Many sentences handed down in criminal courts involve a sentence to a period of Probation. Courts in Denver and Jefferson County have broad latitude to determine the length of probation and the terms and conditions of probation. Essentially, there are few limits on what can be imposed while on probation because the statute dictates that “the conditions of probation shall be such as reasonably necessary to ensure that the defendant will lead a law abiding life.” C.R.S. 18-1.3-204. In essence, this means that the Court can impose conditions to change conduct that may not have been at issue in the case itself. For example, an individual convicted of theft, may also be ordered to participate in monitored sobriety despite not being intoxicated during the offense.
Statutory Limitations on Probationary Sentences
Despite the court’s wide discretion, there are some limits on what can be imposed under a probation sentence:
• For a misdemeanor offense, the probation period is limited to 5 years.
• For a felony offense, the term of probation can exceed the length of the period of incarceration if a person was sentenced to the Department of Corrections.
• Jail can be imposed as a condition of probation in Arapahoe and Douglas County. For misdemeanor offenses, a jail term cannot exceed 60 days unless it is part of a work release program – where 2 years is the limit. For felony offenses, a jail term cannot exceed 90 days, unless it is part of a work release program.
• Payment of restitution is required.
In addition to requiring an individual be law abiding, courts can also impose requirements to undergo mental health treatment, complete classes, and or require drug or alcohol treatment. Read more on The Particulars of Probation.
Call Our Lawyers and Explore Whether Probation is Better Than Jail or Prison
We receive calls daily from individuals who did not know what they were getting into when they were sentenced to probation. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime and looking for a sentence to probation instead of incarceration, contact an experienced attorney that can explain all facets of probation and work out the best possible disposition in your case.
It’s critical to understand the requirements of probation in order to avoid any potential revocation and incarceration. Take your charges very seriously, as they can and will affect you for years to come. We have spent years defending the accused in Broomfield and Adams County, and we can help you too. So, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.