Conditional Discharge is a modified, lesser version of probation with the significant difference being that monitoring is done by the court rather than a probation officer.It is a sentence of conditional supervision wherein the defendant is placed under the supervision of the court which monitors the defendant for a specified period of time.
There are usually conditions placed upon the defendant during the fixed period of conditional discharge. These conditions can include that the offender must report to the court’s social service department as directed, cannot violate any criminal statutes, must not possess a firearm, must not leave the state without permission, perform community service, pay restitution, fines, court costs, complete drug and alcohol treatment, and other conditions that the court determines appropriate.
Conditional Discharge is a conviction and an actual sentence on the offender. Failure to comply with the conditions imposed by the court may result in the revocation of the sentence. If the court finds out that any condition of the discharge is not being complied with the State’s Attorney will file a Petition to Revoke the Conditional Discharge. Once filed, the notice of what violations have occurred will be made known to the offender and a bond can be placed upon him to hold him in custody pending an evidentiary hearing on the non-compliance. the standard to prove that a violation occurred is proof by a preponderance of the evidence, not proof beyond reasonable doubt. Proof by a preponderance of the evidence, simply put, is whether it is more likely or not that the violations occurred. a judge, not a jury, will preside over the evidentiary hearing. During that hearing the defendant has the right to be represented by counsel, the right to confront and cross-examine the State’s witnesses, and the right to call witnesses on his own behalf. If the court determines that the terms of the conditional discharge have been violated the judge will resentence the offender to any sentence that was available at the time the offender received the original sentence. This sentence could include a recommitment to conditional discharge, a modification of the terms of the conditional discharge, or jail time.