Qualifying for probation is a huge relief. With a probation sentence, you could keep your job, stay with your family, and live a free life. A probation sentence occurs when the judge offers you the chance to avoid serving time in a county jail.
However, there are various probation terms that the judge orders you to follow. In Illinois, you will be accused of violating probation if you fail to follow any terms the judge ordered. You could be in trouble if you violate your probation.
In most cases, the probation period could extend for a few months or even years. This may sound like a long time, but it is preferable to the alternative: serving jail time.
Read on to know what happens if you violate your probation. Additionally, you will learn how our criminal defense lawyer in Chicago can help you.
There are two types of probation, supervised and unsupervised probation. Unsupervised probation is unintrusive because you do not have to meet with a probation officer or meet other requirements, such as performing a drug test. However, you may be required to perform other duties, such as participating in community service.
Sentencing takes place if you are found guilty, or you plead guilty to the charges against you. In Illinois, probation is handled by the Adult Probation Services. A probation officer investigates your case and reviews your criminal history, family history, employment history, abuse or addiction history, educational background, mental health issues, and family history.
The probation officer will compile a report based on the investigation, recommend what type of sentence you should receive, and recommend what conditions or programs you should be required to attend should you be placed on probation.
Here is a list of some common conditions of probation:
Drug/alcohol abuse treatment
Weekly in-person visits with your probation officer
Employment and employment verification
Anger management classes
Depending on the severity of the violation, your probation officer may decide to give you a warning. In most cases, this happens when the violation is not serious or if it is the first time the probationer has violated their probation conditions.
If you violate a serious term of your probation, then your probation officer will file a Notice of Violation of Probation with the Clerk of the Court and will summon you to appear in court. After the court receives a violation petition about your probation, you will receive a mail notice instructing you to appear for the hearing. It will detail the reasons why the probation officer believes you violated your probation, as well as the date and time of the hearing.
The judge will issue an arrest warrant if you fail to appear in court for your violation of probation hearing.
The violation of probation notice will be mailed to the last address you provided. If your address changes, you must notify the Probation Department immediately. If you fail to appear in court for a probation violation hearing, you cannot claim that your address changed and you did not receive notice of the court date.
A judge considers the following factors before making a decision:
The severity of the probation violation that you committed.
If you committed other crimes apart from a probation violation.
Evidence that shows you violated your probation.
Your history of prior probation violations.
Mitigating factors for your probation violation.
In the event that the court finds you guilty of probation violations, you may have to serve your remaining time in jail. Additionally, you can be ordered to serve supervised probation if you were unsupervised. The judge can also increase your probation period and add additional probation conditions.
Suppose the judge does not find evidence that you could have violated probation. Then you may continue serving your probation on the same terms. It is crucial to choose a criminal defense attorney who can guide you on how to avoid receiving the sentencing option.
Your criminal defense lawyer could advise you about the alleged probation violation. They could also guide you on approaching the issue to receive favorable results.
There are two types of probation violations: technical and substantive probation violations.
You could be accused of a technical probation violation if you fail to meet any conditions of your probation.
Here are examples of ways you can violate probation:
Failure to report for a drug or alcohol test
Failure to pay court costs, fines, or restitution
Failure to complete community service or classes
Failure to enroll in school
Getting a positive drug test
First-time technical violations may be taken a bit leniently. That means you are less likely to receive a jail sentence for it. However, becoming a serial technical probation violator could lead to serious problems.
A substantive probation violation occurs when a defendant commits a new criminal offense while on probation. In such cases, the judge may revoke your probation sentence as you start a new trial. If you are found guilty, you could serve a lengthy jail sentence. You could be looking at penalties for the new crime in addition to the ones you face for your original sentence.
Violating the terms of probation could see you serving jail time. It could also make you a felon, and there are various restrictions on felons you would not want to experience. The good news is you could fight a violation of probation charge and keep living as a free person.
Hirsh Law Group is here to offer you the legal support you need. You could schedule a free consultation with us today and visit our offices. We are here to discuss how to move forward. It would help if you had the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. That way, you have a fighting chance to defend your freedom.
Contact us today, and you can have our full support. Our attorneys are tested in battle and have results to show for it!
There is no statute of limitations on probation violations in Illinois. Probation violation charges must, however, be filed during your probation period. Judges can extend the probation period to ensure you serve your probation. They can also revoke probation and order you to serve your original sentence.
They cannot make verbal or physical sexual advances toward you. They should also not date or meet with you outside the probation meetings.