Any terms of probation that are imposed upon you when convicted are court orders, and judges in Colorado do not take kindly to their orders being ignored or disregarded. If you are caught allegedly violating your probation requirements or limitations (“technical violations”), a hearing will be held - usually before the same judge who initially sentenced you - to determine whether you have violated the court’s order. As opposed to the very high standard of proof required to obtain a conviction on criminal charges – “beyond a reasonable doubt” – the judge only needs to find by a preponderance of the evidence that you violated the terms of your probation. This means you face an uphill battle from the start when facing allegations that you have violated your probation. If the alleged violation involved the commission of another crime (“substantive violations”), a conviction for the new offense can be the basis of additional penalties on top of whatever new sentence is handed down.
If the judge does find that you failed to abide by the court’s conditions, he or she can impose a wide range of penalties and consequences up to and including time behind bars, even if your original conviction involved no jail or prison time at all. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, additional potential penalties for a Colorado probation violation can include:
- Extending the length of your probation
- House arrest or electronic monitoring
- Adding additional conditions and restrictions to your probation
- Adding additional community service
- Drug or alcohol rehabilitation
At minimum, a charge that you have violated the terms of your probation means that you are again at the mercy of Colorado’s criminal justice system and can again be delayed from returning to a life no longer encumbered by limitations on what you can do, where you can go, and who you can see. If you’ve been charged with a Colorado Springs probation violation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your case.