For decades, courts in Colorado sentenced defendants to both incarceration and probation. For example, a court would impose a 5-year sentence to the Department of Corrections followed by 10 years of probation supervision. These sentences were handed down following a guilty verdict at trial or pursuant to plea agreements. Such sentences were most often imposed in sexual assaults, serious domestic violence matters, and financial crimes. Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Boulder, Jefferson County, Garfield County, and Denver routinely sentenced defendants to prison followed by a lengthy period of probation supervision.
In late 2019, the Colorado Supreme Court issued the Allman decision. Under Allman, it is illegal for a court to sentence a person to both imprisonment and probation in the same case. This decision is retroactive. Not only are courts prohibited from imposing these sentences going forward but anybody currently serving such a sentence is entitled to relief or resentencing.
The bad news first: the courts are ill-equipped to identify people who are serving illegal sentences. If you or a family member received a sentence to both prison and probation, the court will not automatically fix the problem. Prosecutors have no interest in resurrecting these cases. Probation departments want to keep people on probation. Unless proactive steps are taken, these illegal sentences will be served out in their entirety.
Now the good news: with proper legal representation, these sentences can be fixed and the “fix” is significant. Litigation can result in probation being terminated. This can save years of supervision, thousands of dollars in fees and costs, and most importantly, provide protection from a revocation that could result in a new sentence to the Department of Corrections.
Our firm is currently handling a number of Allman cases. In a recent matter, Marshall Breit secured resentencing for a client that resulted in probation being immediately terminated. This was two (2) years before the client was scheduled to discharge probation. In a second matter out of Denver, SOISP probation was terminated nine (9) years early.
Every person currently serving a sentence that included imprisonment and probation is entitled to have their sentence corrected. If you or a family member received such a sentence, we urge you to call us.