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What happens if I violate my probation in a DUI case?

By Edited Aug 1, 2016 0 0

          Violating probation is always a bad idea, especially in DUI cases in Denver Colorado.  When you are put on a trial period, the judge is giving you a chance to stay out of jail.  He gives you that chance based on you doing the things that he wants you to do.  Whether the judge wants community service, counseling, or just staying out of trouble, it is essential to meet those conditions. 

            If you do something wrong that would violate your probation, it does not mean that it is automatically violated.  First, your probation officer will decide whether to bring you before the judge for a violation hearing.  If your probation officer decides to give you a second chance, feel lucky and don’t mess up again.

            If your probation officer decides to bring the issue before the judge, you will have the option to plea guilty to the violation or to set it for a violation hearing.  If you plea guilty to the probation violation, the judge may reinstate you back to probation, meaning that you are back on your original terms of probation, the judge may add conditions to your probation (like alcohol testing once a week), or the judge may decide to revoke your probation and send you to jail.  If you do not plea guilty to the violation, the State will have to prove that you violated your probation.  The State does this by calling witnesses who can say what you did to violate your probation.  If the judge finds that there is sufficient evidence, the judge will find you guilty of your violation and decide what to do to you.  Keep in mind that the evidence will not have to be convincing beyond a reasonable doubt.  All that the judge will have to do is believe that it is more likely than not that you violated your probation to find that you violated.

            There are certainly advantages and disadvantages of pleaing to a probation violation.  In the pre-hearing, your attorney will be able to talk to your probation officer and try to work out a deal with the probation officer.  Your attorney, with the probation officer can tell the judge that you violated your probation but that the probation officer is recommending the deal that you worked out.  One benefit of this is that judges almost always follow the recommendation of the probation officer, so if you have an agreement worked out, you will get that agreement.  The disadvantage is that you are admitting to the violation and the judge certainly could impose greater sanctions on you than what your attorney agreed to with the probation officer.

            One of the advantages of taking a probation violation to hearing is that the State will have to prove that you violated.  This is very difficult for the State to do, in terms of getting everyone to court and having the hearing.  The main disadvantage is that you lose any leverage in terms of working out a deal with the probation officer.

            To determine whether you should admit to violating your probation, to resolve the violation, or if you want a probation violation hearing, you need to the best Colorado DUI criminal defense attorney available to you to advise you or your options and present your case in the best light possible at the hearing.



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