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Nov 12

Some Thoughts About Defending A Colorado Probation Violation Case

Some Thoughts About Defending A Colorado Probation Violation Case

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Probation Violation Defense Lawyer

Some Thoughts About Defending A Colorado Probation Violation Case

Some Thoughts About Defending A Colorado Probation Violation Case

Some Thoughts About Defending A Colorado Probation Violation Case – While probation violation cases may seem less serious than defending the original charges – actually the opposite can be true depending on the case.  If a case is eligible to be sealed – (expunged under Colorado law) – such as a deferred judgment and sentence – a motion to revoke probation threatens that scenario.

ALL probation violations should be taken seriously. This is one of many articles examining some of the more common issues in these important cases.

 


Questions And Answers About Successfully Defending a Colorado Probation Violation Case

If you are about to face – or you are actually facing – a probation violation – the decision to “go it alone” and represent yourself – can be strong. The people in your life  – friends, family, others in the system – will tell you not to worry “it is only a probation violation.” The problem is this – the consequences of representing yourself could mean that you may not be aware of all of the collateral impacts on your life that may result from making a mistake in negotiating  the case directly with the District Attorney and/or the Probation Officer.

What may appear simple – is often complex. Sometimes your friends and family may be correct – the  DA – or the Judge allows you more time to complete the conditions of your probation – you finish and the case is then closed successfully.  That is a valid scenario in some cases. 

Sometimes, however, the Judge may impose jail as a “punitive measure” – or if the basis for the probation violation is a new crime  – you could be looking at being “doubly punished” for BOTH the new case AND the probation violation. Other times you may be looking at the loss of your gun rights, or, the loss of a “diversion type” offer or the loss of a deferred judgment – ending in a permanent conviction.

You might also have forgotten about a suspended jail or prison sentence – which – upon violation of probation – mandates (at least in the eyes of the Judge) an immediate lifting of the suspension and a sentence to jail – or prison – upon proof of the violation.

Colorado Probation Violations and “Diversion” Agreements – Deferred Judgments and Sentences

Many jurisdictions – such as Jefferson County, Colorado, allow cases to be placed in a diversion program. In these cases no plea has been entered – and a violation of the diversion program means only that charges are reinstated. Since no plea has entered – you return to “square one” and can negotiate a new agreement.

On the other hand – as noted above – if the diversion offer is a deferred judgment and sentence – while the sentence has not been imposed yet (deferred sentence), all possibilities for sentencing are “on the table” including probation and all the terms of probation that are available to the Judge in the absence of a new plea bargain – agreement. You do NOT have a right to a trial on the issue of guilt or innocence – it is too late for that as you have already pled guilty.

Note this – if a guilty plea enters – unless it is a Colorado Drug Conviction – a petty offense, or a municipal court conviction- you will have lost the chance to have the case removed from your permanent criminal record through sealing your record.

Ask Why You Are Facing A Violation Of Probation? – AND Why You Should Be Given A Second Chance?

Probation represents a contract between you and the state. A breach of that contract occurs when either side does not live up to the promises made in the contract. Changes in your life – lost jobs – spousal issues or significant other issues – do not excuse compliance with the terms of the contract.

Whatever led to the original charges or the agreement to plea bargain – those issues are over – you need to comply with the terms of the agreement. Immaturity, addictions or other issues have to be overcome to reap the benefits of the contract. The State of Colorado – through probation – may be a help or a hindrance to overcoming these personal issues. The bottom line is this – success on probation is on you. If you do not correct the issues that led to the charges in the first place you will fail at probation and the consequences can be lifelong.

Failing Or Missing A Drug Test – Addiction To Drugs As A Probation Violation

In almost every case that involves alcohol or drugs – the probationer is monitored for the use of these substances. If there is a “dilute” – a missed test or UA – or you have failed a drug test by testing positive for an illegal drug or an intoxicant you are ordered NOT to consume, you may be in danger of losing diversion, a deferred judgment or probation.


The “why” of the hot UA or other violation may be the result of an uncontrolled addiction. In the absence of an addiction – there the defendant is using because he or she “wants to,” the need for a reputable drug and alcohol evaluation becomes much more important to determine a method to quickly stop the violations.

