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There are many consequences from finding yourself in trouble with the law. You could end up paying a fine. You could be required to complete community service. You could end up in jail or prison.

Depending on the type of crime, you may also be put on probation.

But what is probation? How does it affect you now and in the future?

If you have questions about the specific guidelines of your probation, you can consult with your probation officer for more information and a better understanding. However, it never hurts to personally learn more about the finer details of how the probation process works in Denver.

What is probation?

Probation is a court-ordered sanction that allows a person to remain free in their community as long as they agree to monitoring by a probation officer.

The terms of probation vary from case to case and often include things such as:

If you follow the guidelines of your probation, there will come a point when you can move past this part of your life.

Conversely, should you violate the rules of your probation, you could find yourself back in the court system. Depending on the violation, this could lead to being sent back to prison or jail. 

Can you go to jail if you’re on probation?

It’s a common myth that you won’t go to jail if you’re on probation. This doesn’t always hold true, as there are two distinct types of probation:

  1. Going on probation as opposed to going to jail. To remain out of jail, it’s required to successfully meet all the terms and conditions of probation. 
  2. Serving time in jail and then being put on probation upon your release. In this case, you may be able to serve a shortened sentence since you’ll be on probation in the future.

Some people will do whatever they can to avoid jail time. Others would rather do their time and get released, as opposed to going on probation. 

Knowing how each type of probation works will allow you to take the right approach as you move through the legal system.

Is probation really that serious?

If you avoid jail time – and are instead put on probation – you may think you’re in the clear. You may think you can still do whatever you want, for the most part.

While it’s true that probation allows you to remain free in your community, it’s important that you remain serious about the process.

The probation system is in place to keep the public safe. So, if you violate the rules of your probation, you’ll soon find yourself back in front of a judge.

What does a probation officer do?

Denver probation officer meeting.
Your Denver probation officer will meet with you regularly to make sure you’re meeting requirements and give you support throughout the probation process.


You don’t manage the probation process on your own. Instead, the court assigns a probation officer to you. 

This person has many responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • Supervising your actions and behavior 
  • Meeting with you on a regular basis 
  • Assessing you to ensure that you’re living up to the guidelines of your probation
  • Talking to you about any risks that can result in a probation violation, such as illegally using drugs
  • Setting up drug and alcohol tests
  • Overseeing your rehabilitation 
  • Helping you gain access to any services you require, such as drug or alcohol rehabilitation and career counseling
  • Preparing documentation for the court (such as when it’s time to go off probation)
  • Providing overall support in an attempt to help you maintain a stable life

It’s important to note that your probation officer isn’t “out to get you.” Yes, they’re part of the legal system, but they truly want to keep you in the community. 

You don’t have to be friends with your probation officer, but respecting them and making their job easier would be in your best interest. 

A Denver criminal defense attorney will guide you in the probation process

It doesn’t matter if you’re leaving jail or being put on probation instead of serving time, it’s important to understand what the probation process involves. Any unanswered questions or concerns can cause you trouble down the road.

If you have reason to believe your criminal charges could result in probation or worse, consult with the experienced Denver criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC.

With an experienced and knowledgeable Denver legal team on your side, you’ll better understand your criminal charges, how to protect your legal rights, and how the probation process could work in your favor.

The word “probation” is scary to most, but it doesn’t have to be. The more knowledge you gather, the easier it is to understand your situation and how to make the most of it so you can move on with your life. Give us a call today at 303-635-6768 to schedule your free consultation.


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