When on probation, there are many rules you must adhere to in order to avoid serving out the rest of your sentence behind bars. If you are convicted of a DUI while on probation for a previous DUI or other crime, you could be required to serve out the rest of your sentence in jail or prison, as well as face the penalties associated with your new DUI conviction.
Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the best way to avoid the worst consequences of a probation violation. Attorney Christian A. Schwaner has a long history of helping those on probation who are facing a DUI charge
Probation Violation Penalties
In general, a probation violation is going to result in negative consequences. However, the extent of those consequences varies depending on the severity of the violation. Penalties will be based on your behavior during your probation before your alleged violation, the manner in which you violated your probation, and the discretion of the probation officer and the court.
In some cases, a probation violation may result in a simple warning. However, if you commit an additional crime, such as driving under the influence, you will likely have to serve out the rest of your sentence behind bars, along with facing the penalties associated with the DUI that violated your probation.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction
In addition to having to serve out the rest of your initial sentence in jail or prison, being charged with a DUI while on probation will also mean facing the penalties associated with a DUI charge. Penalties for a DUI vary significantly depending on whether or not you have any previous DUI convictions.
First DUI Offense
In Colorado, a first offense for a DUI is a misdemeanor charge punishable by:
- Five days to one year in jail
- A fine of $600 to $1,000
- 48 to 96 hours of public service
Second DUI Offense
A second DUI offense is also a misdemeanor. However, the potential consequences of a conviction are a little harsher. Penalties include:
- 10 days to one year in jail
- A fine of $600 to $1,500
- 48 to 120 hours of public service
Third DUI Offense
For a third DUI offense, you will still be looking at a misdemeanor charge, and the potential fine, public service hours, and maximum jail time will remain the same as with a second offense. However, the minimum jail time for a conviction will jump significantly from 10 to 60 days.
Fourth or More DUI Offense
If you have three or more previous convictions, a fourth DUI conviction will result in serious consequences. At this point, you will be charged with a felony rather than a misdemeanor. A felony DUI charge can mean two to six years in prison and a fine ranging from $2,000 up to $500,000.
You Can Face the Consequences of a Probation Violation Even if You Are Not Convicted of a DUI
When it comes to probation violations, the rules work a bit differently than they do in a standard criminal proceeding. When you are brought in for a DUI while on probation, it is possible that your probation will be revoked even if you are ultimately found not guilty of the DUI.
The burden of proof for a probation violation is much lower than what is necessary for a criminal conviction. Instead of proving that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, like in a criminal trial, all that needs to be shown is that you, more likely than not, were guilty of a violation.
A probation violation does not entitle you to a jury trial. Instead, the prosecution will present their evidence in front of a judge, your attorney will respond to the evidence and argue the case on your behalf, and the judge will make their ruling within seven days.
Appealing a Decision to Revoke Your Probation
If your probation is revoked due to a DUI charge, you may be able to appeal the decision of the court. However, the right to appeal in these cases is limited, and unless there was a procedural violation committed by police or the prosecution in the handling of your arrest or trial, it is unlikely that you will succeed in getting the decision to revoke your probation overturned.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the manner in which your case was handled and determine whether or not attempting to appeal will be worth your time and money.
Hiring an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Is Your Best Chance of Beating a DUI Probation Violation Charge
When facing a DUI charge while on probation, the deck is stacked against you. Even if you are innocent of the DUI charge, with the lower burden of proof, it is likely that your probation will be revoked. However, there is still the chance to avoid the revocation of your probation or any other consequences.
However, without the help of a Colorado criminal defense attorney, your odds of victory are close to zero. An experienced lawyer will be aware of the challenges that come with these types of cases and the best means of fighting back. Attorney Christian A. Schwaner has a long history of defending his clients against a variety of charges.
Beating a probation violation charge is never easy. We understand the difficulties you face and will work diligently to give you the best odds of beating the charge against you. If you are facing a DUI charge while on probation, contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free initial consultation.