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Illinois Pretrial Intervention Programs

Posted in Criminal Defense on Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Facing criminal charges is a serious matter, with the potential to impact your life in dramatic ways. Criminal charges can remain on your record, damaging your reputation and preventing you from getting a job, being eligible for student loans or mortgages, or engaging in activities you enjoy, such as volunteering or working in the community. In addition, if convicted of your charges you may be looking at heavy fines and potential jail time. All of this can be a high price to pay, particularly for people suffering from mental or substance abuse problems, and those with no prior record of criminal behavior. Fortunately, help may be available in the form of pretrial intervention programs. These programs can help avoid a trial, enable you to restore your good name, and prevent criminal charges from being a part of your permanent record.

How Pretrial Intervention Works

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), pretrial intervention and diversionary programs provide an alternative to conventional criminal court proceedings. Depending on the circumstances of the crime you are accused of committing, rather than going through a regular criminal court proceeding where you face a conviction, you will be diverted into a program that will generally require you to attend counseling, perform community service, and pass drug tests. These programs are geared to certain segments of the community, particularly those people for which extenuating circumstances may have led to them being charged with a crime, people who, if provided with certain services and given a second chance, are unlikely to engage in criminal activity in the future. Many of these programs are operated through the State Attorney General’s office, and participation is generally voluntary. Not everyone is accepted or referred to pretrial intervention, and you may or may not be required to plead guilty prior to entering. Failure to adhere to the guidelines of the program will result in your dismissal and reinstatement of the original charges.

Programs Available In Illinois

Under the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the following pretrial intervention programs may be available if you are facing criminal charges:

  • Bad Check Diversion Program (720 ILCS 5/17): If diverted to the program, the Attorney General’s office will agree to not prosecute the offender, provided the program is successfully completed.
  • Drug Court Treatment (730 ILCS 166): Operated by the Attorney General, this program helps those with drug and substance abuse problems who are convicted of crimes by providing treatment services and counseling.
  • Veterans and Servicemembers Treatment (730 ILCS 167): This program aims to help servicemembers and veterans in whom substance abuse problems and mental health issues, such as PTSD, may have contributed to them being involved in the criminal court system.
  • Mental Health Treatment (730 ILCS 168): This program aims to provide services to people with mental health problems which may have contributed to them being involved in criminal activity.

Contact Our Experienced Will County Criminal Law Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact Sabuco Beck, P.C. today. Our experienced Will County criminal law attorneys understand the ramifications a criminal conviction can have on your finances as well as your personal freedoms. Our attorneys can advise you on your best course of defense, while ensuring your rights are protected. If you face criminal charges, do not delay. With offices throughout Will County and the surrounding area, we can help; call or contact us online today to schedule a consultation.


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