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DuPage County probation violation defense attorneyFor 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:

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DuPage County probation attorneyWhen you find yourself in trouble with the law, there are dozens of outcomes that could arise from an arrest and conviction. Most of the time, the biggest fear offenders have is going to jail, but not all crimes carry prison sentences. Even if you are convicted of a crime that carries prison time, you will not necessarily be sentenced to prison time. 

One of the more favorable outcomes of any criminal conviction is probation. Probation is typically used as an alternative to a prison sentence, allowing the offender to proceed with their normal life -- with a few exceptions. There are certain things that the state of Illinois requires those who are sentenced with probation to do and certain things that are prohibited during the probationary period.

Prohibited Actions During Probation

For the most part, the things that you are forbidden from doing during your probation sentence depend on the type of crime you committed and what the judge believes is appropriate to prohibit you from doing. All offenders who are on probation are not permitted to leave the state without the court’s permission, violate any criminal statute anywhere or possess a firearm if your crime was a felony or a misdemeanor that involved the intentional infliction of bodily harm.

In addition, you could have other restrictions during your probationary period based off of your original crime. For example, a person who is convicted of drug possession or distribution may be ordered to not have any amount of a controlled substance in their system at any time. A person who is convicted of domestic violence and has a record of violent behavior when they are drinking may be ordered not to drink or have any amount of alcohol in their system.

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Wheaton criminal defense attorney, sentenced to probationNot every guilty plea or verdict of guilty means jail or prison time. Many people convicted of crimes will instead be sentenced to probation.

While for many probation is better than serving time behind bars, there are still serious consequences to a criminal conviction and probation term.

Length of Sentence

Probation is often an alternative to time behind bars. However, most probations sentences are backed by threat of jail or prison time if the probation terms are not kept.

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