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Colorado criminal defense: Probation Q and A

Following a criminal conviction, or the entry of a guilty plea, it is possible for one to receive a probation sentence rather than some form of incarceration. Colorado only considers probation in certain types of criminal defense cases. This week, this column will address a few common questions some may have about how probation works.

Question number one is: Who may be eligible for probation? This type of sentence may be available to any adult or juvenile charged with a felony or misdemeanor crime. Before deciding if it is a viable option, a risk assessment must be conducted. Depending on the results, one may receive regular probation, intensive supervision or incarceration.

Question number two is: If put on probation, what comes next? If a person receives a probation sentence, he or she needs to immediately contact the assigned probation officer. This will be the person he or she must report to and work with in order to ensure all conditions of probation are being met.

Question number three is: What happens if I violate the terms of probation? There is not a lot of leeway when it comes to probation violations. If one fails to meet the terms and conditions set by the court, one's case may be sent back to criminal court and re-sentencing is possible. Potential penalties include another probation sentence, community corrections, prison or jail term.

It is impossible to address every possible question one might have regarding probation in a short blog post. In short, it can be a good thing and every year it helps numerous individuals avoid incarceration. Colorado residents who would like more information about this topic can turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney for assistance.

Source: courts.state.co.us, "Colorado Judicial Branch: Probation FAQs", Accessed on Jan. 22, 2018

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