Friday, May 7, 2010

IN TROUBLE AGAIN: WHEN YOU HAVE VIOLATED YOUR PROBATION OR SUPERVISION

You figure you have the worst luck imaginable. You received a supervision on your first-time misdemeanor or DUI, or maybe you received probation on a felony. All you had to do was stay out of trouble. But now you’ve been called in for random drug testing, and you know the drop won’t be clean. Or maybe you were pulled over for running a stop sign, and the cop smelled that little bit of beer you had.

Now you have a double whammy: A new criminal case along with the reopening of your prior case.

Often on first offenses, a court will sentence defendants to a term of supervision or probation for a set length of time. This term may have certain conditions such as random drug testing. Probation or supervision, however, always requires that you stay out of trouble with the law. Therefore, even if you are suspected of committing a crime or if you have committed a relatively minor offense such as a retail theft, the court can now re-sentence you on the first offense, which can mean significantly stiffer fines or even a jail term. And that still doesn’t take care of your new arrest.

What can you do? If you violated supervision or probation, you should contact an attorney right away in order to protect your rights as much as possible. Do not speak to police or anyone else, either in person or electronically, about your case. Any explanation you might try to give may only land you in more trouble and may eliminate a possible line of defense. Do not discuss your case through texting, email or on any Facebook-type pages.

An experienced attorney can help you with the delicate balancing act between the violated case and the new case. Sometimes, an attorney will attempt to delay completing the violation case until the new charges can be resolved. If the attorney can get the new charges dismissed, you might receive a substantially reduced penalty in the prior case or the prior case might even be dropped. Even if the evidence on the new case is overwhelming, an experienced attorney can help obtain a better deal for you in both cases.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves clients in the communities of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Palatine, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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