Probation Violation Hearings
If your criminal conviction included a sentence of probation and you’re concerned that you may have violated the terms of that probation, then you need an experienced defense attorney to assist you at your probation violation hearing. Colorado Statutes § 18-1.3-201.
A probation violation is a separate criminal act from the one that resulted in the initial conviction. If a parolee is deemed to be in violation of his probation, then that adds an additional burden to his case and to its eventual resolution. You should never go into a probation violation hearing without the assistance of an experienced defense attorney at your side.
Colorado offers probation as an incentive to avoid a costly criminal trial by providing convicted persons with an option for a less restrictive punishment. A conviction can occur through either a trial on the merits of the case or as a plea agreement negotiated between the defendant and the state. When under probation, defendants are supervised by law enforcement personnel and must comply with all the terms of the probation agreement or risk its revocation. The state sets a probation violation hearing if it believes a defendant has violated the terms of the probation agreement.
What’s at Risk at a Probation Violation Hearing?
In short: your freedom. You received a probation option because the state believed you would complete your probation contract and engage in no further criminal activity. If the state proves that you’re in violation of the probation terms, then it may seek to revoke your probation and, instead, send you to jail.
What Happens at the Probation Violation Hearing?
In Colorado, you are entitled to have a lawyer represent you at this hearing. Other people who will appear there will be your probation officer and any other person who might be able to prove (or dispel evidence) that you violated your agreement. At each probation violation hearing, you will have the opportunity to speak with the judge about whether you acted in violation of your probation. (If the alleged breach was small, it might be in your best interest to admit you did it and proceed to sentencing.) If you don’t believe you violated the agreement, you are entitled to a full hearing on the merits of your case.
How Will an Attorney Help?
Experienced criminal defense attorneys identify for the judge those legally relevant factors that set their client apart from other defendants and make their case unique in the eyes of the law. The primary goal of the defense attorney is to have the client reinstated to the probation agreement so she doesn’t lose her freedom. Additionally, the experienced attorney knows both the law and the judge, and can often predict and argue in response to how an individual judge might rule on a case based on his actions on previous, similar cases.
Accessing the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at your probation violation hearing offers the best opportunity to avoid having your probation revoked. The team at Pollart Miller is very knowledgeable in probation violation cases, and can help you get the best possible outcome.