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What You Should Know About Probation

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Chicago criminal defense attorneysIf you are facing criminal charges, you may be overwhelmed by the legal process that lies ahead. Depending on the nature and severity of the alleged offense—along with your own criminal history—you could be eligible for probation in lieu of serving time in jail. But, what is probation and who qualifies? A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you make sense of a challenging situation.

What Is Probation?

Probation is a sentencing alternative that offers offenders substantially more personal freedom while they serve their sentences. In most cases, an offender on probation can live at home, go to work, and live most of a normal life, but always under the close supervision of a probation officer. An individual on probation is required to abide the terms set by the court and his or her behavior is closely monitored. In some cases, probation begins immediately upon a finding of guilt while in others, it begins after a reduced jail sentence.

The duration of a probation sentence will vary in accordance with the crime, but most are in the one- to three-year range. Longer or shorter sentences may be imposed based on the facts of the case. It is important to realize that some offenses are not eligible for probation, and the judge may be required by law to hand down a sentence that includes jail time

Probation Terms

When an offender is placed on probation, he or she is given very specific terms that must be followed. Each case is different, but terms of probation commonly include:

  • In-person reporting to a probation officer regularly on a regular basis to a probation officer;
  • Paying fines imposed by the court;
  • Appearing when necessary in court;
  • Obeying all laws at all times;
  • Not committing any crimes;
  • Attending treatment for substance abuse;
  • Performing community service;
  • Periodic or random drug and alcohol testing; and  
  • Remaining in the state unless approved in advance.

Violating Probation

The penalties for violating the terms of probation can be serious. Those who violate probation face a longer period of probation and possible jail time. Probation violations are handled initially by the offender’s probation officer who must decide whether to issue a warning or to request a violation hearing. If a hearing is deemed appropriate, a judge will then make the final decision regarding the violation and what penalties will be imposed.

Quality Criminal Defense

It is important to keep in mind that you cannot be placed on probation without a plea or finding of guilt, and the conviction could remain on your record forever. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Call 773-276-5541 for a free consultation at Luisi Legal Group today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K410

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