What is a Probation Violation?
A probation violation occurs when you’re on probation, and you violate a term of your court sentence.
Examples of Probation Violations:
One example of a violation is if a police officer arrests you on a new case. Other examples include: if you do not pay your fine, you do not keep in contact with the probation department, or you do not complete drug and alcohol treatment (if this was one of the conditions).
How to Handle a Probation Violation:
As an attorney, I have several concerns when addressing a probation violation. First, the judge may set a new bond on the date they make you come to court. This means the judge will put you in jail until you post another bond. I always tell a client to have as much money available as they can. This way, they are prepared if the judge sets a new bond.
In the majority of cases when I appear with a client, the judge does not set a new bond. In these cases, my client can leave. However, some judges will set a bond. Each judge handles violations differently. Several factors determine how a judge will respond. These include: the judge, the type of violation the prosecutor alleges you committed, and the nature of the original charge. They also include: how long you were on probation, whether a prosecutor filed previous violations against you, and your employment and family status. As an attorney, my job is to address all of these issues and more. I do this in order to convince the judge not to take a client into custody and that the violation should not result in the a re-sentencing of a client.
Consequences of a Violation:
A violation can cause the judge to modify your sentence. For example, you might have to perform some community service or pay a fine. Additionally, you might have to complete drug and alcohol treatment (if the violation involved an issue with either drugs or alcohol). Finally, the judge might hold you in jail for a period of time or re-sentence you on the original offense. If you were originally sentenced for possessing illegal drugs, the Judge could have sentenced you to 1-4 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (prison), but rather granted you probation. Upon re-sentence, the judge could again sentence you to the 1-4 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. This is why a violation is so serious.