If you’re on probation, whether supervised or unsupervised, you’ve been given conditions you must comply with as part of your sentence. For instance, in a DUI case you must complete community service as a condition of probation, or in domestic violence counseling for DV probation. If those conditions aren’t completed, or if the Court doesn’t get proof of you completing them, the District Attorney or the Probation Officer will likely move to revoke your probation by filing a Complaint and Report (C&R), because of the probation violation. When this happens, a copy of the C&R is mailed to you along with a court date. If, for whatever reason you don’t receive the new date, and fail to appear, a warrant will be issued. Often times, when this happens, you’ve completed all of your requirements, but, for whatever reason, the Court didn’t receive proof of completion, and you end up in jail. Its terribly important to keep your address updated with the court, and to make sure proof of everything you’ve done makes it to the Court file.
For revocation hearings in Colorado Springs, you are generally given two appearance. The first is called the “advisement”, and this is a date where the judge tells you how you’re alleged to have violated your probation. You have a right to have a hearing on whether or not you did in fact violate your probation, and if its proven by a “preponderance of the evidence” that you failed to comply, then the Judge will revoke your probation.
There are defenses available for revocation hearings. First and foremost, its possible to get the revocation date set out far enough from the advisement so that you can get into compliance with probation before the hearing. If this occurs, then the Court and the District Attorney will likely not move to revoke your probation.
If the alleged probation violation is because of being arrested or charged in a new offense, then the District Attorney will need to prove that you committed the new offense beyond a reasonable doubt to revoke your probation. Clearly, if the new offense is dismissed or you’re acquitted at trial, then it can’t be used to revoke your probation.
Finally, the probation revocation can be negotiated. Everyday in El Paso County Court, the District Attorney’s Office and Probation Department seek to revoke probation in criminal cases. Those cases rarely go to hearing. Why? Because judges will allow there to be a stipulation about the outcome of the revocation.
You need a competent criminal defense attorney if your probation is being revoked. Having a Colorado Springs criminal lawyer who knows how to negotiate the case, how to discuss the case with the Probation Officer and the District Attorney, what outcomes can be obtained—and more importantly, what outcomes will be accepted by the Court—is crucial. A violation of your probation in El Paso County doesn’t have to mean you’re going to jail or prison, but it does mean you should contact a criminal defense lawyer who regularly practices in Colorado Springs to give you the best chance of a good outcome.