Written by attorney Mitchell Scott Sexner

DUI sentence violations in Illinois

When you are found guilty at trial or plead guilty, usually a sentencing hearing is the next phase in your case. A sentence is imposed by the court and a person must comply with all the terms and conditions before a case can be successfully terminated. Generally at a sentencing, a judge will set a return date for the individual to appear back in court to demonstrate and show proof of compliance for all of the terms and conditions imposed. Once a judge is satisfied that an individual has completed all their obligations under the sentence, then the case can be successfully terminated and no more court appearances are required.

However, if a person fails to complete any part or element of their sentence prior to their return or termination date then they are said to be in violation of their sentence. A person can violate their sentence in any number of ways. If a person fails to pay all their fines and court costs in a timely manner then this can be used by prosecutors as a basis for violating their sentence. If a person fails to complete any court ordered counseling or treatment then that constitutes a violation of a sentence. A failure to complete the required number of community service hours is a frequent way people may also violate their sentence. The most serious and obvious way to violate a sentence is to commit another crime and get arrested while serving a sentence.

Once it has been determined that a person may have violated their sentence or failed to comply, the prosecution can and usually does file a petition to revoke with the court before a person’s termination date of sentence. When a petition to revoke sentence has been filed then a court date will be generated. A person is allowed to have a hearing to contest a petition to revoke but prosecutors only have to prove up the violations of sentence by a preponderance of the evidence which is a much easier burden to meet. If a judge finds, after a hearing on the petition to revoke, that an individual has violated the terms of their original sentence then a number of options are available to the court. Under a misdemeanor DUI sentence, if a judge finds that an individual violated their sentence then he has the discretion to impose the minimum to maximum sentence allowed under the law. In the case of a misdemeanor DUI, a judge could currently re-sentence a person to the minimum court supervision or the maximum of 1 year in jail and up to $2500 in fines and costs. The bottom line is that when you violate your sentence you risk being re-sentenced to harsher terms if the court is convinced you have willfully failed to comply with the court’s order.

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If you, a family member or friend has been charged with any criminal or traffic matter, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will carefully evaluate your case and explain the legal options available to you at no charge.

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