It can be very difficult for someone to live while on probation. Probation is issued to those who are charged with a crime but wind up not being sentenced to jail time. Probation is also issued to people who are released from jail ahead of their sentence being completed. A violation of probation can be problematic for the person serving it. Let’s take a look at what happens if you violate your probation so you can be prepared for what is to come.
Violation is Not Discovered
It is entirely possible that you could violate the terms of your probation and have it go undiscovered by the prosecutor assigned to the case. If this is the case, the prosecutor will not be able to file a motion to revoke your probation, which would send you back to jail or to jail for the first time. It is not uncommon for this to happen based on the terms of your probation and what is considered a violation. Even though this is possible, you should still adhere to the terms so you do not risk going to jail.
Strike a Compromise with Probation Officer
Violating the terms of your probation will not automatically sent you to jail, but it all depends on those terms and your probation officer. Some people are able to work out a compromise with their probation officer, especially if the violation is not serious. For example, maybe you missed a meeting with the officer but called ahead to say you would miss it or called to apologize after missing the meeting. The officer will likely let it slide, but do not count on this happening all the time.
Motion to Revoke to Perform Task
Another option available to the prosecutor when you violate the terms of your probation is filing a motion to revoke the probation to get you to perform a specific task. The motion to revoke can then be canceled if you perform the task asked of you. This most often happens when the subject has been well behaved while on probation but has failed to perform a task. That task is most likely the payment of fines. Again, do not count on this happening all the time, as some prosecutors are easier to work with than others.
Motion to Revoke for Major Violation
The next option the prosecutor has is to file a motion to revoke your probation for a major violation of the terms. This most often happens when the prosecutor believes you have violated your probation in more than just a minor way. For example, you were charged with a new crime, have missed multiple meetings with your probation officer, have had positive drug or alcohol test results, and more.
There are a couple of options available to you in this situation. The first is that you can schedule a time for a hearing and argue your case in front of a judge if you believe the prosecutor will be unable to prove the violation. The other option is to have your criminal defense attorney meet with the prosecutor to work toward a deal if you agree that you violated your probation.
If the second option is what you must work toward, you could find yourself making a deal to stay out of jail but extend your probationary period, go back to jail to finish your sentence, pay more fines, or even admit to the violation and somehow avoid jail time.
If you have violated your probation in Chicago, you need to speak with an experienced criminal attorney. Call the office of David Freidberg at 312-560-7100 today to schedule an appointment.
(image courtesy of Greg Rakozy)