For many crimes, probation is a sentencing option that is given primarily to first-time offenders or offenders who do not have a history of violent crimes and whose crime did not involve violence. In Illinois, probation is used as an alternative to prison time, which promotes the offender’s rehabilitation and also attempts to reduce the rate of recidivism. The terms of probation vary, because many of the terms are decided on a case-by-case basis in order to provide a more individualized and tailored sentence. If you violate the terms of your probation, you could face unwanted consequences, and in some cases, you may even end up going to jail.
Probation Violation Notice
Everyone who has been sentenced to probation will be assigned a probation officer who helps guide them through the rehabilitation process. Once your probation officer learns that you may have violated your probation, he or she will then submit a petition for violation of probation to the clerk of the circuit court. The clerk will then send you a notice of this petition in the mail, along with a request that you attend the hearing for your violation. If you choose not to attend this hearing, there will be a warrant issued for your arrest.
Probation Violation Hearings
When it comes to probation violations, you are given the benefit of the doubt, since the burden of proof lies with the state. In other words, you do not have to prove that you did not commit the violation -- the state must provide a preponderance of evidence that supports the claim that you violated the terms of your probation. Once this evidence (or lack thereof) has been established, it is up to the judge to determine the outcome.
Possible Consequences for Probation Violations
Not all probation violation hearings will result in disciplinary action. If the judge determines that there is not sufficient evidence, you will not be found guilty of a violation. If you are found guilty, the judge then has to determine what your punishment will be. The judge can choose to:...