Your sentence of probation meant you avoided time in jail. This may have been a relief to you, but it certainly did not mean you were completely off the hook. You may have received probation in return for a plea of guilty, which means you still have a criminal record. Additionally, your probation likely came with terms you may not violate without serious consequences.
The consequences of failing to fulfill the terms of your probation may vary depending on the circumstances of your conviction and the details of the alleged violation. You will want to take this offense seriously and seek quality legal advice since your freedom may be on the line.
Violating the terms of your probation
Your probationary terms may be different from someone else’s depending on the original charge, but generally, a probation violation in Illinois may result from any of these actions or others:
- Failing to attend a hearing related to your probation
- Neglecting to meet with your probation officer at your appointed time
- Failing a drug test or possessing illegal drugs
- Associating with people prohibited in your probationary terms
- Leaving the state without permission from your probation officer
- Failing to pay restitution required by the terms of your probation order
Understandably, if police arrest you for another offense, even if it is not a criminal offense, your probation may be in jeopardy.
Facing the consequences
When an alleged violation reaches the attention of your probation officer, that agent may have some discretion about how to proceed. He or she may simply give you an official warning, or you may receive a summons to appear in court to address the charge of violating your probation. If the latter occurs, you can expect some consequences, for example any of the following:
- Extending the length of your time on probation
- Assessing a fine against you
- Adding more stipulations to your probationary terms
- Revoking your probation and sending you to jail for the remainder of your sentence
- Revoking your probation and adding more jail time to your sentence
Before these judgements occur, you have the right to present your case to the court. After all, the circumstances surrounding the incident may have a tremendous bearing on the decision of the court regarding the determination of your guilt or the severity of your sentence. You would be wise to ensure your rights have every protection under the law, and the services of a skilled attorney may provide that protection.