3 common ways Illinois defendants violate their probation terms

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Probation is a more lenient sentence than incarceration. Someone who has been sentenced to probation can continue living their life largely like normal despite a conviction or guilty plea. However, they will be subject to monitoring by the state.

While someone is on probation in Illinois, there are numerous limitations on their daily life. Those who fail to abide by the restrictions imposed during probation are at risk of going to jail. Serious probation violations can lead to the courts sending them into state custody because they failed to uphold the terms that allowed them to maintain their liberty.

Certain mistakes are far more common than others while people are on probation. The following are some of the most common reasons that someone given a probation sentence could later end up back in state custody due to an intentional or unintentional misstep.

Drug or alcohol violations

Sometimes, probation requires an agreement to show up with little warning for drug and alcohol testing. If someone either refuses random testing required during probation or fails a test, that violation could result in the early termination of their probation. Restrictions on alcohol consumption are common during probation, and individuals who do not abide by those limitations are at risk of having their probation revoked by the courts.

Keeping the wrong company

Typically, those on probation have some limits to their socialization rights. Specifically, the state may instruct someone to avoid interacting with anyone who has a felony conviction on their record or even pending criminal charges. Attending parties or socializing with the wrong people might result in law enforcement officers discovering someone in the wrong company while on probation. That violation could lead to an arrest and to allegations of a probation violation.

Failing to keep a house or job

The standard requirements for probation include maintaining a residence and obtaining gainful employment. Individuals who cannot find a place to live, who move without telling their probation officer or who lose their jobs are at risk of violating the terms of their probation.

Significant probation violations can lead to people serving a sentence in state custody. Those accused of a probation violation usually have the right to defend against these charges at a hearing before the state imposes any penalties. Seeking legal guidance and responding appropriately to allegations of a probation violation can reduce the likelihood that someone will lose their freedom because of a small mistake on their part.