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What Are The Common Ways People Violate Their Probation Terms?


The easiest way to violate your probation is to get arrested on new charges. Other than that, what I commonly see are people who have conditions of probation that they just haven’t completed. For example, maybe they didn’t report to the probation officer, they were required to take drug tests and they didn’t show up for those, they were required to do community service and they didn’t complete all that, maybe they had to do what’s called SWAP, Sherriff’s Work Alternative Program, and they didn’t do that, or they completed some but not all, maybe they were required to have drug and alcohol treatment, or maybe they didn’t pay their fines. Any probation condition that you were assigned, and that you have not completed could technically be a violation of probation. Contacting a Criminal Defense attorney in Illinois is beneficial to acquire more information about your case.

What Can Someone Expect To Happen When They Are Charged With a Probation Violation?

When you are charged with a probation violation, you are going to receive a letter explaining the violation, and advising you of your court date. With some misdemeanor cases, and with most felony cases, if you receive that letter then you should expect that on that court date, the judge will conduct a bond hearing for the term. The judge will decide how much money you need to post for a bail bond to stay out of jail while your violation is pending.

Will Someone Generally Be Arrested On The Spot For A Probation Violation?

It’s possible to be arrested on the spot for a probation violation. You should expect to have to post some type of bail, particularly in a felony case. It’s rare to have no bail set for a probation violation. For example, even if you didn’t show up to court and the judge issued a no-bail warrant, once you are arrested for the warrant and are in front of the judge, most of the time the judge will set some type of bail. This means that there is some amount of money that you can post that would allow you to get out, but sometimes a judge will take you into custody on the first day of the violation. That’s where the attorney comes in, because I can frequently avoid this outcome and that is what a good Criminal Defense attorney in Illinois should be able to do.

How Soon Will I Have An Actual Court Appearance In A Probation Violation Case?

You’ll receive a notice in the mail that you’ve allegedly violated your probation, and that you must appear in court on a particular date. Usually that court date’s within a month of receiving that letter, but sometimes it might only be a week or two later.

Do I Have The Right To An Attorney At A Probation Revocation Hearing?

You always have the right to have your own lawyer present, and a violation of probation should be treated as seriously as if you were arrested on a new case. This is because the judge has the power to re-sentence you to any sentencing options that were available on your charge to begin, with including jail or prison time. It’s not just something that you want to handle by yourself, because there’s a lot at risk.

What Happens At The Court Hearing For The Probation Violation?

At the first hearing, we are generally advised of the nature of the violation—in other words, what you did or didn’t do to violate the terms of your probation. A bond hearing is generally held as well. From there, I frequently will ask for a continuance, just to see if we can remedy the situation causing the violation—such as paying the fines, or completing community service or treatment.

Is The Prosecution Involved At This Point Or Is The Decision Solely Up To The Judge?

The probation officer really takes the lead during these hearings, and reports to the judge the facts that have led up to the evaluation being filed. Technically, the prosecutor is prosecuting the violation, but it’s the probation officer that is more involved than the prosecutor. This is because they are the one telling the judge that the person on probation did this, or didn’t do that. If it comes down to a hearing, then the prosecutors would be involved, but up to that point the probation officers take the lead.

For more information on Probation Violation In Illinois, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling our Criminal Defense attorney in Illinois at (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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