Probation Violation Attorney in Chicago’s West Suburbs
We’re all familiar with the basic process of crime and punishment—you do the crime, then you do the time. After serving a sentence, many are released to society on probation. But what happens if you make a mistake during this time? It is common to feel concerned about what happens if you were to violate the terms of probation. Unfortunately, probation violations occur quite frequently (and many are even unintentional), but when these violations do happen, there will often be repercussions.
If you’ve recently been in violation of your probation or believe that you have, you need to contact me at the Mockaitis Law Group LLC to discuss your options. With an office in Oswego, Illinois, I proudly serve Chicago's west suburbs, including Kendall, Kane, DuPage, Grundy, and DeKalb counties.
Common Ways Probation Is Violated
There are several ways a probation violation may come about.
Failure to Report to Probation Officer: In all probation cases, you will be assigned a probation officer with whom you’ll have to meet at regular times. If you fail to report to one of these meetings, you’ll be in violation of your probation.
Failure to Pay Fines: Oftentimes, an individual will have to pay fines in addition to serving probation. There are some cases where you may wish to pay these but legitimately aren't able to, and in these cases, there are options available to avoid penalties. However, if you willfully refuse to pay these, you will likely face penalties.
Failure to Appear for a Court Date: Sometimes, people are placed on probation on the assurance that they’ll return to the court on an appointed date. Missing your court date will put you in violation of your probation.
Traveling Outside the Area Without Permission: Those on probation will often have specific geographic limits they have to stay within, whether it’s the state, county, or even their own home. If it’s discovered that you traveled outside of the boundaries without permission, there may be consequences.
Arrest for an Unrelated Crime: Perhaps the biggest violation you can commit while on probation is committing a second, unrelated crime.
Types of Violations
Probation violations are typically separated into two categories: technical and substantive.
Technical violation: Technical violations are typically less serious than substantive violations, but they can still result in penalties. It is vital to try and avoid these violations whenever possible. In general, these are violations of the supervision rules that were put in place when you were first given probation. Examples of technical violations include:
missing appointments with your probation officer,
failing a mandatory drug test,
leaving the state or county without permission;
not fulfilling court-ordered community service,
staying out past curfew; and,
seeing people or visiting places that are prohibited under the terms of your probate.
Substantive violation: A substantive violation is generally more serious and occurs when the probationer commits a new crime while under probation. This will not only cause you to face charges for the new crime, but you’ll also be facing charges for violating your probation. It’s also worth noting that the two crimes don’t have to be related. For instance, if you originally got probation for drug distribution, and then were arrested for theft while on probation, you will be looking at harsher penalties regardless.
Consequences of Probation Violation
Depending on the severity of your violation, the consequences will vary. In some cases, you may simply be issued a warning, especially if the violation was minor and only occurred one time. If the violation was more heinous or has happened multiple times, you’ll likely be sent a request to appear in court, and you’ll have to go through a probation violation hearing. From here, the judge can order that one of two things happen:
Reinstate your probation: This could mean that your probation continues as before with no modifications or that it continues with a modification (for example, more frequent meetings with your probation officer, more frequent drug tests, electronic monitoring, or added community service hours or jail time).
Revoke your probation: If a judge finds that the violation was heinous enough, they could revoke your probation completely, order you to fulfill the rest of your suspended sentence, and you would be incarcerated. The length of your incarceration will depend on whether the judge initially suspended imposing the sentence or if they suspended the execution of the sentence. In the former scenario, a judge could then impose any sentence that’s within the sentencing guidelines of the first crime you committed; in the latter, they would impose the sentence they had previously decided on.
Probation Violation Attorney Serving
Chicago’s West Suburbs
If you live in Oswego, Illinois, or any of Chicago’s west suburbs and want to consult with a criminal defense attorney about your concerns over probation violation, reach out to my firm at Mockaitis Law Group LLC for trusted legal guidance.