The cost of treatment programs – especially inpatient or even intensive outpatient “rehab” programs – in the absence of insurance – is usually well outside of the budgeting of most middle-class and working-class individuals. In a addition – even if there is a source of funding the necessary 28 to 90 days of available time to complete the programs is nearly impossible with the demands of family, employment and financial obligations.

Substitute programs such as AA are excellent but are never accepted by the Courts as a primary alcohol or drug therapeutic solution.

The best answer is to locate – with the help (and possible financial assistance from probation) – low pay- slow pay programs that meet the probation department’s requirements.

How To Re-Invent Yourself

Sentencing Courts are made up of people who understand people. There is a built in sympathy for those individuals in trouble with controlled substances and alcohol. But that sympathy is often short lived. The Courts – when confronted by a person who continues to violate court orders to not use certain substances – and appears to not be trying to fix the problem – is looking at escalating levels of punishment.

Violating a Judge’s orders is a slap at the a Judge’s authority. One way to change the Judge’s opinion is to re-invent yourself in the eyes of the Court. By changing your appearance – losing the piercings, a haircut, nice new clothes, may send the message – along with repeated and honest attempts to comply with the Judge’s orders – may make all the difference to those having authority over your freedom.

A mistake made during probation – a technical violation – or even the commission of a new crime – can be addressed as a “slip” – a regression but only if the stakeholders see changes in the probationer that are consistent with a sincere renewed attempt at complying with probation. How you look in court – makes a difference.

Failing To Make Probation Appointments and Other “Stupid” Probation Violations

Failing to meet with your PO is one of the worst messages that can be sent. It means that the person on probation does not care enough to make time to comply with the orders of the Court. It can mean – if a UA is to be dropped for example  – that the probationer knows the UA will be “hot.”

Not appearing – whatever the reason – is a clear message that other matters in your life are more important. That is the WRONG MESSAGE to send.  If you cannot make an appointment – there has to be almost a life and death reason. Failing to report – as opposed to appearing and explaining why you smoked marijuana – drank alcohol – or took illegal prescriptions – essentially demonstrating honesty to your PO – is a much better approach – one that empowers the PO to try to do what they are paid for – help you help yourself.

If the reason for not making an appointment is a new crime charged – you are much less likely to be arrested for the possible probation violation if you – again – are honest with your PO and disclose the police contact and the new case.

Mental Health And Other Issues Related To Your Mental State And Colorado Probation Violations

Colorado leads the nation in comprehending and factoring in the impact of mental health issues and the commission of crime or complying with the conditions of probation,.

Debilitating conditions such as depression and other mental illness issues will always make compliance with and success at probation much more difficult. Depression – for example – weakens resolve making meeting with the PO and completing all of the terms and conditions of probation at times – nearly impossible.

Many times mental illness is undiagnosed. The experience criminal defense lawyer should obtain a mental health evaluation if there is even the smallest indication of a client who is struggling with mental illness.

If it is established that mental illness is one of the major reasons for non-compliance with probation – a motion to modify the terms and conditions of probation should be filed and a hearing requested.

Some Thoughts About Defending A Colorado Probation Violation Case

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Do you need a Probation Violation Lawyer in Denver Colorado?

H. Michael Steinberg has over 30 years of experience in the Colorado Criminal Law area of .. .in Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, and All Counties along the Front Range of Colorado.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Probation Violation Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article – Some Thoughts About Defending A Colorado Probation Violation Case, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

Colorado Experienced Criminal DefenseH. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg regularly appears and provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the courts of:

Adams County (Adams County criminal defense lawyer), Arapahoe County (Arapahoe County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Boulder (Boulder County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Broomfield (Broomfield County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Denver (Denver criminal defense lawyer), Douglas County (Douglas County criminal defense lawyer), El Paso County – Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer), Gilpin County (Gilpin County criminal defense lawyer), Jefferson County (Jefferson County criminal defense lawyer), Larimer County, and Weld County ( Larimer and Weld County criminal defense lawyer,….

and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving the subject of this article – Some Thoughts About Defending A Colorado Probation Violation Case. 


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