Attending scheduled meetings with a probation officer.
Completing community service.
Not using drugs or alcohol.
If you are on probation and you breach any of these conditions, then you will have violated your probation.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE CHARGED?
If you are charged with a probation violation then you will need to defend yourself and challenge the alleged violations in court. You should receive a notice stating what conditions of probation you have violated along with a court date in which you must appear. Sometimes a warrant for your arrest will issue for a violation of probation and you won't receive the information until after you are brought before a judge.
At your probation violation hearing, the prosecutor will argue that you are guilty of breaching the terms of your probation and that your probation should be revoked. One of the challenges with a probation violation hearing is that the judge ultimately decides the issues. In other words, if the judge thinks that you did what the prosecutor accuses you of doing, then you can be found to be guilty.
This is why it is so important to hire an experienced defense attorney to defend you and fight the prosecutor. A good defense attorney can either prove that the prosecutor’s allegations are incorrect or, at the very least, seek leniency from the judge when resentencing.
The right defense attorney can mean the difference between a long jail sentence and freedom!
If you are able to challenge the prosecutor’s allegations successfully then you will be allowed to continue your probation without incurring any further legal penalties.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY?
If you are convicted of a probation violation then the prosecutor handling your case will very likely seek an increase in penalties. An increase in penalties could be a sentence to jail or prison or it could include:
Paying fines and court fees.
Completing community service.
Attending drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
If you are convicted of a probation violation you could end up serving the jail/ prison sentence you were originally trying to avoid!
You were granted probation by the judge and avoided a lengthy jail/ prison sentence when you were originally sentenced, but now that you are being accused of violating your probation you are, once again, looking at that possible sentence to incarceration.
SHOULD YOU SEEK LEGAL ASSISTANCE?
Definitely! Many people accused of probation violations are not aware of their rights or the course of action which they should follow. They also often under-estimate just how serious a probation violation can be.
Any probation violation can result in jail time, no matter how minor or petty you may think it is!
An experienced criminal defense attorney, like Kevin Pauly, can fight for your freedom and aggressively defend you against any allegations of probation violation. For more than a decade, Kevin has exclusively defended those facing criminal charges in Colorado. He has completed over 60 jury trials and was named Attorney of the Year in 2007 for the Denver Trial Office of the Colorado State Public Defender.