Illinois Violation of Probation

10 Questions

  1. WHAT IS A VIOLATION OF PROBATION?
  2. HOW AM I NOTIFIED OF THE ALLEGED VIOLATION?
  3. WHAT COULD HAPPEN WHEN I APPEAR IN COURT THE FIRST TIME FOR THE VIOLATION?
  4. AM I ENTITLED TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY REPRESENT ME?
  5. AM I ENTITLED TO A HEARING?
  6. AM I ENTITLED TO HAVE A JURY DETERMINE IF I AM GUILTY?
  7. WHAT DOES THE STATE HAVE TO PROVE?
  8. WHAT CAN I BE SENTENCED TO?
  9. CAN MY ATTORNEY MAKE A DEAL WITH THE STATE IF IT IS IN MY BEST INTEREST?
  10. HOW ELSE CAN IT AFFECT MY PROBATION?

When a person is sentenced to Probation, there are certain conditions and requirements the person must do or meet. Some (but not all) of the more common probation requirements are:

  • Do not commit another crime
  • Complete a certain number of days/hours of SWAP
  • Complete a certain number of days/hours of community service
  • Attend certain counseling or receive certain care
  • Report regularly to your Probation Officer or Social Service worker
  • Not use drugs, marijuana or even alcohol
  • Maintain a curfew
  • Pay a fines and costs

If you fail to do or meet any of the conditions or requirements during the term of your Probation, the State can request to file a Petition to Violate your probation. Below are the answers to the most common questions people have about the charge of violating your probation.

WHAT IS A VIOLATION OF PROBATION?

It is a Petition, filed by the State, that alleges that you failed to comply with one or more of the conditions of your Probation.

HOW AM I NOTIFIED OF THE ALLEGED VIOLATION?

It is sent in the mail to the address you provided to the Probation Department at the time of your sentencing, or any updated address you provided the probation department since that date. So if you moved and did not tell them, you might not receive the violation notice, fail to appear in court, and have a warrant out for your arrest because you failed to come to court to answer the violation.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN WHEN I APPEAR IN COURT THE FIRST TIME FOR THE VIOLATION?

On the initial court date for the violation, depending on the seriousness of the allegation in the violation; you could be taken into custody and held without bond; you could be taken into custody and bond be set by the Judge; the Judge could give you an I-Bond, which imposes conditions on you but does not require you to post money to gain your release; you could be ordered to submit to an immediate drug test; the Petition for Violation could be continued to another day; a hearing on the Petition could be conducted; or the Petition could be dismissed. There are also other possible resolutions for the first court appearance, but the above are the most likely.

AM I ENTITLED TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY REPRESENT ME?

You are absolutely entitled to be represented by an attorney of your own choice.

AM I ENTITLED TO A HEARING?

You are entitled to enter a plea of “not guilty” to the allegations in the Petition and demand that the State prove the allegations against you.

AM I ENTITLED TO HAVE A JURY DETERMINE IF I AM GUILTY?

No. Since a Petition to Violate Probation is, technically, not a criminal proceeding, you are not entitled to a jury. A Judge hears the evidence and then decides if you are guilty.

WHAT DOES THE STATE HAVE TO PROVE?

The State has the burden of proving that it is more probably true than not true that the violations alleged are true.

WHAT CAN I BE SENTENCED TO?

If the Judge finds you guilty, you can be sentenced to any sentence that the Judge could have originally sentenced you to when you were given probation. For example, if you plead guilty to Possession of a small amount of a Controlled Substance in exchange for your probation, if the Judge finds that you violated your probation, the Judge could sentence you to 1-3 years in the state penitentiary – which was the maximum sentence you could have received initially.

CAN MY ATTORNEY MAKE A DEAL WITH THE STATE IF IT IS IN MY BEST INTEREST?

Yes. There is no requirement that a hearing take place, so if the parties can reach an agreement, with the Judge’s approval, the matter could be resolved in that way.

HOW ELSE CAN IT AFFECT MY PROBATION?

The filing of a Petition to violate your probation tolls the term of your probation. What that means is that it could extend your probation by the time it takes to resolve the petition.

When you are faced with a charge that you violated the terms of your probation, the consequences could be serious. You need a criminal defense attorney, experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable in dealing with probation violations. We represent clients in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Joliet, Lockport, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Oak Forest, Plainfield, Romeoville, and all other cities in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005