Probation Violation Lawyer
Probation Defense Attorney in Arapahoe, Douglas, & Adams County, CO
Probation is not easy - its not meant to be either. By statutory definition,
probation is an alternative to jail. Its ordered in lieu of jail. When
you view it that way, the power of the courts and probation officers to
order certain things (i.e. home visits, urine testing, prohibiting alcohol
and marijuana, curfews, etc.) starts to make more sense. Colorado Courts
have ruled that people on probation do not have the same rights as those
not on probation due to this quasi-custodial status. Speaking of custody,
jail sentences can be imposed during a probation term as a punitive or
corrective sanction. They can also be imposed when probation is revoked
due to an alleged violation.
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There are two types of violations: technical (hot UA's, missed meetings,
etc) and substantive violations (picking up new criminal charges). There
are two different standards of proof to revoke probation. For technical
violations, its is by a preponderance of the evidence or 'more likely
than not'. For susbstantive violations, its beyond a reasonable doubt.
Pursuant to C.R.S. § 16-11-206(3), the prosecution has the burden
of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence the violation of a
condition of probation; except that the commission of a criminal offense
must be established beyond a reasonable doubt unless the probationer has
been convicted thereof in a criminal proceeding.
Individuals on probation need to keep one thing in mind - if their probation
is revoked, they face up to the maximum jail or prison sentence they could
have recieved in the first place. That's pretty daunting and scary.
Because of that severity in consequence, indidivuals on probation are afforded
limited constitutional rights to ensure that they are not plaed in jail
without due process.
Hiring an attorney in this situation is critical. It may be the difference between successfully completing probation and
going to jail.
The following "minimum requirements of due process" at parole
or probation revocation hearings are required: (a) Written notice of the
claimed violations of probation; (b) disclosure to the probationer of
evidence against him; (c) opportunity to be heard in person and to present
witnesses and documentary evidence; (d) the right to confront and cross-examine
adverse witnesses (unless the hearing officer specifically finds good
cause for not allowing confrontation); (e) a "neutral and detached"
hearing body such as a traditional parole board, members of which need
not be judicial officers or lawyers; and (f) a written statement by the
fact finders as to the evidence relied on and reasons for revoking probation. See
People v. Atencio, 525 P.2d 461, 462 (Colo. 1974) (citing
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, (1972) and
Gagnon v. Scarpelli, 411 U.S. 778 (1973);
People v. Thomas, 599 P.2d 957 (Colo. 1979).
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