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More Non-Violent Offenders Eligible for Probation

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Joliet criminal defense lawyersNon-violent offenses, such as some theft charges and drug possession charges, have historically resulted in jail time for convicted offenders. Thanks to a new law, however, these same offenses are now eligible for probation. If you or someone you love has recently been charged with a non-violent offense, the following information can help you better understand your options. It can also ensure you understand where to find quality assistance with your criminal case.

Overcrowded Prisons in Illinois Prompt Bill

Data from the Department of Bureau of Justice Statistics placed Illinois' prison capacity at 150 percent. To decrease this number by at least 25 percent by the end of 2025, Governor Bruce Rauner created the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. Otherwise titled Senate Bill 3124, the new law targets certain non-violent offenders, including first-time offenders charged with Class 3 and Class 4 felonies.

Probation Now the Preferred Option

For those who are convicted or plead guilty to one of the preferred charges (certain theft charges, possession of controlled substance charges, driving on a revoked license), probation is now the preferred option. In fact, a judge must now indicate why a prison sentence is issued for these non-violent offenses. On the one hand, individuals facing charges might see this as a benefit. After all, it is typically jail time that most people fear. However, as shown in the next section, there is far more to consider when deciding whether to accept a plea deal.

Should You Take the Plea?

Pleading guilty to a non-violent felony offense may not result in jail time, but there are collateral consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life. With a felony conviction on your record, employment and housing opportunities can be limited. Further, a previous conviction can increase the penalties for any subsequent charges. Lastly, probation requires you to fulfill certain terms. Any failure to complete them could result in additional consequences.

Contact Our Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyers

Before accepting a plea deal or deciding to plead guilty to your charges, contact Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for experienced guidance and assistance. Committed to your best interests, we can help you understand the potential impact of your charges. We will examine your case and advise you of your options. Learn more about how our Joliet criminal defense lawyers can assist you. Call 815-666-1285 and schedule your personalized consultation today.


felony fugitive, US Marshals, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyA six-week clean-up initiative by the United States Marshals Service has led to the capture of more than 7,000 felony fugitives across the country, including more than 100 in the greater Chicago area. The sweep represented an enormous cooperative effort between federal authorities, regional task forces, and local law enforcement in an attempt to get criminals off the streets in addition to seizing drugs and illegal weapons.

Known as Operation Violence Reduction 7, the initiative which ran from March 2 through April 10 is being heralded as a success, both locally and nationwide. Director of the U.S. Marshals Service Stacia Hylton said, “Operation VR 7 was not about increasing arrest numbers, but rather an effort to further protect communities by targeting the most dangerous felony fugitives.” She credited the cooperation of community leaders and local police departments in helping “to get the worst of the worst fugitives off the streets.”

The U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Task Force spearheaded the sweep throughout Illinois, as well as Wisconsin and Indiana. Nearly 480 felony fugitives were apprehended throughout the region, many of them wanted related to charges of homicide, drug violations, and weapons offenses. Law enforcement officials captured 123 fugitives in the Chicago area alone.

Throughout the country, the operation resulted in the arrest of approximately 750 gang members and the seizure of more than 380 illegal firearms and almost 70 kilograms of illicit narcotics. The arrests have thus far resulted in more than 500 murder charges, over 920 illegal weapon charges and almost 600 sexual abuse charges. Nearly 2,000 individuals face charges for assault, 1,000 for robbery and more than 2,600 for drug offenses. The sweep also recovered at least ten missing children.

U.S. Marshal Donald Slaznik was not particularly surprised by the outcome, but was pleased with the result, as the capture of even a single fugitive is good news for any community. He also pointed to the commitment of law enforcement and the justice system to apprehend and prosecute those who break the law. “This is just an example,” he said, “of how local, state, and federal agencies work together to make it hard to hide from authorities after a crime is committed.”

If you have been charged with any type of felony, you need the assistance of a qualified defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton, P.C., we understand the difficulties related to such charges and are prepared to work with you throughout the legal process. Contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney to schedule your free consultation today.

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