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Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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What Are The Two Types of Probation Violations In Illinois?

Most people understand what probation violations are, but few people understand the distinctions of the probation system, including violations.

If you’re on probation, violating its standards can be a very big deal. There is not just one way to violate the terms of your probation; there are two.

Here’s what you need to know about the two types of probation violations in Illinois and the consequences of violating them.

What Is Probation?

When someone who has committed a crime in Illinois demonstrates that they are willing and able to rehabilitate, then the court may order probation instead of incarceration. Basically, instead of serving your sentence in jail or prison, you serve it in the community – subject to certain rules, that is.

The directives you must abide by while serving probation are called the terms of probation. Violating these terms can obligate you to appear before a judge. That judge might send you to jail instead.

However, it’s not just violating the terms of your probation that can slap you with a violation. That’s what is meant by two different types of probation violations.

The Two Types of Probation Violations

The two types of probation violations in Illinois are technical and substantive.

Technical Probation Violations

Technical violations occur when you fail to complete a condition of your probation that was ordered by the judge. These include orders such as:

  • Curfew
  • Meetings with a probation officer
  • Keeping employment
  • Enrolling in school
  • Paying court costs

The punishments associated with technical violations are normally not too terrible. The court may decide to modify the conditions of your probation, but, in many cases, you don’t have to go to prison. This changes if you become a serial technical violator.

It’s a good idea to avoid a technical violation, as they do not make you look good in front of the judge. But if you do, it’s usually only a minor setback — as long as you’re apologetic and explain why the technical violation occurred.

Substantive Probation Violations

A substantive violation is one that occurs when you commit a new crime while on probation. This is a serious violation, even if it’s a crime that has nothing to do with the one for which you’re on probation.

Committing another crime often causes you to be charged by the state and face a new process in criminal court. That means you may endure not only the penalties from your past crimes that evoked the initial probation. New penalties may pile on the original sentence.

Basically, it can lead to the loss of probation and send you to prison.

If your probation is revoked, you will face the maximum time in prison that would have constituted your original sentencing. Your probation can no longer serve as a substitute.

So, for example, if you were convicted of a crime that could have sent you to prison for five years, and you violate probation, then you might go to prison for five years.

Chicago Probation Violation Lawyer

The best thing you can do is stick to your probation rules. Try your hardest not to violate the terms of probation. Doing so will ensure the best outcome for you in the case.

However, probation violations do happen. In those cases, your best bet is to obtain representation through an attorney who can help plead your case before the court. They might be able to keep you out of jail for the duration of your 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. 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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