The Colorado statute giving courts authority to impose a probation sentence is C.R.S. 18-1.3-202. Upon conviction, the judge will list the conditions of probation. These conditions can be imposed in an Arapahoe County Court, Douglas District Court, or Lakewood Municipal Court. This supervision can be used in conjunction with jail or as a standalone remedy. It can be ordered as unsupervised, or more commonly as supervised. In misdemeanor cases, it can last up to five years and in felony cases there is no time limit.
Unsupervised probation may happen in a Denver County Court case where a judge does not require a person to visit a probation officer on a regular basis. The restrictions placed on these people usually amounts to not getting into any more trouble for a specified period of time. If they do, probation is revoked and other sanctions are applied.
The more serious a criminal conviction, the more restrictive the terms of probation can be. Courts have a wide range of restrictions at their disposal and it is up to officers (P.O.s) to enforce them. In addition to specific conditions, a judge in Adams County will give P.O.s the authority to add whatever restrictions they feel are necessary to do their jobs. This gives P.O.s a tremendous amount of authority. In fact P.O.s in Jefferson County are permitted to arrest their clients if they suspect a client has violated a condition of supervision. That is a lot of unchecked power.
Beyond regular adult supervised probation most counties have specialized departments for specific needs. In addition of making clients do random drug and alcohol screening, setting curfews, and doing in home visits, SOISP officers enforce compliance with Sex Offender Treatment programs, polygraph testing, DNA sampling, and other specialized requirements. SOISP is the toughest kind of supervision a person can receive. It is so tough, we have helped some of our clients intentionally revoke their supervision and choose to go to prison rather than remain on Sex Offender Intensive Supervised Probation.
Some officers are unreasonably difficult. This kind of P.O. satisfies her need for power and control by giving vague or conflicting instructions and making it impossible for a client to succeed. This kind of P.O. has been known to make compliance so difficult that probationers are forced to lose their jobs, or stop having contact with supportive family members without good reason.
If you are facing possible revocation in Weld County, or anywhere in Colorado, we can help you step through the probation mine field. Call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.