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Drug Tests and other Violations of Probation In Colorado are both frightening and confusing. Your probation officer – who makes the decision to revoke your probation is actually bound by law to act in certain ways – here is the law that governs the probation officer’s duties to revoke or not to revoke a probationary sentence – with analysis (HMS).
[HMS - This is the first and most comprehensive law governing the duties and responsibilities of Colorado probation officers]
[HMS - This first section requires the probation officer to provide a WRITTEN statement of the conditions of probation - and shall INSTRUCT the probationer of the meaning of those conditions]
(1) It is the duty of a probation officer to investigate and report upon any case referred to him by the court for investigation. The probation officer shall furnish to each person released on probation under his supervision a written statement of the conditions of probation and shall instruct him regarding the same.
[HMS - This next section imposes a duty on the probationer to report to the Judge on the conduct and compliance of each person on probation .... ]
The officer shall keep informed concerning the conduct and condition of each person on probation under his supervision and shall report thereon to the court at such times as it directs. Such officers shall use all suitable methods, not inconsistent with the conditions imposed by the court, to aid persons on probation and to bring about improvement in their conduct and condition.
Each officer shall keep records of his work; shall keep accurate and complete accounts of all moneys collected from persons under his supervision; shall give receipts therefor and shall make at least monthly returns thereof into the registry of the court or as he may be ordered; shall make such reports to the court as are required; and shall perform such other duties as the court may direct.
[HMS - The following law lays out the options open to the probation officer for the FIRST "hot UA - uranalysis or BA - Breathalyzer Test"]
(2) Any probationer, on probation as a result of a conviction of any felony except a class 1 felony, who is under the supervision of a probation officer pursuant to this part 2 and who is initially tested for the illegal or unauthorized use of a controlled substance and the result of such test is positive shall be subject to any or all of the following actions:
(a) An immediate warrantless arrest;
(b) An immediate increase in the level of supervision, including but not limited to intensive supervision;
(c) Random screenings for the detection of the illegal or unauthorized use of a controlled substance, which use may serve as the basis for additional punishment or any other community placement;
(d) Referral to a substance abuse treatment program.
[HMS - The following law lays out the options open to the probation officer for the SECOND "hot UA - uranalysis or BA - Breathalyzer Test"]
(3) If any probationer described in subsection (2) of this section is subjected to a second or subsequent test for the illegal or unauthorized use of a controlled substance and the result of such test is positive, the probation officer shall take one or more of the following actions:
(a) Make an immediate warrantless arrest;
(b) Seek a probation revocation in accordance with sections 16-11-205 and 16-11-206;
(c) Immediately increase the level of supervision, including but not limited to intensive supervision;
(d) Increase the number of drug screenings for the illegal or unauthorized use of controlled substances;
(e) Refer the probationer to a substance abuse treatment program.
C.R.S § 16-11-209
Probation is viewed as a a second chance for people who are convicted of certain crimes. The condition that the probationer be monitored for alcohol and or drug use is very common if not universal.
Both probation officers and law enforcement enforcers take violations of this term and condition very seriously. When someone on probation fails probation drug testing, the penalties available to the judge are very broad.
One who violates probation by repeatedly failing to report for a drug or alcohol test or repeatedly failing the test itself – may result in restrictions that are even more stringent than the original sentence, and sometimes, they may be required to enter an inpatient or outpatient drug rehabilitation program. In the more serious cases – the probationer may be sent to jail to finish out the original sentence – especially where the original sentencing judge suspended a jail sentence on the condition that the defendant successfully complete probation. The consequences for failing a drug test are often tied to the direct “connection” between the original charge and the nature of the violation.
Judges look at the circumstances surrounding the original crime that led to the original sentence when deciding the new sentence arising out of a probation violation. a sentence. If the first offense was drug or alcohol related – the penalty may be more severe than if the original offense had nothing to do with the use of drugs and alcohol. Judges often reason that a stricter consequence for failing is justified if a person on DUI probation continues to drink heavy amounts of alcohol.
Or a judge may also order an intensive drug rehabilitation program if the original crime was the possession or distribution of controlled substances. Jail time may also be considered in these situations.
If a probationer commits a minor infraction and has otherwise complied with all of the probationary guidelines, judges will often just tack on some additional community service hours or some less serious consequence. The judge may also extend an individual’s probation period… or – in some case impose home detention.
If a probationer who fails probation drug testing may also be ordered to wear a specialized monitoring bracelet. Any attempts to take off the device will send electronic signals to law enforcement which alerts them to the unauthorized tampering. Some devices – known as SCRAM devices detect alcohol use when the substance is perspired. Others are actually programmed to detect drug use by evaluating sleep patterns. Simple urine test are often used to confirm suspected drug or alcohol use.
We know how difficult it is to make the call to a Colorado criminal defense lawyer. We are experts and are here to help you, not judge you. Call us any time at 303-627-7777 (Business Hours) or 720-220-2277 (After Hours).
If you have been charged with Drug Tests and Other Violations of Probation In Colorado, you will of necessity need an attorney who will explain the potential consequences, identify defense strategies, and aggressively protect your rights in court if necessary. To talk to H. Michael – a Denver, Colorado false, call 303-627-7777 Business Hours or 720-220-2277 After Hours or contact us by e-mail or using the form on this page to discuss Drug Tests and Other Violations of Probation In Colorado.