The Illinois Offender Initiative Program

The Illinois Offender Initiative ProgramEven the most respected, honorable members of our community make mistakes. Sometimes, that mistake results in a violation of the law that leads to a felony. But not all defendants convicted on theft charges, for example, are given the same sentence. The court will decide punishment based on the criminal violation, circumstances surrounding the crime, the defendant’s prior criminal record, and other specifics. In some cases, only when the defendant has no prior criminal record, the charge may be dismissed and their record expunged. This is called the Offender Initiative Program. For an alternative to prison, contact us today to find out more.

For Some Felonies, Your Record May be Expunged

According to Illinois criminal code 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.3, if you, the defendant, have not been on probation or charged with any of the following, you may be allowed to participate in the Offender Initiative Program, with consent from the State’s Attorney:

  • Retail theft;
  • Theft;
  • Forgery;
  • Possession of a stolen motor vehicle;
  • Possession of cannabis;
  • possession of a controlled substance;
  • possession of methamphetamine;
  • Possession of burglary tools; or
  • Burglary.

Illinois Residents Who are Victims of Crime Do Not Want Longer, Harsher Prison Sentences

As prisons fill up and first-time offenders for minor theft crimes and drug possession leave prison not rehabilitated, but as hardened criminals, more and more Illinoisans prefer alternative measures to long prison sentences. In fact, seven out of 10 Illinois victims of crime prefer shorter prison sentences and more emphasis on rehabilitation and prevention, according to a recent study by the Alliance for Safety and Justice. Six out of 10 Illinois crime victims believe that the current criminal justice system is either not working at all or not working well. And, instead of investing in more jails and prisons, nine out of 10 Illinois crime victims prefer investing in schools and education. It is clear that there is a desire and need for alternatives to long prison sentences that do quite the opposite of rehabilitating. The Offender Initiative Program seeks to do that.

Conditions of the Offender Initiative Program

In order to qualify for the Offender Initiative Program, you must not have a prior felony record and the crime your are currently being charged for must not have been a violent crime. During this period of time that you are on the Program (not to be less than 12 months), the prosecution will be suspended. During that time period, you must successfully abide conditions, such as:

  • Not violate any criminal statute;
  • Not possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon;
  • Make full restitution to the victim or property;
  • Obtain employment or perform at least 30 hours of community service, and
  • Attend certain educational courses.

Other conditions may be created as well, such as undergoing psychiatric treatment.

Call a Naperville Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible 

By successfully completing the Illinois Offender Initiative Program, your record will be expunged. You will not be charged with the felony and will spend no time in prison. If you have a clean record and wish to enter this program, contact a passionate Naperville criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-3.3

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/sites/default/files/article/file-attachments/ASJ-Illinois-Crime_survivors-FINAL-online.pdf

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