The Kane County State's Attorney's Office has been a leader in developing and implementing deferred prosecution programs for non-violent, first-time offenders. Our deferred prosecution programs hold offenders accountable without ignoring the needs of victims. Offenders who are prepared to accept responsibility for their actions have an opportunity to learn from their actions and are given a second chance to keep their record clear of a criminal conviction, which can have a devastating, lifelong impact.
Our deferred prosecution programs have proven to be very beneficial to the offenders they restore to society, as well as to the citizens who receive financial relief in the form of restitution. In addition, the program relieves overcrowding in the jails and caseloads in the courtrooms, thereby reducing the financial burden to the public. The continued success of the programs relies on support from the criminal justice system and the community.
Our office began offering deferred prosecution programs in October 1995. Since then the number of programs has grown to five, and about 80 percent of the roughly 5,000 participants have successfully completed the programs. A recent study show a success rate of nearly 92 percent – that only about eight percent of those who complete the program are convicted of a new offense within three years. Link
Programs have specific expectations for successful completion, such as counseling and community service. Programs also have disqualifying factors, such as the offender's criminal history and the severity of the crime.
Programs require application and program fees that can be adjusted based on the offender's ability to pay.
All applicants are screened and must be accepted into the program. Upon successful completion, the state's attorney agrees to dismiss pending charges against the defendant. Negative termination means prosecution of the criminal case will resume.
Follow the links below for specific information about each deferred prosecution program.
To learn if you meet preliminary eligibility requirements, call (630) 232-3500 and ask for Michelle Halbesma, the program director.
A conviction for a criminal offense can have devastating long-term effects. It can impede someone's ability to be admitted into college or get a job. The Felony/Misdemeanor Program provides a plan for first-time non-violent offenders to keep a conviction from being permanently entered on their record while accepting responsibility for their criminal activity.
Application process A judge, the state's attorney, defense attorney or police department may refer the defendant to apply to the program. A referral generally is made within 90 days after charges are filed. Once a referral is made, the offender must contact the state's attorney's office to arrange an intake interview. The arresting police agency and the victim are consulted as part of the application process. The offender then must be interviewed and approved by a panel of citizens. If the panel approves, a recommendation is made to the state's attorney, who reviews the application and criminal history, as well as the police and victim input, and makes a final decision to accept or reject the applicant.
An applicant is ineligible if he or she:
· Has prior juvenile or adult convictions or felony arrests
· Is on probation or supervision for any misdemeanor or felony charge
· Is an active gang member
· Is charged in violent, domestic or sex case
· Is charged with Class X, Class S or Class 1 felony, or is ineligible for probation at sentencing
· Is charged with DUI
· Is charged with using a weapon
· Commits the offense while on bond
· Is charged with stealing $10,000 or more from a public or government agency
· Is charged with identity theft
· Is charged with traffic offense
· Is charged with filing a false police report
· Is charged with crime against an elderly or disabled person
Program requirements If the state's attorney approves, the offender must sign an agreement at his or her next court appearance, and provide a videotaped statement admitting to the elements of the case and his or her involvement in it. Participants might be required to complete community service hours, obtain a high school diploma or G.E.D., obtain counseling, write a letter of apology to the victim, pay full restitution to the victim, and pay program fees. Bond conditions apply.
Completion or termination
Upon successful completion, the state's attorney agrees to dismiss pending charges. If program terms are not followed or if a new offense is committed, the offender is terminated from the program and the case is returned to court for criminal prosecution.
This six-month program holds certain first-time misdemeanor drug and alcohol offenders accountable, provides information and counseling about the risks of alcohol and drug use and provides tools necessary to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders or addicts. Successful completion of this program allows offenders to immediately clear their record. By comparison, offenders who successfully complete court supervision must wait two years before they can apply to clear their record.
Application process A judge, state's attorney, defense attorney or police department may make a referral. A referral generally is made within 60 days after charges are filed. Once a referral is made, the offender will complete the application with a case manager, who will screen the application for eligibility and make a recommendation for acceptance or rejection. After the interview, a recommendation is made to the state's attorney. If approved, the defendant must sign an agreement that includes accepting responsibility for the charges and pay a $50 application fee.
· Has prior convictions or felony arrests
· Is on probation or supervision for any misdemeanor or felony charges
· Is active gang member
· Is charged with felony drug- or alcohol-related charges
· Is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
· Has prior supervision for alcohol/drug charges
Program requirements Participation is six months. Defendants attend a drug-education program, pay program fees and submit to random drug testing. Bond conditions apply.
