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.
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.
Under the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the following pretrial intervention programs may be available if you are facing criminal charges:
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino & Pollack, 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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