Criminal Misdemeanor Probation in Colorado
Often a defendant convicted of a misdemeanor in a Denver area criminal court will seek probation. This is one of the main alternatives a Colorado criminal court has to sentencing a defendant to incarceration or otherwise to lessen the severity of the penalty. The Court may, as a condition of granting probation, within the parameters of the law, set the conditions and length of the probation. Once imposed by a court the conditions and length are not subject to appellate review unless probation is granted contrary to the provisions of state law.
The conditions of probation are those that the court in its discretion deems reasonably necessary to ensure that the defendant will lead a law-abiding life and to assist the defendant in doing so. Although a judge has broad discretion to set the terms of probation, Colorado criminal courts are required to provide as explicit conditions of every sentence to probation that the defendant not commit another offense during the period for which the sentence to probation remains subject to revocation, that the defendant make restitution payments, that the defendant comply with any court orders regarding substance abuse testing and treatment issued, and that the defendant comply with any court orders regarding the treatment of sex offenders.
Denver criminal attorneys, and Colorado criminal lawyers generally, know that the court is also required to provide, as an explicit condition of every sentence to probation, that the defendant not harass, molest, intimidate, retaliate against, or tamper with the victim of or any prosecution witnesses to the crime, unless the court makes written findings that such condition is not necessary.
When granting probation in misdemeanor cases, the court may, as a condition of probation, require that in certain cases the defendant participate in an intensive supervision program pursuant to 18-1.3-208. The Court can also condition probation on the defendant successfully doing the following:
- Work faithfully at a suitable employment or faithfully pursue a course of study or of vocational training that will equip the defendant for suitable employment;
- Undergo available medical or psychiatric treatment and remain in a specified institution if required for that purpose. In any case where inpatient psychiatric treatment is indicated, the court must proceed in accordance with article 10 of title 27, C.R.S., and require the defendant to comply with the recommendation of the professional person in charge of the evaluation required pursuant to section 27-10-105 or 27-10-106, C.R.S.
- Attend or reside in a facility established for the instruction, recreation, or residence of persons on probation;
- Support the defendant’s dependents and meet other family responsibilities, including arranging and fulfilling a payment plan for current child support, child support arrearages, and child support debt due under a court or administrative order through any delegate child support enforcement unit that may have a child support case with the defendant;
- Pay reasonable costs of the court proceedings or costs of supervision of probation, or both. The probation supervision fee shall be fifty dollars per month for the length of ordered probation. Notwithstanding the amount specified in this subparagraph (V), the court may lower the costs of supervision of probation to an amount the defendant will be able to pay. The court must fix the manner of performance for payment of the fee. If the defendant receives probation services from a private provider, the court is required to order the defendant to pay the probation supervision fee directly to the provider. The fee shall be imposed for the length of ordered probation.
- Pay any fines or fees imposed by the court;
- Repay all or part of any reward paid by a crime stopper organization that led to the defendant’s arrest and conviction in accordance with article 15.7 of title 16, C.R.S.;
- Refrain from possessing a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon unless granted written permission by the court or probation officer;
- Refrain from excessive use of alcohol or any unlawful use of controlled substances, as defined in section 12-22-303(7), C.R.S., or of any other dangerous or abusable drug without a prescription;
- Report to a probation officer at reasonable times as directed by the court or the probation officer;
- Permit the probation officer to visit the defendant at reasonable times at the defendant’s home and elsewhere;
- Remain within the jurisdiction of the court, unless granted permission to leave by the court or the probation officer;
- Answer all reasonable inquiries by the probation officer and promptly notify the probation officer of any change in address or employment;
- Be subject to home detention;
- Be restrained from contact with the victim or the victim’s family members in cases in which the defendant was convicted of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which included an act of domestic violence;
- Be subject to electronic or global position monitoring;
- Satisfy any other conditions reasonably related to the defendant’s rehabilitation and the purposes of probation.
When granting probation, in addition to the consideration of the other provisions set forth in the relevant statute, the court is required to order as a condition of probation in cases in which the defendant was convicted of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which included an act of domestic violence, that the defendant:
- Comply with existing court orders regarding family support;
- Comply with any existing court orders concerning a proceeding to determine paternity, custody, the allocation of decision-making responsibility, parenting time, or support;
- Comply with the terms of any protection order in effect against the defendant during the probation period;
- Refrain, in many cases, from possessing a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon, unless granted written permission by the court or probation officer.
In Colorado criminal courts when granting probation, the judge may, as a condition of probation, require any defendant who is less than eighteen years of age at the time of sentencing to attend school or an educational program or to work toward the attainment of a high school diploma or a GED, as that term is defined in section 22-33-102 (4.5), C.R.S.; except that the court shall not require any such juvenile to attend a school from which he or she has been expelled without the prior approval of that school’s local board of education.
For good cause shown and after notice to the defendant, the district attorney, and the probation officer, and after a hearing if the defendant or the district attorney requests it, the judge may reduce or increase the term of probation or alter the conditions or impose new conditions.
Legal Disclaimer – The information contained at this web site is not intended to be legal advice and all information regarding Colorado criminal law is general content only and should not be relied upon for any specific Colorado criminal law situation. Information on this web site is not intended to be comprehensive and does not cover all the issues, nuances or ramifications related to the topic discussed. This web site may not be updated routinely to reflect the very most current Colorado law.
Individuals should consult an experienced Colorado criminal lawyer for advice regarding an individual situation.
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