Completion or termination
Upon successful completion, the state's attorney agrees to dismiss pending charges, and offenders can immediately petition the court to have the arrest stricken from their record. If program terms are not followed or if a new offense is committed, the defendant is terminated from the program and the case is returned to court for prosecution.
This program was created in collaboration with victims' rights groups, Community Crisis Center of Elgin, Mutual Ground of Aurora and criminal defense attorneys. This program is the first domestic violence diversion program in Illinois. It is designed to hold first-time domestic violence offenders accountable and provide the tools necessary to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders. Some participants learn to improve their home and family situation, and their victims won't have to risk choosing between their family and their safety. Successful completion will prevent a permanent conviction from being placed on the offender's record.
Application process The state's attorney may make an application offer shortly after charges are filed. Once the offer is made, the offender must contact the state's attorney's office to arrange for an interview. If accepted, the offender agrees to plead guilty to the charges at the next court date. If the offender is denied into the program, there is no appeal of the decision.
· Has prior convictions or supervisions for domestic violence-related offenses
· Offense is eligible for felony enhancement
· Victim or arresting officer objects to the application
· Offender declines to admit to the offenses charged
· Victim required medical treatment
· Offender threatened or intended to cause physical harm to the victim
· A deadly weapon was used or possessed during the incident
· Committed another offense while on bond
· Previously participated in this program or other domestic violence diversion program
Program requirements Participation is one year. Fees and fines are $847, $100 of which goes to a domestic violence shelter. Offender must receive domestic violence or anger management counseling and might be required to receive other counseling and follow certain conditions. Bond conditions apply.
Completion or termination Upon successful completion of all requirements, the plea will be vacated at the final court date and the case will be dismissed. If terms of the program are not followed, or if a new offense is committed, the offender will be terminated from the program, a conviction will be entered and the criminal case will proceed to sentencing.
Available to offenders who are charged with first-time offenses of a Class 4 Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance, up to 5 grams, and Class 4 Unlawful Possession of Cannabis, up to 100 grams. This one-year treatment-based program gives offenders the opportunity to avoid prison and a permanent conviction on their record, and learn to live drug-free and more productive lives, as well as reducing the likelihood that that they re-offend or become perpetual offenders. Upon successful completion of all program requirements the State's Attorney's Office will agree to dismiss the pending charges.
Application process Offenders who meet the eligibility requirements may apply to the program within 90 days of arrest. The offender must contact the State's Attorney's Office to schedule an intake interview with the case manager. The arresting police department will be consulted prior to the application approval. The state's attorney then has the sole discretion to approve or reject the applicant.
· Has prior arrests or convictions for unlawful possession of a controlled substance or unlawful possession of cannabis (with the exception of one prior successful completion of supervision for misdemeanor possession of cannabis, alcohol or drug paraphernalia.)
· Previously participated in Treatment Alternative Specialty Court (TASC)
· Is a registered sex offender
· Is on Mandatory Supervised Release (parole) or probation
· Committed the offense while on bond
Offender must enter a formal agreement with the state's attorney, make videotaped statement admitting to the elements of the case and his or her involvement in it, complete a substance abuse education program, submit to random drug testing and pay program costs of $2,160.
Completion or termination Upon successful completion of all requirements, the case will be dismissed at the final court date. If terms are not followed or if a new offense is committed, the offender is terminated from the program and the case is returned to court for prosecution.
This one-year program helps educate certain prostitution- or solicitation-related offenders to understand the risks and consequences of committing these acts, and to remove occurrences of these offenses from the neighborhoods in which they occur.
The state's attorney will make an offer to qualifying first-time offenders on the first court date. At the first court date the case manager explains the screening process.
· Has prior conviction or supervision for prostitution or solicitation-related offenses
· Has prior felony convictions
· Has certain prior drug-related misdemeanor convictions
· Previously participated in this program or other prostitution/solicitation-related diversion program
Offender must enter into a formal agreement with the state's attorney, in which he or she admits to the offense charged. Solicitors must pay a fee of $425, which includes $25 DTA fee, $200 program fee and $200 HIV/STD testing fee, and perform community service. The fee must be paid no later than 30 days after the agreement is signed. Prostitutes must pay a $25 DTA fee, undergo HIV/STD testing and complete en educational program about the dangers of prostitution. If the offender is denied into the program, there is no appeal of the decision.
Upon successful completion of all requirements, the case will be dismissed at the final court date. If terms are not followed or if a new offense is committed, the offender is terminated from the program and the case is returned to court for prosecution.
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