When you are convicted of an offense, either after a trial or due to a guilty plea, the judge has discretion when sentencing you. One commonly sought after sentence is probation. Probation allows you to avoid jail time, maintain employment, and provide for your family. Not every offense is eligible for probation. If you are placed on probation by the judge, you will be instructed to adhere to a variety of conditions. If you fail to follow the judge’s order, you will be in violation of probation. The judge will likely hold a probation violation hearing and will have the power to revoke your probation and send you to prison. If you have violated probation and want to avoid prison time, you need to contact a defense attorney immediately to help you craft arguments for the hearing.
David L. Freidberg is a renowned criminal defense attorney in the Chicago metropolitan area who has been serving clients charged with probation violations since the inception of his law firm. Since then, The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg has expanded tremendously and now serves clients from all over the northern Illinois region, including Beverly, Bridgeview, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Evanston, Harwood Heights, Hyde Park, Markham, Maywood, Morton Grove, Naperville, North Riverside, Rolling Meadows, Skokie, Summit, Tinley Park, Wheaton, and Wheeling. With three offices located in Skokie, DuPage, and Chicago, The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg is available 24/7 to speak with you about your probation case.
If you have been charged with a probation violation, contact The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg now at (312) 560-7100 or (800) 803-1442 to schedule a free consultation.Sentencing and Probation
When you plead guilty or are convicted of a crime after a trial, you will proceed to sentencing. The Circuit Court for the county to which your case is assigned has its own Adult Probation Department. The probation officers will conduct pre-sentence investigations and write reports. These reports will review your criminal history, family history, job history, abuse or addiction history, educational background, mental health issues, and family issues. Based on the investigation, the probation officer will offer a recommendation for the type of sentence you should be given and will likely recommend certain types of conditions or programs for you to be enrolled in should you be placed on probation. The judge will consider the findings and suggestions of this report but is not bound by them.
At the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor, the victim, your defense attorney, and you will all be given a chance to speak. The judge will then sentence you. If you are sentenced to probation, the judge will likely require certain conditions or programs. The judge will place all of these special conditions on the judgment order, which your probation officer will review.Probation
Probation in Illinois can be supervised or unsupervised. Unsupervised probation is more commonly associated with less serious misdemeanors. Unsupervised probation does not require you to meet with a probation officer or drug test. However, you will not be allowed to be re-arrested during this period, and there may be other special conditions such as community service. Unsupervised probation is the most un-intrusive form of supervision.
Supervised probation is supervised by the Adult Probation Department. You will be assigned a probation officer. That probation officer will implement the special conditions that were ordered by the judge. Common conditions and programs include:
- Community service
- Drug testing
- Weekly in-person visits
- Weekly telephone calls
- Home visits
- Employment and employment verification
- No new re-arrests
- Anger management classes
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse treatment
- Mental health treatment
The Adult Probation Department has both multiple supervision levels and specialized programs. For instance, supervision may be minimal, which often involves drug testing on occasion or supervision may be intensive, with frequent in-person contact with your probation officer or in-patient residential treatment programs. In addition, supervision may be through the Mental Health Unit, Domestic Violence Unit, Intensive Drug Program, Intensive Probation Supervision, Adult Sex Offender Program, or other special units.Probation Violations
- Failure to report for drug testing or weekly visits
- Failure to enroll in mental health, drug or alcohol treatment
- Failure to pay fines or restitution
- Failure to complete community service
- Testing positive on drug tests
- Failure to complete community service or classes
- Failure to appear for home visit
- Failure to maintain or obtain a job
If you violate a condition of probation, one of two things will happen: your probation officer will give you a warning or your probation officer will issue a violation report. Warnings are generally reserved for more minor violations, such as missing a weekly meeting or failing to submit employment verification on time. Your probation officer will call you to remind you of your conditions, and if you fix the issue, your mistake will be forgiven.
However, for more severe or recurring violations, the probation officer will draft a violation report and submit it to the sentencing judge. The violation report will outline your progress and adjustment, list all of your violations, and provide a recommendation for action. Your probation officer may request stricter conditions or that your probation be revoked.Probation Revocation Hearing
When the judge receives the violation report, the judge will review it and decide whether to schedule a probation revocation hearing. If the judge declines to schedule a hearing, you will continue in probation with your current conditions. If the judge schedules the hearing, you will be ordered to report to explain your infractions.
At a probation revocation hearing, the prosecutor, your probation officer, your defense attorney, and the judge will be present. Your probation officer will provide a review of your performance while on probation and will offer a recommendation to the judge. The prosecutor will then either agree with the probation officer or offer an alternative recommendation. Your defense attorney will be tasked with then explaining your violations, providing any evidence of forward progress during your time on probation, and arguing for either termination of probation or resuming probation. You will also be given a chance to explain yourself and plead your case.
If the judge revokes your probation, you may be sentenced to incarceration. The judge can sentence you to any amount of incarceration within the minimum and maximum amounts allowed for the specific offense you were convicted of. However, if the judge declines to revoke your probation, the judge can instead do one of two things: (1) give you a second chance and allow you the opportunity to remain on probation, or (2) terminate your probation as unsatisfactory. While the latter choice sounds unfavorable, it ends your probation immediately. You will no longer be required to report, and your case will be permanently closed.Chicago Criminal Defense Law Office Serving Probation Violation Clients
If you have been accused of violating probation, an accomplished criminal defense lawyer like David L. Freidberg can assist you with fighting the probation revocation process. For a free initial case consultation, call The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 or (800) 803-1442. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.