Probation law binderThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing early termination of probation in Peoria, Illinois. My previous post provided an overview of the topics to be examined throughout this series. In this article, I will review the Illinois legal framework for ending probation earlier than planned. I will also discuss the parameters that judges often apply when evaluating whether an offender’s probation sentence should be terminated early. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the legal process. If you are currently on probation in Illinois and need assistance, contact my office today to speak to an attorney.

For a variety of reasons, probation is a frequently ordered response to certain criminal activity. When the nature of the crime, the history of the defendant, and the interests of public safety justify probation, then the offender may receive an opportunity for a “second chance.” Many people who are serving probation are interested in rehabilitating themselves and following the court’s specific conditions of the probation. In many states, including Illinois, it is possible to request that a court modify a probationary sentence to end earlier than originally scheduled. Many states have statutes that set forth the specific circumstances under which a judge is required to review a probationer’s request. Others give judges broad discretion in whether or not to review or grant such a request. Illinois law allows a court to terminate an offender’s probation if the conduct of the offender justifies ending probation early and if doing so is consistent with the “ends of justice.” In other words, an offender who can prove to the judge that their actions during the probation term justify ending the probation earlier than planned may be able to reduce their sentence.

This is primarily a discretionary standard, meaning that judges are given significant leeway when deciding whether to terminate probation early. As a starting point, an offender must demonstrate that they have complied with the conditions of their probation. This means, among other things, staying out of trouble, attending all court ordered meetings, not possessing a firearm and paying any court ordered restitution when due. Illinois has many different forms of probation depending upon the underlying offense. These types of probation will often be subject to additional conditions, which must also be met. The presence of other extenuating circumstances, such as the need to move out of state for employment may also help support a request. Furthermore, if the conditions of probation have otherwise been met, an offender will be entitled to a reduced term if they complete certain educational milestones during the probationary period. Time credits are available for receiving one’s high school diploma or GED, an associate’s degree or college degree. In all cases, it is imperative to maintain a good relationship with one’s probation officer or supervisor. It is important to realize that all cases are unique and will depend upon the facts of each specific situation.

If you believe you may be eligible to seek a reduction in your probation term, a Peoria attorney can review your case and evaluate your options. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer. My office also represents clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.

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