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If I Violate My Probation in Colorado, What Will Happen?

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If you are on probation in Colorado and you violate the terms of your probation, you will be required to appear before a judge at a probation violation hearing. At the hearing, the prosecutor will present evidence that you violated the terms of your probation, and you will have an opportunity to respond to those allegations. If the judge finds that you did indeed violate the terms of your probation, they will then decide what sanctions to impose.

The Possible Outcomes of a Probation Violation Hearing

The judge can impose one of three possible sanctions if they find that you violated the terms of your probation: revocation, continuance, or modification.

If the judge revokes your probation, you will be sent to jail or prison to serve out the remainder of your sentence.

If the judge continues your probation, it means that your probationary period will continue without any penalties being imposed.

If the judge decides to modify the terms and conditions of your probation, they can impose any number of additional conditions, such as requiring you to complete drug treatment or submit to random drug testing.

The decision about which sanction to impose will be based on a number of factors, including:

  • The severity of the violation
  • The nature of the underlying crime
  • Your criminal history
  • The financial and emotional impact of the crime and the violation on the victims involved
  • Any mitigating factors that may exist
  • Whether there is a pattern of violating probationary conditions

The Colorado Court Process for Probation Violations

If you or a loved one is on probation in Colorado and have been accused of violating the terms of probation, it is important to understand the process that will take place in court.


If you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, the first thing that could happen is that you are arrested. Once you violate probation, a warrant for your arrest may be issued.

Prosecutor Files Motion to Revoke Probation

The prosecutor handling your case has to file a motion to revoke probation. This document will set forth the basis for why the prosecutor believes that you have violated the terms of your probation and why they believe that your probation should be revoked as a result.


Once the motion to revoke probation is filed, you will have a hearing before a judge where evidence will be presented, and witnesses may testify. This hearing is like a mini-trial, but there are some important differences between this hearing and a full-fledged trial. One of those differences is the standard of proof that must be met in order to revoke someone’s probation.

The standard of proof required to find someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt does not apply in probation violation hearings. Instead, the standard of proof is usually “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that if the judge believes it is more likely than not that you violated your probation, they can revoke your probation even if they have some doubts about whether you actually did violate it.

The Different Types of Probation Violations in Colorado

When someone is on probation, they are typically required to check in with a probation officer, obey all laws, and not partake in any activities that would violate the terms of their probation. However, probation violations are common, and can result in serious penalties. Some of the most common examples of probation violations include:

  • Failing to Check in With a Probation Officer
  • Failing to Pay Fines or Restitution
  • Arrested While on Probation
  • Harassing the Victim
  • Failing a Drug Test

If you have been accused of violating your probation, it is important to consult with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney who can help you defend the charges. The consequences for violating your probation can be serious and may include additional fines, restitution, or even jail time. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.