Not every criminal case ends with an acquittal or the dismissal of charges. The accused may find that the judgment involves probation, which has the benefit of keeping the person out of the Illinois prison system. Of course, the defendant has to follow the rules of probation. Otherwise, probation may end up revoked, and jail becomes unavoidable.
Rules for probation
Probation does not come without supervision. The defendant should expect regular meetings with a probation officer to be part of the deal. Not showing up to the meetings could lead to the revocation of probation. The same would be true about failing to make mandatory court appearances. Essentially, someone on probation must agree to supervision and understand that the courts maintain jurisdiction until probation ends.
Whether the defendant likes it or not, probation comes with rules for behavior. Drug testing may be a mandatory component, and anyone failing a drug test might go right to jail. Probation could also bar someone from associating with known criminals. Refusing to follow this stipulation commonly leads to an undesirable result.
Communications could help the process
Remaining in contact with a probation officer could help individuals avoid confusion. For example, not telling the probation officer about an out-of-state trip may court disaster. Assuming that such a seemingly minor violation is not a big deal could have consequences. In most cases, avoiding a return to prison should involve little more than telling the probation officer about travel plans.
When questions and concerns arise, directing them to a probation officer may be advisable. Probation officers do not handle criminal defense matters, however, so they may not be helpful with all questions.
Those on probation may ask their attorneys to explain the terms of the deal. An attorney may also represent a client in court if a probation violation occurs.