Probation sentences can last for years and be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, a sentence to probation usually allows the defendant to avoid a jail or prison sentence; on the other hand, if the probation sentence is supervised, the defendant will be living under the direction of a probation officer.
When a person begins their probation sentence, they must review and sign the “terms” of probation. The terms of probation can vary from person to person and are dependent on the underlying crime committed. A violation can occur when the person fails to comply with any term of probation.
The Fort Collins probation office is located at 1600 Prospect Park Way, Suite 109, Fort Collins, CO 80525.
How Is A Probation Violation Addressed?
If the probation officer believes there has been a violation, they have a choice to (1) seek an arrest warrant, (2) issue a citation, or (3) take no action. If a warrant or citation is issued, the defendant has a right to a hearing where the prosecution must prove that the violation occurred. Unlike the initial case, a probation violation only has to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that the violation occurred.
If someone is found guilty (or admits to the violation) of a probation violation, they will be sentenced for a second time on the original charge. Most times, the sentence received after a probation violation will be more severe than the original sentence.
What Are The Most Common Probation Violations?
The most common violations of probation are:
- One of the most common Fort Collins probation violations is failing a drug or alcohol test. Those with an underlying crime that was drug/alcohol related are likely to undergo random drug or alcohol tests.
- While on probation, it is customary that the defendant must regularly meet with their probation officer. Failing to show up for probation meetings can result in a violation.
- While on probation, some underlying crimes require that the defendant stay away from specific people or places. Visiting forbidden people or places can result in a violation.
- Every person on probation must refrain from committing a new crime. When a person who is on probation is charged with a new offense, it is typical for a probation violation to also be charged.
These are just an example of what can constitute a probation violation. However, there are many other terms of probation that each person must comply with. Sometimes, a person does not understand or remember each and every term; ignorance of any term will not be a viable defense to the violation.
Do I Need An Attorney For A Probation Violation?
Having a lawyer can significantly help if you have been charged with a probation violation. When facing a probation violation all of the original possible penalties are available to the Court, they are not limited to what was originally plead to. Probation violations are difficult to beat outright because the legal burden is so low for the prosecutor, and the allegations are usually clearer cut. Lawyers help defendants receive less harsh sentences and even craft an agreement with the prosecutor since probation violation results range from having probation reinstated to being sent to jail or prison.
If the probation violation is from a new criminal charge, having a lawyer should be a top priority. Many people fall into problems by failing to have an attorney. An attorney will be sure that the two cases are handled in a way that addresses both (the new case and the probation violation) cases without having one case create an unexpected problem in the other.
At Burnham Law, we understand that a probation violation may feel helpless, but we are here to get you the resolution you deserve. The Fort Collins probation violation lawyers at Burnham Law are seasoned litigators who spend the majority of their time inside the courtroom fighting for the best results possible for our clients.