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When Does A Colorado Probation Sentence Actually Start?

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Probation Violation Criminal Defense Lawyer -Attorney

When Does A Colorado Probation Sentence Actually StartWhen Does A Colorado Probation Sentence Actually Start? A question I receive quite often is this – Does a sentence for a criminal conviction begin at the time of sentencing – or later – when the Defendant meets with the Probation Officer?

The answer is – the sentence begins to run immediately from the time the Judge pronounces the sentence in court. That is when the “judgement of conviction” enters and the term of probation starts to run.

Why Is It Important To Know When A Colorado Criminal Sentence Actually Begins

While there may be a delay between the time a Colorado Judge pronounces sentence and the signing of the “mittimus” otherwise known as the formal entry of judgment in the State’s computer database, ….the sentence itself begins to run immediately.

The importance of this rule is plain. It may be several weeks – even months – before a person placed on probation actually meets with their probation officer and starts performing – or “serving” his or her sentence. If the probationary term “starts ticking” toward its inevitable termination – one year – two years – whatever the term of probation was .. from the precise day of sentencing, the difference between those dates may actually matter if a later Complaint to Revoke Probation is filed.

The Court loses jurisdiction if a Complaint to Revoke Probation is not filed within before the last day of the probationary term.

A “final judgment” is:

… one that ends the particular action in which it is entered, leaving nothing further for the court pronouncing it to do in order to completely determine the rights of the parties involved in the proceedings.

A “judgment of conviction” occurs when a Defendant is:

  • Acquitted,
  • The charges are dismissed, or
  • The Defendant is convicted and sentence is imposed.

Therefore a Colorado Defendant is “technically” under supervision from the time of the Judge’s oral pronouncement of the sentence.

The Filing Of A Motion To Revoke Probation “Tolls” – Suspends In Time – The Termination Of A Probationary Sentence

While it is clear that the Colorado courts loses jurisdiction over a probationer after the term of probation has expired. That probationary term is also “tolled” (suspended) by the filing of a Motion to Revoke Probation – and the initiation of probation revocation proceedings.

Probation is tolled until the probation revocation proceedings are completed. This happens if:

(1) A probation officer issues a summons requiring the probationer to appear in court;

(2) a probation officer arrests the probationer;

(3) a complaint is filed for the revocation of probation; or

(4) a report is filed by a probation officer or a verified complaint by any person, together with a request for an arrest warrant.

Again – to be clear unless a timely request to extend probation is made, a Judge “lacks jurisdiction” to revoke probation.

This entire issue is covered in Rule 32 of the Colorado Rules Of Criminal Procedure

What follows is the relevant excerpt from that rule:

Colorado Rule Of Criminal Procedure 32. – Sentence and Judgment

….

(b) Sentence and judgment.

(1) Sentence shall be imposed without unreasonable delay. Before imposing sentence, the court shall afford the defendant an opportunity to make a statement in his or her own behalf, and to present any information in mitigation of punishment. The state also shall be given an opportunity to be heard on any matter material to the imposition of sentence. Alternatives in sentencing shall be as provided by law. When imposing sentence, the court shall consider restitution as required by Section 18-1.3-603(1), C.R.S.

(2) Upon conviction of guilt of a defendant of a class 1 felony, and after the sentencing hearing provided by law, the trial court shall impose such sentence as is authorized by law. At the time of imposition of a sentence of death, the trial court shall enter an order staying execution of the judgment and sentence until further order of the Supreme Court.

(3) Judgment.

(i) A judgment of conviction shall consist of a recital of the plea, the verdict or findings, the sentence, the finding of the amount of presentence confinement, and costs, if any are assessed against the defendant, the finding of the amount of earned time credit if the defendant had previously been placed in a community corrections program, an order or finding regarding restitution as required by Section 18-1.3-603 , C.R.S., and a statement that the defendant is required to register as a sex offender, if applicable.

(ii) If the defendant is found not guilty or for any other reason is entitled to be discharged, judgment shall be entered accordingly.

(iii) All judgments shall be signed by the trial judge and entered by the clerk in the register of actions.

When Does A Colorado Probation Sentence Actually Start?

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The reader is admonished that Colorado criminal law, like criminal law in every state and at the Federal level, changes constantly. The article appearing above was accurate at the time it was drafted but it cannot account for changes occurring after it was uploaded.

If, after reading this article, you have questions about your case and would like to consider retaining our law firm, we invite you to contact us at the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – 303-627-7777.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law. You will not be alone in court, H. Michael at your side every step of the way – advocating for justice and the best possible result in your case.

Colorado Experienced Criminal DefenseABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado 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. Attorney H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case.

“A good criminal defense lawyer is someone who devotes themselves to their client’s case from beginning to end, always realizing that this case is the most important thing in that client’s life.”

You should be careful to make a responsible choice in selecting a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – and we encourage you to “vet” our firm. Over the last 30 plus years – by focusing ONLY on Colorado criminal law – H. Michael has had the necessary time to commit to the task of constantly updating himself on nearly every area of criminal law, to include Colorado criminal law and procedure and trial and courtroom practice. H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – When Does A Colorado Probation Sentence Actually Start?

Summary
When Does A Colorado Probation Sentence Actually Start?
Article Name
When Does A Colorado Probation Sentence Actually Start?
Description
A question I receive quite often is this - Does a sentence for a criminal conviction begin at the time of sentencing - or later - when the Defendant meets with the Probation Officer?
Author

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If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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