When a person is placed on probation in Colorado, they are essentially removed from or spared imprisonment and given a chance to lead a relatively normal life—as long as they agree to follow specific probationary terms. These conditions range from not committing any new crimes to attending regular meetings with a probation officer and can often seem very restrictive.
But the consequences of failing to meet to conditions of your probation might be even more restrictive. If you violate your probation, you could face lengthy imprisonment, as well as hefty fines, community service, and rehab.
Violating probation can occur because of many reasons. Below are some of the common reasons violations occur and some tips to help avoid them.
Missing probation officer meetings. If you miss a scheduled meeting with your officer, he or she might file a probation violation complaint.
Tip: Try to schedule reminders for these crucial meetings. Having others hold you accountable to make it to each meeting may also help.
Missing a court appearance. Failure to show up in court for a scheduled appearance may be treated as a violation of probation, regardless of your reasons.
Tip: Scheduling reminders for a court date can also be crucial. Make sure you have a way to get to court the day before and double-check that it is a viable option.
Neglecting to pay fines or restitution. If you neglect to pay restitution, you can be charged with violating the terms of your probation.
Tip: If you have the means to pay off your fines, you may consider that option. Balancing your financial obligations with other needs can be difficult, but working with an advisor, if possible, may help reduce the chance of a missed payment or fine.
Failing a drug test. If your original crime involved drugs, your probation terms might require that you abstain from drugs entirely and submit to routine drug tests. If a test comes up positive, your probation can be revoked. The vast majority of probation violations are based on failed drug tests.
Tip: Having a friend or family member hold you accountable to avoid substances that could invoke a positive test may be helpful.
Visiting certain people or places. It’s not uncommon for probationary conditions to require you to remain in a certain area or state. If you travel outside this area, you can be charged with probation violation. You also might be barred from associating with certain people—such as former fellow gang members—and can have your probation revoked if you are found in their company.
Tip: Any time you are traveling or making a trip somewhere, be sure to double-check that it is in your probation bounds.
If you or a loved one has been charged with probation violation, the next best step to take is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. The cost of fines combined with the cost of having a conviction on your record can be detrimental.
At Law Office of Kevin Cahill, we may be able to help with your charges today. Call us today to talk to someone about setting up your defense for your case. (720) 548-2990.