When a defendant is convicted of a non-violent crime in Illinois and he or she is considered no threat to the public, the sentencing court has several alternatives for handling the defendant’s punishment. If it has been determined that the defendant does not have a serious criminal history and the current charge is not serious enough to sentence the defendant to a period of incarceration, the court has the option to sentence the individual to probation.
Probation has many obvious advantages over jail time, but it is still considered punishment and the defendant must comply with many requirements in order to remain out of prison. The conditions of probation imposed by the court depend on the nature of the offense and can include curfews, monthly meetings with a probation officer, maintaining employment, drug and alcohol education classes, payments of fines and other court fees, and in some cases urine tests. If a defendant breaks their probation by failing to abide by all of the terms set by the court, they run the risk of being reported to the sentencing court by the county probation department. If the sentencing court determines that the defendant is indeed in violation of the terms of their probation, the defendant runs the risk of being sentenced to prison instead of remaining on probation.
If you have been fortunate enough to receive probation and avoid imprisonment, you definitely do not want to risk your freedom now by violating your probation, especially if it was nothing more than an honest mistake. As noted above, the consequences for a probation violation can be quite serious and it is in your best interest to have an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you to fight to maintain your freedom. At the Law Offices of Peter W. Lewis