Grand Junction Probation Violation Attorneys
Step one foot out of line and the law will come down hard on you. Many probation violators don’t even know they did anything wrong, because the Colorado legal system can be a confusing maze. But that won’t stop a Mesa court judge from sending you off to jail.
There are two types of probation violations: technical and substantive.
- A technical violation is when you do something like forget a counseling session that was part of your court-ordered probation.
- A substantive violation is when you’re accused of committing a brand-new crime while on probation.
When you are put on probation, you will be given certain conditions that you must follow in order to keep your probationary rights. Breaking these conditions would be considered a violation and is grounds for a probation violation hearing. You will be given a written statement of these conditions to ensure that you know and understand them.
While each case is different, and you receive conditions based on criminal history and the type of crime committed, every sentence will have a few more common conditions attached:
- You may not commit another offense/crime
- You must pay restitutions to any victims involved
- You may not harass or intimidate any victims or witnesses
- You must allow any substance testing and treatment that is ordered
- You must follow any court orders for registration of the sex offender list
Violating any terms of your probation can lead to you being arrested and taken into custody. Often you are arrested with a “no bond” warrant, meaning that a hearing must be held before a judge can set a bail and allow you out of jail. A “Motion to Revoke Probation” (MRP) will also be filed. The prosecution will present this motion before the court during your probation violation hearing.
During this hearing, you are permitted to have an attorney, so you should have an experienced criminal defense lawyer at your side. There will also be no jury, and the judge will decide your case. Evidence will be presented by the prosecution as to how your probation was violated and why it should be revoked. Your attorney will be given the chance to rebut and refute these allegations, which leaves the judge to determine what the outcome of the case will be.
There are a few possible rulings that the judge can make. They could revoke your probation and order you returned to custody to serve the rest of your sentence. Your probation may be allowed to continue, but the terms might be changed. The motion can be denied, allowing you to continue on with the terms of your probation.
The standard of proof is the amount of evidence necessary to determine proof in criminal cases. Generally speaking, for criminal cases the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” meaning that based on common sense and the evidence presented, there can be no doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime they’ve been charged with.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case with probation violation hearings. Often, the standard of proof is actually lower. Instead of beyond reasonable doubt, it is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” If that judge feels the evidence presented shows your guilt, then they will most likely allow the motion and revoke your probation.
A good criminal defense attorney will be able to figure out what the best defense for you during your probation violation hearing will be. As the defendant in this case, the prosecution is the one that has the burden of proof. They must provide evidence that you are guilty. On the other hand, you do not have to prove you are innocent, just that the prosecution has failed to properly demonstrate your guilt.
You may not even need to compile too much evidence and can instead use the prosecution’s evidence against them. Your lawyer could argue that the drug tests were unreliable or tainted, that there was a misidentification and you were mistaken for another individual, or perhaps that any witnesses brought forward were not reliable.
Or, if you do not want to risk a lengthy court case, you can admit to the violation and allow your attorney to negotiate to keep your freedom and probation.
You may not have to go to jail if you take the situation seriously and hire a skilled Grand Junction criminal defense lawyer who knows Western Slope courts backward and forward. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we intensely investigate all our clients’ cases to find the best way to help them. If you need a probation violation attorney, talk to us. We may be able to help you. To request your free consultation, give us a call at (970) 243-4357.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.