For many people who have been convicted of a crime, probation is usually one of the more favorable sentences. In the state of Illinois, probation is used as a way to allow those who are convicted of crimes to live in their own homes and stay in their communities while they serve out their sentence. Probation does require you to follow certain rules, however. There are certain things you can and cannot do when you are on probation. In Illinois, being on probation means you are not permitted to violate any criminal statutes, and you must periodically report to your probation officer, among other things. There are also situational requirements and prohibitions that you must follow while on probation. If you violate any of the terms of your probation, you could face even more consequences.
Notice of Violation of Probation
After your probation officer learns that you have done something that you were not supposed to do while on probation, he or she will file a petition for violation of probation with the clerk of the circuit court. You will then receive a notice of this petition in the mail, which may instruct you to attend a hearing for the violation. Depending on the nature of the violation, you may have a warrant for your arrest issued before the hearing, but if you do not show up for the hearing, you will also have a warrant issued for your arrest.
Hearings for Alleged Violations
Before anything is decided, the hearing will determine whether or not you actually violated the terms of your probation. The state has the burden of proof in probation violation cases, meaning you do not have to prove that you are innocent. Instead, prosecutors must prove that you are guilty. In probation violation cases, the state must provide a preponderance of evidence to the judge before he or she will determine that you are guilty. This means that the probability of the violation being true is higher than the probability of it not being true.
Consequences for Probation Violations
If the judge determines that you have violated a term of your probation, there are a few different things that the judge can do. As a result of a probation violation, the judge can:
- Allow you to continue with your existing probation sentence, unmodified;
- Change the terms and/or length of your probation;
- Revoke your term of probation; or
- Impose any other available sentence for your original crime.
Have a Will County Probation Violation Attorney by Your Side
If you have been summoned to attend a hearing or there is a warrant for your arrest because of a probation violation, the best thing you can do is to call a Joliet, IL probation violation lawyer right away. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we understand that accidents can happen, but we also believe everyone deserves a second chance. Call our office at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation today.