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Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Are Technical Probation Violations in IL on Hold Right Now?

While probation offices across Illinois are closed or operating with fewer employees due to COVID-19, there may be a decrease in technical probation violations resulting in any real punishments.

For many years, criminal justice researchers have gathered a lot of data about whether or not punishments for non-criminal probation violations are helpful to anyone. With many probation offices changing the way they do things during the COVID-19 pandemic, that question is being asked again.

So what is the difference between a technical probation violation and a criminal one? What are some technical probation violations that are now being called into question?

Read on to find out.

Substantive Violation

A substantive violation of probation, also called a criminal violation, means that you commit another crime and are charged for it while on probation for another crime.

Any crime you commit, even if unrelated to the crimes you’ve already been found guilty of, is seen as a substantive violation of probation. You can be charged by the state for the new crime and face penalties associated with it in addition to penalties for violating probation.

Often, committing a crime while on probation means that you lose your probation and may go to prison to complete your original sentence.

Technical Probation Violations

When you have a technical violation of probation, it means that conditions set by a judge as a part of your probation were not met.

Some of the most common technical probation violations include not being where you’re supposed to be and your being where you’re not supposed to be and not paying proper fines and fees, among others. Below are some specifics.

Missing a Probation Appointment

You are required during supervised probation to meet regularly with your probation officer. Missing an appointment is considered a violation of probation and the probation officer can report it to the court.

Not Being Employed

Another common condition of probation is that you find a keep a job or enroll in school. Failing to this will put you in violation of probation.

Missing Court

During a probationary period, it’s not uncommon to have court hearings in front of a judge periodically in order to assess your progress. Missing these hearings is a violation of probation and is not looked upon kindly by the court.

Visiting People or Places You Should Not

Sometimes it can be a condition of probation to avoid certain places or people that may be associated with criminal activity. An example may be staying away from gangs or communicating with gang members.

Failure to Pay Restitution or Fines

Depending upon the crime you are found guilty of, you may be ordered to pay fines or restitution to victims as a part of your probation. Failing to do so is a probation violation.

Failure to Complete Community Service

Some people are ordered to complete a certain number of community service hours as a part of their probation. Failure to complete the set hours of community service is seen as a probation violation.

Consequences of Probation Violations

For technical probation violations, you will likely be required to appear in court in front of a judge to determine if you did violate probation and what consequences you may face as a result. The judge can:

  • Continue the same terms of your probation
  • Terminate probation without any further conditions
  • Modify your probation in a way that requires you to fulfill with additional requirements
  • Extend the term of your probation for up to five years
  • Rescind your probation and require you to service a prison or jail sentence instead

Consequences of Probation Violations

The courts may not be working as they normally would right now, but that doesn’t put your probation on hold. Remember to call your probation officer if you have questions or you’re experiencing issues with probation during this pandemic. They can be your biggest advocate!


About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.



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