Being sentenced to probation may seem like a slap on the wrist or a blessing in disguise, but it comes with certain conditions and terms by which you must abide. Violating those terms are not option unless you got money to throw away or you find the idea of spending time behind bars appealing. Violating probation can result in an extension of your probation period, a heavy fine or jail time.
Various actions can result in a probation violation. These may include:
- Failing to report to your probation officer at your scheduled place and time;
- Failure or refusal to pay court-ordered restitution or fines;
- Failure or refusal to honor a scheduled court appearance;
- Getting arrested for another crime or committing another crime;
- Traveling out of the state or visiting certain people or places without notifying your probation officer;
- Possessing, selling or using drugs
When an offender in Colorado violates the terms and conditions of his probation, his probation officer files a Violation of Probation, or VOP, with the court. The offender is entitled to a VOP hearing before the judge who originally sentenced him to probation. The hearing is done without a jury. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if the offender actually committed a probation violation. If the judge determines that offender’s actions constitutes a violation, he is found guilty of violating the terms of his probation. The offender is then sentenced according to the nature of the crime for which he was originally convicted.
Having a Colorado criminal defense attorney present is beneficial if you are charged with violating your probation. An experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney may able to convince the judge to delay sentencing under the condition that you are monitored to ensure adherence to the terms of your probation. If you satisfactorily fulfill the requirements of the probation, the judge will most likely put you back on probation. If you have subsequent violations, your probation may be discontinued and the judge may impose a jail sentence. Minor probation violations, such as failure to notify a probation officer of an address change, may be forgiven if your criminal defense attorney can convince the judge to give you another opportunity.