Tag: probation

FAQs About Probation in Colorado

FAQs About Probation in Colorado

People who are convicted of crimes are often sentenced to probation instead of jail or prison time. But, many people who face this penalty don’t know much about it beyond the fact that it is an alternative to incarceration. Learn more about probation in Colorado by taking a look at the answers to these FAQs:

Who is sentenced to probation?

Both adults and juveniles can be eligible for probation if they are convicted of certain felonies or misdemeanors. However, probation may not be an option for defendants convicted of violent crimes.

If probation is a sentencing option, the judge will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to sentence a defendant to probation or jail or prison time. For example, the judge may look at the nature of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal record.

What should you do after being sentenced to probation?

Defendants who are sentenced to probation should report to the Probation Office right away. At the Probation Office, you will be asked to fill out forms and will then be given your probation officer’s information. The probation officer will go over all of the terms of your probation with you.

What are the terms of probation?

Everyone who is on probation must comply with certain rules that are set by the court. The terms of probation will vary on a case-by-case basis, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis
  • Avoiding drug or alcohol use
  • Paying court fees and restitution to the victim
  • Completing community service hours
  • Not engaging in any criminal activity

It’s important to understand which terms you are expected to comply with so you do not accidentally violate any of them. A violation could result in your probation being extended or revoked, which means you could be sent to jail or prison.

What are the benefits of probation?

Defendants who are sentenced to probation can continue working, earning money, and spending time with loved ones as long as they comply with the terms of their probation. Being on probation may not be ideal, but it’s much better than being behind bars.

Have you been charged with a crime? Get in touch with Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will aggressively defend your rights through every step of the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Sentencing Alternatives: Fines, Probation, Community Service

Common Sentencing Alternatives: Fines, Probation, Community Service

Defendants don’t always have to spend time behind bars if they are convicted of a crime. There are many sentencing alternatives, including fines, probation, and community service, that you may face after a conviction. Here’s everything that you need to know:

Fines

Some defendants will be ordered to pay a substantial fine as part of their punishment for committing a crime. The amount that you will have to pay will vary depending on the nature of the crime. Serious crimes could carry fines of thousands of dollars, while other minor crimes will cost you hundreds of dollars. For instance, the possession of 1-2 oz. of marijuana carries a $100 fine.

Defendants may have to pay restitution if the crime they committed caused someone financial harm. For instance, people who are convicted of theft may have to reimburse the victim for the property that was stolen.

Probation

You can also be sentenced to probation instead of jail time after a conviction. Defendants that are on probation are allowed to re-enter the community, but they must comply with certain terms established by the judge. For instance, those who are on probation must meet with a probation officer, submit to random drug testing, and obey the law. Some people must also maintain employment or stay in school throughout their probation. If you fail to comply with any of the terms of probation, the judge has the power to revoke your probation and send you to jail.

Probation is typically only given to defendants that do not have a prior criminal record. Defendants will not be given probation if they are considered a risk to the community, meaning the judge thinks that they will get into more trouble or physically harm someone.

Community Service

Another sentencing alternative is community service, which is unpaid work. The judge will specify how many hours of community service need to be completed and when they need to be completed by. Defendants that do not complete their community service hours or do not meet the deadlines set by the judge will face additional penalties.

Community service is often imposed along with other sentencing alternatives, meaning defendants are often sentenced to complete community service and probation or complete community service and pay fines.

Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Reisch Law Firm today to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case. Our experienced attorneys will fight tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Happens if You Violate the Terms of Probation?

What Happens if You Violate the Terms of Probation?

Some people that have been convicted of a crime will be sentenced to probation instead of jail time. Probation allows the defendant to stay out of jail as long as he follows certain rules that are set by his probation officer. Some of the terms of probation may include meeting with your probation officer on a regular basis, appearing at all court hearings, paying fines to the victims, refraining from alcohol or drug use, and not leaving the state without prior permission. If you choose to violate the terms of probation, you could face serious legal consequences. Here’s what you should expect immediately after you commit a violation of probation:

Notice to Appear in Court

If you violate the terms of probation, your probation officer can either issue a warning or require you to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. The probation officer will decide whether to issue a warning or take you to court based on a number of factors, including the severity of the violation and whether you have violated the terms of your probation in the past.

The Probation Hearing

The probation officer may decide against issuing a warning and take you to court to attend a probation hearing instead. The judge presiding over your case will listen to both sides and determine if a violation occurred. Unlike in criminal court, the prosecutor does not need to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor only needs to show that you are guilty by a preponderance of evidence, which does not require as much proof.

The Sentencing

If the prosecutor is able to prove that you violated the terms of your probation, you will face penalties. The judge may decide to extend the length of your probation or create additional terms of your probation. In some cases, the judge may decide to send you to jail. He can either send you for a brief period of time or he can revoke your probation and order you to serve the rest of your time behind bars.

The judge may take your criminal record, history of violations, and the nature of the violation in consideration when determining an appropriate sentence.

You have the right to an attorney during your probation hearing, and it’s important that you exercise this right. If you have been accused of violating your probation, contact an attorney at Reisch Law Firm right away. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.