August 23, 2019

Colorado Court of Appeals: Probation is a Privilege, Not a Right, and May Be Revoked for Violation of Any of its Terms

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Fair on  Thursday, March 28, 2013.

Probation—Revocation—Sex Offender—Request for Stay.

Defendant appealed the district court’s orders revoking his probation and denying his motion to stay the probation revocation proceedings and the sentence imposed on revocation. The orders were affirmed.

Defendant pleaded guilty to sexual assault, a class 4 felony. The trial court agreed with the recommendations contained in the offense-specific evaluation and presentence investigation report,and sentenced defendant to sex offender intensive supervision probation (SOISP) for a term of ten years to life. As part of the sentence, the court ordered defendant to “complete sex offender specific treatment.” Subsequently, defendant’s probation officer filed a motion to revoke defendant’s probation based on defendant’s termination from offense-specific treatment for refusing to admit to committing the offense. The court thereafter revoked defendant’s probation.

Defendant argued that the district court abused its discretion in revoking his probation and sentencing him to a term in the Department of Corrections (DOC). Probation is a privilege, not a right. If a probationer violates any condition of probation, the order of probation may be revoked. Because defendant violated the terms of his probation to complete sex offender specific treatment, the court did not abuse its discretion in revoking his probation and sentencing him to the DOC.

Defendant further contended that the district court’s refusal to continue the revocation proceedings denied him the opportunity to properly litigate his motion to vacate his guilty plea. Defendant cited no legal authority to support this argument, nor did he demonstrate how he would be prevented from litigating his post-conviction motion after this current appeal is discharged. Under these circumstances, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying his request.

Summary and full case available here.

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