The Cook County State’s Attorney Deferred Prosecution Program is a diversion program for adult felony defendants without a prior felony conviction that have been arrested for non-violent crimes. Participation to the program is at the sole discretion of the State’s attorney.
The program placed the defendant into a 12 month intensive program. Upon completion of the program, the State will then dismiss the case. The Defendant can then file to have the arrest record expunged upon dismissal. In Cook County, due to delays, it takes 6 to 12 months to have the arrest record expunged after the Petition to Expunge is filed.
However, only probationable offences of Theft, Retail Theft, Forgery, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Burglary, Possession of Burglary Tools, Possession of Cannabis, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Methamphetamine are eligible for the program.
The defendant will not be eligible if the case involves Delivery of a Controlled Substance or if there is evidence of a intent to deliver a controlled substance.
Further, the Defendant can participate only once in the program. If he has been convicted of a prior misdemeanor, he can still qualify if it was for a non-violent offence. “Violent offence” as defined by the State’s attorney for the purposes of the programs is:
“. . .where bodily hard was inflicted or where force was used against any person or threatened against any person, any offense involving sexual conduct, sexual penetration, or sexual exploitation; any offence of domestic violence, domestic battery, violation of order of protection, stalking, hate crime, DUI, and any offense involving the possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon.”
Under the program, the Defendant must:
(1) Make restitution where applicable,
(2) Get a job, or complete 96 hours of community service,
(3) Must not possess guns, firearms or weapons or get arrested,
(4) Get GED if the Defendant does not have a high school diploma; and
(5) Successively complete the program as designed by Adult Probation Services, TASC and the State’s Attorneys office. The program may include drug and alcohol treatment where appropriate.
We applaud the State’s attorneys office for recognizing the need of such a program. A felony criminal conviction, with a few exceptions, stays on the defendant’s record forever. The impact this program will it have on defendants and their families will be immense. Convicted felons have an incredibly difficult time getting jobs. It’s not only them that suffer, their children are also harmed in significant ways by their inability to provide a living for them. This program is truly a “second chance” program not only for defendants, but also for their families.
For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorney at John D. Ioakimidis visit us at www.legaldefenderspc.com or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.
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