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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.


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