Colorado Springs Probation Violation Hearing
At your Colorado probation hearing, your judge will listen to evidence about whether or not you violated your probation. For instance, perhaps it will be argued that you:
- Failed to attend mandatory drug and alcohol education classes;
- Skipped meetings with your probation officer;
- Engaged in additional criminal activity during your probation period;
- Failed to pay fines and court costs;
- Possessed firearms or dangerous weapons;
- Violated the terms of your home detention.
E-mail us or call us at (719) 475-2555 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced probation violation attorney.
"Preponderance of the evidence" versus "Beyond a reasonable doubt"
At your probation violation hearing, you will face a far more onerous "burden of proof." In a typical criminal trial, the prosecution must prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that you violated the law. This is an extremely high standard. If you can demonstrate any reasonable doubt that you did not commit said crime, you should not be convicted. In a probation violation hearing, however, a very different standard is used. This is known as "preponderance of the evidence."
Essentially, if the balance of evidence is only slightly tilted against you, the judge will find you guilty. So even if you can make a reasonable case that you have paid all court fines and that you didn't skip your alcohol class, if the prosecution puts together just a slightly better case, you will be guilty. In other words, if 51.0001% of the evidence stacks against you, you will be guilty.
If you're guilty, you can face a series of penalties, including stricter terms going forward on your probation, longer probation, and even the revocation of your probation in favor of jail time.
Furthermore, a judge's decision in a probation violation hearing is very difficult to appeal. It's not impossible, but it's usually not done. All told, Colorado supports 22 different judicial districts. A chief judge in a particular judicial district will weigh the evidence, render a decision about your probation violation charges, and order additional penalties, if merited.
What Can Provoke a Probation Violation Hearing?
In general, two different kinds of violations can lead to trouble. The first kind of violation is a "technical violation." The second kind is a "new offense."
In a new offense, the violator breaks a federal or state or local law. For instance, if you drive under the influence in Colorado Springs while undergoing probation, this new offense will be enough to land you a probation violation hearing - even if your initial offense had nothing to do with DUI.
A technical violation involves your failure to adhere to whatever terms and conditions the court spelled out for you. For instance, if you violate a no contact order, fail to complete therapy or community service mandated by the court, fail to show up for an appointment with your probation officer, or fail to pay restitution to a victim of the crime you committed, you could face one or several of the harsh penalties discussed above.
Defending Colorado Probation Violations
Your probation violation hearing is a serious matter. The more effectively and comprehensively you prepare for this hearing, the better your outcome will likely be. The trusted Colorado Springs probation attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can work with you to maximize your chances of getting a best result. Connect with us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation