How does a person succeed under a Probation sentence in Denver or Arapahoe County? By keeping humble and trying hard. Now for the details. All probation is not equal and the kind of probation granted will depend mostly on the crime. Probation can be supervised or unsupervised. It may involve very restrictive rules such as no contact with children or a requirement to vacate a residence. In Jefferson and Douglas County a person given probation for most any sex offense will be placed on Sex Offender Intensive Supervised Probation, ISOIP, which is much more restrictive than any other type of probation. Any probation requires effort on the part of the probationer.
Petty Offenses, Misdemeanors, and Felony Probation
C.R.S. 18-1.3-202 gives judges the authority to grant probation under certain circumstances. If probation is granted it should be noted that the length of time imposed may exceed the maximum amount of time a person can be incarcerated. In the case of a felony, probationary sentences can be indefinite but petty offenses and misdemeanor probation cannot exceed five years. When a person agrees to probation in Weld County, he should know that if his probation is revoked, he may spend the full amount of his time behind bars.
Denver Intensive Supervised Probation or ISP
In the case of some crimes, such as sex offenses, probation departments have set up Intensive Supervision Programs, or ISP. These programs are very restrictive. Probationers are drug tested at regular intervals, have strict curfews, are visited frequently at their homes or places of work, and are usually required to show up for PO visits once a week or more. ISP is not easy. In fact we have been asked by clients on several occasions to help them self revoke so they can avoid the harsh restrictions of ISP by doing their time in jail or prison.
The Probation Officer, or Your PO
In my opinion the probation officer (PO) is the most important variable who will determine the success of a probationer. Although most POs are honorable, I have seen authority go to the heads of some who have become abusive. Respecting the authority a PO has over you and learning how to get along with your PO is critical. Most POs are over loaded, so it is beneficial to not be the guy getting the most attention. Here are a few more dos and don’ts that will help you get through probation.
Do’s and Don’ts with Probation Officers
Do: Obey your PO
Don’t: walk up to the edge of a rule by trying to get away with something you know is not permitted
Do: be honest with your PO
Don’t: think your PO is your friend
Do: remember, your PO has the authority to arrest you for a violation of any of the terms of your probation. You don’t have to do something illegal to have your probation revoked
Don’t: bug your PO with special requests
Do: be courteous and polite – even if your PO is not
Don’t: go overboard with politeness. Extreme behavior looks suspicious
Do: keep your cool – Humility goes a long way
Don’t: argue with your PO. You can never win. If you win your argument, you will still lose the war
Do: document everything your PO tells you and what you say to your PO
Don’t: think you can out smart your PO
Do: remember – if you are on probation, you have already been found guilty of a crime. Probation is considered optional
Don’t: think your PO will not lie about you. Getting on her bad side is dangerous
If you are on probation in Adams County, or anywhere in Colorado, you need to know you still have rights. If you think those rights are being violated, call us for a free consultation. We can help you step through your situation and explore your options. To speak with a criminal defense attorney, call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.