What Happens If You Violate Federal Probation?

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerFederal probation works just like probation in the state of Illinois. If someone is convicted of a federal crime, the judge may place them on probation in conjunction with a sentence in a federal prison. A judge may also determine the person simply pays a fine and serves probation, without a prison sentence. Also just like probation in Illinois, anyone found in violation of their probation could face serious consequences. It is for this reason that anyone placed on federal probation fully reads and understands the federal conditions of probation.

Violations of Federal Probation

There are a number of ways a person can violate probation, even if they do not realize they are doing so at the time. These include:

  • Failing to report a change of address to their probation officer;
  • Moving without first obtaining permission from their probation officer;
  • Committing a crime;
  • Failure to pass a urine test;
  • Failure to submit a drug analysis;
  • Failing a drug test;
  • Neglecting to pay restitution; and
  • Not reporting to a probation officer.

After a person violates probation, a probation warrant is issued. This warrant requires the person that violated probation to attend a hearing.

The Hearing

Anyone that violates federal probation is entitled to a hearing. During this hearing, the courts will first confirm jurisdiction to ensure the probationer is in the right federal court. In cases when the probationer is not in the right court, the magistrate may release them or hold them in custody. The person is expected to appear in the right court for a hearing, typically scheduled that same week.

The purpose of the hearing is to determine the reason for the violation. According to 18 U.S. Code Section 3565, the magistrate must provide the probationer, in writing, with the violation they are being accused of. The probationer will then have a chance to explain the reason for the violation. For example, if they were in the hospital and could not meet their probation officer, or they were sent to the wrong address, the magistrate may not take further action and release the probationer. If the magistrate finds that a violation has occurred, they have a number of options.

Consequences of Violating Federal Probation

In cases where it is found that a person has violated probation, the magistrate has three options.

The first is to simply return the probationer back to the original conditions of their parole. This is the best possible outcome in any hearing. If the violation was more severe, such as the probationer failed a urine test, the magistrate may change the terms of the probation. They may extend it, add more stringent requirements, or send the probationer to prison.

Lastly, and the worst possible outcome, the magistrate may not change the conditions of the probation but impose a new prison sentence on the probationer. In these instances, the prison sentence cannot extend the maximum sentence of the original crime committed that placed someone on probation.

You Have the Right to Representation by an Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Learning that you have violated federal probation is often a scary time as you wonder what will happen next. Attending the hearing and pleading your case to a magistrate is also intimidating for many. It is important to know that if you have been accused of violating probation, you have the right to representation by a talented Chicago federal criminal defense attorney. If you have been accused of violating probation or committing a federal crime, contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel at 312-270-0999. We will fight for your rights in court, and build an effective and solid defense to give you the best chance of a positive outcome in court. We offer free consultations so call us today and we will get started on your case.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3563

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