Colorado Springs Probation Penalty Attorneys
Criminal offenders who violate their probation terms can face unpleasant punishments, ranging from extended jail time to fees and fines to an extension of the duration of the probation. There are direct consequences and penalties that the court can impose, as well as the indirect toll that these additional penalties can have on your life, future, and freedom.
The Colorado Springs probation violation lawyers at the Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can help you understand the ramifications of your probation violation charges and build an effective legal case for you. Call us at (719) 475-2555 today.
If the judge who hears your case agrees that a "preponderance of the evidence" suggests that you violated the terms and conditions of your probation, you may face punishments. Probation violations include: failing a mandated drug test, leaving the jurisdiction of the court without permission, possessing a firearm, or exiting a rehabilitation or mental health treatment facility without permission.
Punishments can include:
- Revocation of your probation and sending to jail;
- Extending the length and restrictiveness of your probation;
- Tacking on additional penalties, such as community service requirements and probation officer check-ins;
- Further restricting your freedom of movement - for instance, you may be constrained to house detention;
- Limiting the contact you may have with certain family members or victims;
- Mandating that you attend a live-in rehabilitation facility.
- Increase in fines and fees
- Longer or additional education classes and community service
- Other restrictions or penalties that the judge can impose based on the nature of your violation, your past criminal history, your tendency towards repeat criminal behavior, and other factors
Beyond these overt consequences of probation violation, you will also face subtle, indirect, and potentially even more damaging indirect consequences. For instance, the longer you stay on probation, the harder it is to "normalize" your life and psychologically process your arrest and punishment. When you constantly live in a state of flux - not knowing how or when or whether you'll steady your life -- you may find it next to impossible to concentrate at work, attend to your relationships, work on personal development, and so forth.
In other words, the consequences of your probation violation can go far beyond just simply having to deal with more jail time, longer sentences, and more restrictive punishments. If convicted of violating your probation, you may face additional criminal charges as well as an "off balance" in your life. In addition to the long-term drag that the conviction puts on your life and career, the new penalties will force you to readjust a wide variety of relationships and projects in your life.
When the court defined your probation terms and conditions, chances are, you felt an initial wave of relief as you realize that you wouldn't have to spend time in jail. But the technical conditions in your probation arrangement may have confused you. Or perhaps - due to disorganization, overwhelm, or perhaps even fear - you violated the rules.
A technical probation violation can lead to a variety of penalties, including a jail sentence, strict new probation terms, mandatory classes and community service time, distressingly high fees and court costs, and other difficult-to-swallow penalties.
A technical violation is different from a "new offense," which can also be grounds for revocation and/or unfavorable restructuring of your probation. This "misbehavior" is not a criminal offense.
Here is a non-inclusive list of technical probation violations:
- Ignoring a curfew
- Failing to attend a drug or alcohol school
- Testing positive for alcohol or drug use
- Violating a restraining order
- Contacting a victim of the crime you committed
- Failing to attend a scheduled probation officer visit
- Failure to pay fines
Depending on the nature and extent of the technical violation, the court can deploy a variety of sanctions. In some cases, the misbehavior may merit modifications to the conditions of your ongoing release. In other words, you may still remain on probation; but your terms will be stricter. In other cases, you may just get a reprimand. Or you may be placed under an electronic monitoring program or referred to a treatment program. You also may be incarcerated or re-incarcerated as a result of your violation.
When a Colorado Springs, Colorado court offers a defendant probation instead of a jail sentence, this outcome is almost always hailed as a victory. Although probation terms can be strict - you may be required to do things like attend drug and alcohol classes, serve a certain number of community service hours, check-in with a probation officer, and refrain from traveling beyond a delimited area - probation is usually far superior to jail. Here is an example of "new offense" probation violation:
Example: Shoplifting charge drastically complicates offender's situation.
Consider the fate of a man who gets probation for a serious DUI injury offense. Several months into his probation, he shoplifts several pairs of jeans at a local store. After being arrested and charged for this theft, the judge revokes probation and compels him to serve out a significant jail sentence for both the theft and the DUI.
A Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney can give you much needed strategic guidance to handle your newly complicated legal situation. It's human nature to regret our mistakes. And while it's important to learn from what we've done wrong, it's equally important to address our current reality and figure out how to proceed forward resourcefully.