Probation allows you to stay out of jail or prison as long as you abide by certain terms given to you at the time of sentencing. The probation period normally lasts between one and five years, depending on your conviction.
Violations of those terms that occur during the probation period will result in further sentencing. If you are facing a probation violation, a skilled Illinois attorney can help you fight your charges using any number of defenses depending on your specific situation. In this post, we’ll list common defenses that may work in your case.
Ways You Can Violate Your Illinois Probation
You can violate your probation in many ways, including the following:
- Committing any new crime, including traffic offenses
- Contacting prohibited people
- Failing to pay restitution
- Failing to submit required paperwork
- Failing to report to your probation officer
- Failing to appear in court
- Testing positive for alcohol or drugs
- Traveling outside your designated area without permission
- Possessing illegal drugs
- Possessing a weapon
Any of these examples, in addition to others, could result in new sentencing.
Defending against a Probation Violation in Illinois
These are just some of the defenses your attorney may employ in your case.
Unlawful Contact by Victim
If you were placed under contact restrictions, yet the alleged victim contacts you, the court often sides with the alleged victim instead of you. An experienced Chicago probation attorney will be able to produce proof that you did not initiate contact and thus did not violate your probation terms.
Sickness, Mental Illness, or Learning Disabilities
If sickness, mental illness, or learning disabilities prevented you from completing a program ordered by the court, the judge may waive or postpone the requirement.
Hospitalization or Wreck
If you could not report to your probation officer due to a wreck or hospitalization, your attorney can show evidence to prove your innocence.
If you were ordered to pay restitution, court fees, child support, or other fines and you are unable to pay, your attorney can use several defenses to show that your financial situation prevents payment. You may be able to work additional community service hours instead of paying a fee, or a partial payment or payment schedule may be worked out with the court.
Positive Drug Test Was False
You may be subject to mandatory alcohol or drug testing while on probation. There are many reasons that drug tests produce false positive results. The equipment may not be calibrated properly or the person conducting the test may have done it wrong. Foreign substances and certain foods can throw off test results. You may have a prescription for the drug that showed up on the test. A knowledgeable attorney will know the best defense to use for a false positive drug test.
Get Legal Help for a Probation Violation
You could face jail or prison time unless you fight against your probation violation charge. A skilled probation violation attorney will help you find the best strategy for contesting your violation.
With an experienced lawyer’s help, you could receive a plea bargain, different supervision terms, or electronic monitoring instead of incarceration. Call today for a free case review. We will work to protect your rights while you are on probation.
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.