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Can My Probation Be Terminated Early in Colorado?

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP November 3, 2021

For many people, being on probation feels like a gift because they avoided being sent to jail. For others, they are placed on probation after they’ve already been released from jail and now they have to finish out their sentence in this way. Regardless of whether it feels like a positive or a negative outcome, probation can be an incredible inconvenience. Whether the inconvenience is meeting with a probation officer far too often, being drug tested, or just living with the constant stress of knowing that any small misstep can land you back in jail, it can be a difficult time. Fortunately, it is sometimes possible to have your probation terminated early. 

 

A Judge Can Terminate Probation Early

Under Colorado law, it’s possible to receive early termination of your probation based on the discretion of the court. The statute states the following: “For good cause shown and after notice to the defendant, the district attorney, and the probation officer, and after a hearing if the defendant or the district attorney requests it, the judge may reduce or increase the term of probation or alter the conditions or impose new conditions.”

This means that at any point of your probation, you and your attorney can request that your probation be terminated early. This doesn’t mean it will be granted, though. To determine the conditions that will give you the best chance of receiving early termination, it will require that you speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling this issue. 

 

Improving Your Chances of Early Termination

While there’s no requirement that you serve a specific amount of time on probation before you can seek early termination, there are steps you can take to set yourself up for success. Chances are, if you request early termination after being on probation for a few weeks, there won’t be any good or legitimate reason for the judge to grant your request. Consider taking the following steps before requesting early termination:

  • Successfully complete the terms of your probation

While you can’t make time go faster, you can complete some or all of the terms of your probation before the end of your sentence. Pay off any fines that you owe, remain drug and alcohol free and pass all drug screens if that’s a requirement. You should also obtain and maintain employment if required, complete any classes or tests that were mandated, and make sure you are following all of the conditions of your probation. 

  • Develop a good argument for early termination

Finding good reasons for early termination will be your lawyer’s responsibility, but it is something you can certainly help your attorney obtain. Why do you want to receive early termination of your probation? Is the situation preventing you from getting the job you want? Is it stopping you from seeing your family or going back to school? If there is a solid reason for early termination and you’ve successfully completed all of the other requirements except for the length of time served, the judge is more likely to grant your request. 

 

Speak With a Lawyer Who Can Help

If you believe you are a good candidate for early termination of your probation, you should always seek help from an experienced Boulder criminal defense attorney. They will know how to properly navigate this legal process.