Please use the contact form to send us an email - and receive a response within 12 hours.
Emergency? Call 720-220-2277 (24/7)
Colorado UA’s – The “Hot” UA – Urinalysis Screening When You Are On Probation – Several different types of probation require frequent and random urinalysis for alcohol and or drugs. The Colorado Department of Probation has developed standards for the administration of these tests as well as policies for handling “hot” or positive results from those tests. This article addresses issues surrounding Colorado drug urinalysis testing.
Colorado policies and procedures governing urine screening are developed through the Colorado Judicial Department. When on probation – drug screening is supposed to be used as a “tool” for identifying, monitoring and treating substance abuse. The idea – the intention – the principle and objective of drug testing and or screening is to monitor compliance judge ordered conditions of probation. The practice in court is often very different.
The idea behind the UA’s is to deter the “probation population” from substance abuse while on probation.
Urinalysis testing is usually conducted when every “probationer” is screened for a pre-sentence report and when he or she is first placed on probation. Certain specialized probation programs such as “Intensive Supervision Probation” (ISP), “Juvenile Intensive Supervision” (JISP), and “Specialized Drug Offender Programs” (SDOP), have very detailed and specific testing rules.
When “hot,” “missed,” or “diluted” results happen, the decisions on how to react to these situations are governed by policies followed by local county probation departments. The protocols for the collection of urine are set out under Colorado law and policies.
The results of all urine screening are maintained in the case record which includes the test date, the type of test employed, the results, the actions taken, and any fee collected or assigned.
The type of tests used to monitor drug use apply to both post sentencing probation supervision and pre-sentence drug screening and even drug use monitoring while on bond.. as a condition of bond.
A drug test is a scientific and technical analysis of a biological specimen. Urine, hair, blood, breath, air, sweat, or oral fluid / saliva/. While all such tests can be used to determine the presence or absence of specified parent drugs or their metabolites are in your system, the preferred test, because of lower costs, is the UA.
There are different kinds of screens – one of the most comprehensive is the “10-panel urine screen”
The 10 panel screen – searches for the following drugs:
Other Types of Urinalysis screens use:
Pre-sentence drug screening – The typical “pre sentence drug screening: consists of a minimum “5 screen panel.” Here the substances screened may vary with the Colorado Judicial District – but typically are:
Positive drug test results- if they are contested by the defendant – by and through his lawyer if he has retained one -and resulting in court probation revocation procedures are to be confirmed by a test called Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS).
These “confirmed” positive samples are required to be retained for a minimum of six (6) months following the confirmation testing. Defendants who are advised on positive or “hot” drug tests are required to be advised that they may request a second confirmation test within 30 days and that second confirmation test is at the offenders’ expense.
From the perspective of probation – all positive test results mean the continued use of drugs which is inconsistent – of course – with treatment and probation supervision goals.
Here is a chart to help you understand drug testing results:
A refusal to submit to urine screening, or an un-excused absence from a drug test are both deemed a violation of the terms and conditions of probation and subjects the probationer to a violation of probation.
Know this, If You Are Caught When You Are “Under the Influence” you will be arrested and placed into custody. Probation officers A probationer going to court or visiting with his or her PO will be taken into custody if the probation officer has probable cause to believe the probationer is under the influence of controlled substances, and presents “an unreasonable risk of serious bodily harm to self of others, or the offender is likely to flee from further legal action.”
If that happens – the probation revocation complaint follows on the heals of the arrest.
Depending on your drug or alcohol use “assessment” your treatment needs are viewed according to this chart…
Level 1 – No Treatment
Level 2 – Drug and Alcohol Education
Level 3 – Weekly Outpatient Therapy
Level 4 – Intensive Outpatient Therapy
Level 5 – Inpatient Residential Treatment
Level 6 – Therapeutic Community
Level 7 – No Treatment – Assess for Psychopathy
The number of hours in treatment proportionally increases as the treatment level increases.
Those severely addicted to illegal drugs can be helped while on probation – really. The first step is called “medical detoxification.” This first stage of addiction treatment does not change long-term drug use, but is essential to the management of the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with the immediate end of drug use.
Part of the detox procedure is called monitoring. The idea is that drug use during treatment has to be monitored continuously. If lapses occur – and here is the point – they are expected and are ‘tolerated” to some degree while on probation. Urinalysis or other kinds of drug tests help the probationer withstand urges to use drugs. Drug monitoring is used to adjust the individual’s treatment plan and provides feedback to defendants who test positive for illicit drug use.
It is recognized by Colorado probation divisions that recovery from drug addiction can be a long-term process and may require multiple set backs followed by new episodes of treatment. Relapses because of addiction require prolonged treatment with long-term abstinence to achieve success.
New research has established that drug addiction is a brain disease that affects behavior.
“Addiction has well-recognized cognitive, behavioral, and physiological characteristics that contribute to continued use of drugs, despite the harmful consequences. Scientists have also found that chronic drug abuse alters the brain’s anatomy and chemistry and that these changes can last for months or years after the individual has stopped using drugs. This transformation may help explain why addicts are at a high risk of relapse to drug abuse even after long periods of abstinence, and why they persist in seeking drugs despite deleterious consequences.”
Therefore, the experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer will argue in court that treatment must last long enough to produce stable behavioral changes in the relapsed client. By breaking old patterns thinking and behaving and learning new skills for avoiding drug use, those with severe drug problem learn to manage the problem.
The idea behind the UA is to monitor drug use. The triggers for drug relapse are complex and may be the result of mental stress, associations with peers and social situations linked to drug use. The thinking is that an “undetected relapse” will progress to serious drug abuse, but detected use presents “opportunities for therapeutic intervention.”
Treatment modalities vary and may change over the course of probation. The goal is to match the treatment interventions to the individual’s particular problems and needs. This is considered critical to his or her ultimate success at probation.
Long term probation – as opposed to incarceration in jail or prison – makes the most sense. The research indicates that the threshold of significant improvement is reached at about 3 months.
Following this “threshold.” additional treatment begins to produce further progress toward recovery. The problem is people on probation often quit treatment prematurely.
The goal of the lawyer is to persuade the DA and judge that drug use monitoring through urinalysis or other methods is only a PART of the treatment modality and provides a basis for assessing and producing feedback on the defendant’s “treatment progress” NOT an opportunity to punish him or her for failure.
Drug use monitoring should be viewed as providing an opportunity to intervene and to change unconstructive behavior. Punishment, such as jail, in this context, should take a backseat to a modification of the treatment plan which is intended to help the defendant to achieve success while on probation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author – A Denver Colorado Drug Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-227-7777.
If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about Colorado UA’s – The “Hot” UA – Urinalysis Screening When You Are On Probation, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.
H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.
Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.
Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm Today.
Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving …Colorado UA’s – The “Hot” UA – Urinalysis Screening When You Are On Probation.