If I Violate the Terms of My Probation Sentence, What Happens?
If you’ve pleaded guilty or been convicted of a felony in Illinois, there may be a good chance that you will serve all or part of your sentence on probation. Probation is a way for you to avoid doing prison or jail time after a criminal conviction, allowing you to continue working to support your family, in exchange for complying with the terms imposed by the judge.
Pre-Trial Investigation (PTI) or Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) in some situations may be ordered by the judge in order to determine whether you’re eligible for probation. Where a PTI or PSI has been requested, the judge at the Circuit Court where you’ve been ordered to appear, such as Markham or Bridgeview Courthouse, will request a report from the probation department to be completed recommending a sentence. The probation department will look at factors such as your criminal history, any history of drug or alcohol abuse, and whether or not you’re supporting a family when determining whether you’re a good candidate for probation. Your Chicago area criminal defense attorney will also have an opportunity to convince the judge that you are a good candidate for probation rather than imprisonment.
There are many different types of probation that you may qualify for, such as:
- 1st Offender Probation – Leads to the case being dismissed and removed from your criminal history.
- 2nd Chance Probation – Leads to charges qualifying to be expunged from you criminal history.
- TASC Probation – Special Probation for individuals addicted to drugs permitting them to undergo treatment and qualifying them for expungement.
- Drug Court Probation – Special Probation for repeat drug offenders.
- Mental Health Probation – Special Probation for individuals with Mental Health Conditions.
- Veterans Court Probation – Special Probation for the Men & Women who have Served and Protected our Country within one of the branches of our Armed Forces.
- 710/1410 Drug Probation – Special Probation for 1st Time Drug Offenders qualifying them for Expungement of charges.
Since a judge can impose such a wide variety of terms and conditions on you during probation, there are many ways that you can violate these terms. For example, if the judge has imposed regular drug testing as a condition of your probation, testing positive for drugs or failing to take a test will be considered a violation. If you are sentenced to supervised probation, you will be required to meet with your caseworker on a regular basis. Missing these meetings will be considered a violation of your probation terms. Additional violations could include failing to complete mandatory community service, failing to get or keep employment, failing to attend drug or alcohol counseling, or being arrested for a new crime.
While some violations may be sufficiently minor to result in only a warning, your caseworker will track each violation and eventually submit a violation report to the court, listing each incident where you did not comply with your probation terms. The judge can use this report as a basis to hold a probation revocation hearing.
At the probation revocation hearing, your caseworker, the prosecutor, and your attorney will have a chance to argue for why you should or should not be permitted to either remain on probation on the same conditions, stay on probation with new conditions put in place, or whether you should instead be required to serve time in jail. If your probation is revoked, you could face incarceration for any portion of the time you could have received had you not instead been sentenced to probation. Your hearing could also result in your probation being terminated as unsatisfactory. This would mean you would no longer be bound to comply with your probation terms, but it could prevent you from having the conviction removed from your record, or obtaining a probation sentence on a different conviction. A skilled Homewood criminal defense attorney will be able to fight for your best interests before the court to keep you out of jail and on a path back to a brighter future.
If you are in the Chicago area and are facing criminal charges at the Markham Courthouse or Bridgeview Courthouse, contact knowledgeable and determined Homewood criminal defense attorney John Fairman for a consultation on your case, at 708-799-4848.