Colorado Springs Lawyer Discusses Probation Violation and Community Service
A Colorado Springs offender who gets placed on probation may have to serve community service. In theory, this punishment shouldn't be that bad. It's likely a lot better than jail time or other penalties, such as major fines and restrictions on movement. But community service can require a lot of time and energy. If you're trying to pay off bills, support your family, and deal with other probation terms, the thought of having to invest significant resources into community service may be greatly unappealing.
Call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. at (719) 475-2555 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Colorado probation violation attorney.
Unfortunately, if you fail to fulfill your community service requirements as stipulated by the court, you may violate the terms of your release. This so-called technical violation of probation (VOP) can be assessed and punished in a variety of ways.
- In violation of probation cases, there are no juries - the judge presides and engages with all the findings of fact.
- VOP cases are decided using a relatively loose standard called the "preponderance of the evidence." This means that if 50.1% of the evidence suggests that you're guilty of a community service probation violation, the judge will find you guilty. This is a very different standard of proof than "beyond a reasonable doubt" - a much lower bar for the prosecution.
- The judge's ruling in a Colorado probation violation case is very difficult to appeal.
A community service probation violation - failing, for instance, to meet your quota of hours within a designated timeframe - is what's known as a technical violation. You can also violate your probation by committing a new offense. For instance, if you got arrested for driving under the influence while on probation, not only must you deal with all the legal consequences stemming from that arrest, but your probation will likely be reassessed. You might wind up with much stricter terms going forward or even incarceration based on the new offense.
Moreover, you can compound your legal woes by failing to address them. If, for instance, you fail to show up for the court hearing, you may be designated a fugitive, and you could be re-arrested. As a result, your probation arrangement could be entirely renegotiated, and you can wind up serving significant jail time and having your bond forfeited.
The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., located in Colorado Springs, can work with you to design, develop, and follow through on a powerful defense to your community service probation violation charges. Connect with our Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyers today.