What Happens If You Violate Federal Probation?

Posted on in 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 312-629-0669. 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.


Understanding Probation in Illinois

Posted on in Probation
Illinois defense attorney, Illinois probation lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer,Are you facing criminal charges in Illinois? Depending on the severity of the crime you are accused of committing, you may be eligible for probation instead of facing jail time. A qualified Illinois criminal defense attorney can review the charges you are facing and advise you if you may be allowed probation over a harsher sentence. What does probation entail, and who is eligible? Below, we explore important facts about probation in Illinois. What Is Probation? Probation offers criminal offenders significantly more freedom while serving their sentences. The offender is able to serve their sentence while living in their community but under the close watch of their probation officer. Those on probation must follow certain terms set by the court and the individual's actions are observed closely. Probation can be offered immediately after being found guilty, or it can be a portion of a larger sentence including jail time. Sentencing lengths for probation depend on the severity of the crime committed. Most probation sentences range from one to three years, though sentences can be shorter or longer depending on the case. As said earlier, not every offense is eligible for probation. If an offender has committed a minor crime and has never been convicted before, they may be sentenced to probation instead of jail time. Probation is still considered a conviction and will be listed on your record, but it is a nicer alternative to prison. Probation Terms When sentenced to probation, each offender is given specific terms that they must meet at all times. While specific terms are set on a case by case basis, some common terms of probation include:
  • Reporting on a regular basis to a probation officer;
  • Paying fines assessed by the court;
  • Appearing at required court appearances;
  • Obeying all laws at all times;
  • Not committing any crimes;
  • Attending treatment for substance abuse;
  • Community service;
  • Drug and alcohol testing; and
  • Not traveling out of state unless approved in advance
Violating Probation Those sentenced to probation would be wise not to violate their probation terms, and those who do violate their terms may face jail time or a longer period of probation. When a term of probation is violated, it is up to the assigned probation officer to determine if the violation warrants a warning or a more serious probation violation hearing. If a hearing is called for, a judge will determine if the probation terms were truly violated and will either assess additional fines, longer probation terms, revoke probation completely, or sentence the offender to jail time. Quality Criminal Defense

Of course, not having a criminal conviction on your record is best. In some cases, however, charges may be unavoidable, and probation is certainly preferable to serving time in jail. If you are facing criminal charges and are curious about probation, consult a qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney immediately. The skilled team at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney can review your case and advise you on your best defense. Call 312-629-0669 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.


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