If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense you may be placed on probation. You may not be going to jail or prison but you are still on the court’s radar. In Illinois, for misdemeanor offenses you can be sentenced up to 24 months of probation and for a felony offense four (4) years. While on probation, a probationer must adhere to the conditions of his or her probation. These conditions may include: fines, fees, drug testing, reporting to a probation officer, and searches of one’s home. A probation officer has the authority of the police office who arrested you and can file a violation of probation against you at any time during your probation. A probation officer can visit your home and can require a urine sample for a drug test. If you refuse, it may be reported as a refusal and the judge can enter a violation of probation. The probation officer can also search your home and vehicle and can do so randomly.
So how do you avoid violating the terms of your probation? Understand that a violation of probation can occur in 2 types of ways. The first way is through a Substantive Violation of Probation, such as getting arrested for a new criminal offense, and the second way is through a Technical Violation of Probation such as a failure to report to your probation officer or willfully avoiding paying your court fees and fines.
If you do violate your probation, know that you have some of the same constitutional rights as you did when you were first arrested but not entirely. You do have the right to an attorney but you do not have the right to have a bond set on your violation of probation. This means that if the judge decides, you may have to sit in custody until the court has decided whether you have violated your probation or not.
If you are on probation you should remember to avoid drugs, follow the conditions of your probation, avoid missing your probation appointments, avoid getting arrested and most importantly….stay in contact with your probation officer if you have any doubts or questions about your probation.
If you have a violation of probation or have been arrested for a new offense, call the Law Office of Purav Bhatt at 773-791-9682 or contact us here.