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Denver Probation Criminal Defense Lawyer: Probation and Parole - What's the Difference?

In many ways Probation is like Parole in Colorado. Both are used as alternatives to housing people in Jefferson or Adams County jails or in Colorado state prisons. Probationers and Parolees are both supervised under the authority of an officer who has the authority to arrest clients who are accused of violating the terms of their agreements. The terms of probation or parole agreements vary depending on the conviction, the level of cooperation from the defendant, the personality of the probation or parole officer, and other variables.

Arapahoe County Probation Attorneys: Under the Jurisdiction of the Court

Magistrates and judges, whether in Littleton Municipal Court, Arapahoe County Court, or in Denver District Court, use probation as a sentencing option for people convicted of crimes. Probation can be granted for all but a class 1 felony or class 2 petty offense (other factors apply). If the judge or magistrate believes probation is appropriate, then the day to day responsibility for supervision falls upon the probation officer.

Probation in Jefferson County - Terms Which Cause Problems

In minor cases defendants may be granted unsupervised probation and simply told not to violate any other laws until the probation timeframe is up. However, in most cases defendants are required to visit a probation officer periodically and abide by a more strict set of rules. Probation officers are given a lot of latitude in determining what a defendant may or may not be allowed to do. Some of those restrictions may consist of curfews, abstinence from alcohol, no computer or internet use, random drug and alcohol testing, community service, and many more. We often get calls from people on probation asking if it is legal for a probation officer to keep them from certain things. The answer is almost always yes. It is important for probationers to keep in mind that the state of Colorado considers probation a privilege, not a right. If a person is facing termination from probation, a revocation hearing will be quickly set. If probation is revoked, the court will impose a sentence according to the guidelines of the original offense, often including some Arapahoe County Jail time. Read more about Probation Officers and Probation violations.

Douglas County Parole: Managed by the Colorado Department of Corrections

While the supervision of a parolee may look the same as a person on probation, there is a huge difference in how the programs are administered. Parole is administered through the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) rather than by the courts. It is imposed by statute and only occurs after someone leaves prison. Once convicted and sentenced to prison, DOC regulates the classification, treatment, and release of inmates. Parole Officers work under the authority of the DOC, and the big stick they carry is the threat of sending parolees back to prison if they do not comply. In a later blog I will discuss the statues which govern the release of inmates from DOC.

If you are on Probation in Douglas County, or Parole in Jefferson County, although they have been limited, you still have rights. If you are facing Probation Revocation or termination of your Parole, you may be entitled to legal counsel. Always remain silent about your alleged violations of the terms of Probation and Parole. Then, call us to find out how we can help at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.

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