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Can You Pay a Fine Instead of Completing Community Service Hours

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Posted By | April 29 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Colorado, your sentencing and probation requirements may include community service as restitution. For some, it is easier to pay a fine. Payment of a penalty is faster, and it does not have to happen in a public setting.

Are you allowed to forgo community service and pay a fine? What type of offenses can require community service? Speak with a knowledgeable team with unique insight into building strong cases for Colorado clients.

Misdemeanor Offenses

The Colorado court system can require that you complete community service for misdemeanor offenses. The service is not an option if ordered, and you can be arrested if it is proven that willful incompletion of community service took place. What are examples of misdemeanor offenses that may require restitution in the form of community service?

  • Traffic violations
  • Minor drug offenses
  • DUI: Driving under the Influence
  • DWAI: Driving while ability impaired
  • Shoplifting

You may be sentenced to community service more than once. The sentencing will depend on the charges and if repeat offenses occur.

Must I Perform Community Service

As previously stated, you must perform community service if it is part of your probation. You must meet all requirements issued by the judge or agreed upon by the representing parties to complete probation. The terms of probation are non-negotiable, and there are no buyouts by paying fines.

The goal of community service as part of a defendant’s sentencing is rehabilitation, with the purpose being to allow the defendant to give back to the community where the offense took place. In addition to contributing to the community, this type of restitution helps to relieve the burden of overcrowded jails and prison systems.

The community service hours ordered will depend on the offense. The hours must be reasonable and fit the action. They must also not interfere with the defendant’s ability to perform their regular job.

Community Service Options

There are many community service options that will meet your probation requirements. Service hours and work is coordinated through a probation officer. Trash pickup is not the only way to complete community service requirements and give back to the community.

  • Food Banks
  • Animal Shelters
  • Senior Centers
  • Grounds and Trail Cleanup
  • The Humane Society
  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Service that allows you to apply a particular skill you possess

You may seek available opportunities in your area. In addition to your community service hours, fees are also part of your probation. These fees will help cover insurance requirements while performing your service and can run up to $75.

Your service cannot affiliate with a religious organization because of the separation of church and state. Additionally, if you currently volunteer with an organization to benefit your community, you must perform your court-ordered service with a different entity. Even though your ordered community service is about giving back, it is still a form of punishment for an offense.

Let Us Answer Your Questions

When charged with a violation of the law, it is not uncommon to have questions. Let McAdam’s Law Office, DUI & Criminal Defense Attorneys walk you through the process to help negotiate the best outcome for your case. We can determine the best strategy to apply to your situation.

The only way to ensure solid representation is to seek the help of attorneys experienced in Colorado law, particularly in criminal defense, DUI, and traffic offenses. We will treat you with the dignity and respect that everyone deserves.

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