probation violation

Probation Violation- Know What You Are Facing

A probation violation is a serious situation that can land someone in jail. A probation violation is not a new case but rather the formal means the State uses to repentance a criminal defendant. The new sentence typically involves incarceration because prison or jail is a valid sentencing option in all felonies and misdemeanors offenses in Illinois. A violation of probation can be filed anytime the State believes that you have violated any of the terms or conditions of your probation.

What Constitutes a Probation Violation?

Probation is a sentence that is an alternative to prison. As a result, probation carries with it conditions that must be met by the person placed on probation. Typical probation terms include not being arrested while on probation, regular meetings with a probation officer, abstaining from drugs, and staying away from a certain people or a certain place. The probation terms will vary on case-by-case basis. However, the conditions imposed will depend on many factors such as the nature of the crime, your background, whether it was a victimless crime, or whether there is a history of alcohol or drug abuse. A violation of probation can be filed if any of the terms or conditions of probation are broken.

How is a Probation Violation Filed?

A probation violation begins with a petition for violation of probation (VOP) being filed by the prosecutor. The VOP will allege which terms of probation have been violated and how they were violated. After the prosecutor files the petition for a probation violation, the court can issue a notice for the person to appear in court or it can issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. If the court issues a warrant, it may also impose a bail amount for the probation violation; however, a no bail warrant is also possible.

The Hearing on a Probation Violation

A hearing on a probation violation is governed by the rules of evidence but unlike a trial where the State must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, in a probation violation hearing the State needs to prove the probation violation by only a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence is much lower than beyond a reasonable doubt, which requires the State only to show that it was more likely than not that the probation term was violated. 

How Long Can the State Wait Before Starting the Probation Violation Hearing?

Generally, the State has 14 days to conduct the probation violation hearing if the person is in custody as a result of the probation violation. However, if the person is being held on another crime then the hearing must be conducted within the statutory speedy trial limit.

Sentencing on Probation Violations

If the State wins the probation violation hearing, the court may impose any sentence that was available at the time of initial sentencing. Typically, a more severe sentence is imposed if the State proves that you violated your probation. What sentence is imposed after a probation violation hearing depends on a variety of factors, such as the nature and seriousness of the violation, whether any prior violations have occurred, and whether there are other aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

Conclusion

Probation violations are serious that can result in significant prison or jail time. Unfortunately, any violation of your probation can result in the State seeking to terminate your probation. If you or a loved one has been accused of violating probation, Contact Jaleel Law P.C. immediately to schedule your free consultation with a former prosecuting attorney and Top 40 Under 40 Attorney in Illinois.