Were you recently arrested for a crime in Arapahoe County? If so, you probably have a lot of questions, especially about probation. Will you go to jail? Can you get probation instead of jail time? How do people criminal defendants get probation? What happens if you violate a term or conditions of your probation, will you go to jail? Continue reading as I explain probation in further detail and the consequences of a probation violation.
For starters, probation and parole are not the same thing. Probation is a sentencing alternative for criminal defendants, meaning certain defendants are granted probation instead of being sentenced to the Colorado Department of Corrections. Some juveniles will receive probation instead of being committed to the Division of Youth Corrections.
Parole is a “conditional release” from either of the above departments. If an offender is on parole, he or she may have very similar requirements as probation. For example, both probationers and parolees are usually told to stay away from alcohol or drugs, and to avoid getting arrested for a new offense.
How Does Someone Get on Probation?
In order to be put on probation, it has to be ordered by the court. However, a defendant does not get probation if their case is dismissed or they’re found not-guilty. To get probation, a defendant either pleads guilty, or he or she is found guilty by a court of law.
“Are probation and community corrections the same?” No, they are not the same thing; however, they are both “sentencing options” that a judge can use. People can get confused because when people are sentenced to Community Corrections, they are under the care of the Probation Department. Also, sometimes a defendant is on probation, as a condition of their probation, they enroll in a residential program at Community Corrections.
Common probation conditions:
- Submit to drug testing
- Stay away from victims
- Pay restitution
- Perform community service
- Pay court-ordered fines
- Receive mental health counseling
- Stay away from drugs and alcohol
- Take alcohol classes
- Be a law-abiding citizen
- Stay gainfully employed
- Attend a Victim Impact Panel
- Do not leave the area without the Probation Officer’s permission
Who is placed on probation? Misdemeanor and felony offenders (juveniles and adults) can be granted probation by the courts. If someone is considered a “high risk offender,” they may be sentenced to intensive supervision, which is stricter than traditional probation. If probation is violated, it can lead to an arrest and imprisonment depending on the facts of the case.
Are you facing criminal charges in Arapahoe County or the surrounding areas? If so, I urge you to contact my office at (720) 809-8262 for a FREE consultation.