Colorado Springs Probation Violation Attorney
Violating Terms of Your Probation
Probation is assigned in lieu of jail-time and other penalties that traditionally follow a criminal conviction. If you violate the terms of your probation, you are violating a court order and committing a crime. That is how the court will see it at your probation violation hearing. But as a person on probation, even a person who has just violated their probation, you know that what a court may see as black and white actually has a lot of gray in between.
It's your right to have a Colorado Springs probation violation attorney at your hearing who can make sure that the court does not rescind your probation just because of a mistake or bad decision. As a former prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General, Timothy R. Bussey knows how the system works and will negotiate with the probation officer and/or prosecutor, as well as present evidence to protect you from being subjected to unlawful consequences.
Terms and Conditions of Probation in Colorado
The court will set your probation's terms and conditions. Some terms will be very obvious: You must abide by the law, avoid re-arrest, et cetera. Other terms will be more specific to the individual on probation. For instance, you may have to attend alcohol education classes, check-in with a probation officer on a regular basis, complete a designated amount of community service, attend psychiatric counseling, and so forth.
What is Considered a Probation Violation?
Breaking the rules of the terms of your probation is a probation violation, whether it was done intentionally or not. Ultimately, if you think that you may have broken the rules of your probation, you probably did and should consult with a defense attorney as soon as possible.
Basically, big or small, if you break the rules, you face consequences. The court can reinstate the original, suspended sentence, which may include a lengthy jail sentence, or may extend the time period of your probation, which is the preferred option. But this is not done automatically.
The Right of Legal Representation
If you have been arrested for a new crime while on probation or violated any court orders, you still have the right to defend your legal rights after a probation violation. There will be a probation violation hearing, and, at that hearing, you have the right to legal representation. By retaining the services of an experienced defense lawyer, you may be able to prevent the revocation of your probation.
Parole Violation vs. Probation Violation
Parole involves the conditional release of an offender from custody, such as jail.
Probation is an alternative sentencing arrangement - in other words, you are afforded a conditional release in place of being remanded to state custody.
Although requirements can be very similar for both Colorado probation and parole, the distinction is important. Occasionally, individuals can serve probation and parole concurrently.
If you are on parole, you have been criminally convicted and have likely already served most of your court-ordered prison sentence; however, if you violate the terms of your parole after your release, by committing a crime or breaking court-ordered rules, even if it was just one lapse in judgment, you risk being sent back to prison. As with violations of probation, you have the right to legal representation to prevent such consequences.
Alcohol Probation and the Alcohol Drug Driving Safety Unit (ADDS)
If you get arrested and convicted for driving under the influence in Colorado Springs or elsewhere in Colorado, the probation department branch called the Alcohol Drug Driving Safety Unit (ADDS) will oversee your probation. They will ensure that you complete community service, alcohol education classes, and other sentence terms.
The AIIM Program
If an offender's criminal offense can be clearly linked to an underlying psychiatric condition, the AIIM program (Alternatives to Incarceration for Individuals with Mental health needs) may supervise the probation.
22 Judicial Districts in Colorado
Colorado is divided into 22 judicial districts for the purpose of criminal probation. Each district has a probation department overseen by a chief judge.
How Much Supervision Will You Get?
Risk and treatment assessments, as well as statutory guidelines, will determine your level of supervision. If you're a first time offender who committed a relatively minor crime, and are not at risk for committing additional criminal acts, your terms may be relatively loose. If you're a repeat offender who has violated his probation in the past, your terms may be strict - and you might even be denied probation all together.
Who Is Eligible For Colorado Probation?
Many Colorado offenders can apply to the court for probation, but the court will not grant this conditional sentencing to every offender. If you've been convicted of two felonies under federal law or Colorado law, you will not be eligible. The District Attorney can, as part of an arrangement, ask the court to waive probation eligibility restrictions under certain circumstances. The offender must be non-violent and must not have any previous felony convictions for manslaughter, second degree burglary, felony offenses against children, or crimes of violence.
Protecting Your Second Chance
Probation is a second chance at getting your life on the right track and it is understandable that it won't be easy and that people can make mistakes. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer, Timothy Bussey, makes sure that a mistake or error in judgment does not jeopardize your future. To discuss your options with a skilled attorney, call our office for a free consultation today at (719) 475-2555.