What is Probation in the State of Illinois?
Some Illinois criminal convictions do not involve a jail sentence at all but do involve serving a period of probation. Other convictions result in a combination of a shorter jail sentence and probation. The sanction of probation is not available in every case or for every crime, but if the conviction is for a relatively minor crime, and you don’t have a prior criminal record, it is possible that you will receive probation instead of a jail sentence. Assuming that you do not violate the terms of your probation, you may not have to go to jail at all.
Defining Probation Under Illinois Law
If you receive probation as a result of a criminal conviction, you will be allowed to remain in the community instead of serving the time in jail to which you were sentenced. While you are on probation, you have to follow certain rules and guidelines, including reporting to a specific probation officer, who will monitor your compliance with the probation requirements. The duration of probation depends on the type of crime for which you are convicted. In most cases, probation lasts from one to three years, but it could be longer, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Terms of Probation
Every person whom the court places on probation will have to comply with specific terms in order to successfully remain on probation and out of jail. There are some general terms contained in most probation cases, but there will be additional terms based on your situation. For instance, your probation will require you to meet with your assigned probation officer on a regular schedule and appear at all court hearings. Terms of probation typically prohibit you from committing further crimes, using illegal drugs, or drinking. To that end, if your case involved drugs or alcohol usage, you may be required to attend drug or alcohol treatment and/or education programs and undergo periodic drug and alcohol testing. You also may have to pay fines, avoid visiting certain places or seeing certain people, and complete community service.
Violating the Terms of your Probation
If you violate one or more terms of your probation, your probation officer will determine if you should simply receive a warning or if you should attend a probation violation hearing. If the court finds that you have violated your probation, you may have to continue on probation with additional terms imposed by the judge, pay more fines, or have your probation revoked altogether, which means that you will serve jail time. You could end up serving the time in jail called for by your original sentence, or you may just serve a short time in jail.
Schedule an Appointment With Your St. Charles Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Probation can involve some strict requirements, and if you violate those requirements, the consequences can be severe, up until and including the revocation of your probation. This is why the assistance of an experienced Naperville criminal defense lawyer is essential in all cases involving probation as part of your sentence. Contact the attorneys of Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today, and learn how we can help in your criminal case.