A Lake County Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney explains the new Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Program

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In June 2017 the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office introduced a new Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Program. In the past deferred prosecutions in Lake County were sometimes available informally only at the discretion of a particular prosecutor. This new program now officially offers defendants an opportunity to get certain misdemeanor charges dismissed upon successful completion of the program. I am familiar with this new program having recently secured the first Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Agreement for a client who qualified for the Program.

ELIGIBILITY FOR MISDEMEANOR ALTERNATIVE PROSECUTION AGREEMENT

There are several specific eligibility requirements set forth by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office that can potentially bar a defendant from taking advantage of this program and include:

  1. Defendant has a prior conviction
  2. Defendant has prior 410 or 550/10 drug probation
  3. Defendant in currently on supervision or supervised supervision
  4. Defendant is an active gang member
  5. Defendant is charged with a violent, domestic or sex offense
  6. The Defendant’s pending case involves the use of or setting of fire
  7. The Defendant is charged with a DUI offense
  8. The Defendant is charged with using a weapon
  9. The Defendant committed an offense while on bond
  10. Defendant has previously participated in a Lake County Specialty Court Program or a First Offender Program form another jurisdiction
  11. Defendant is currently under an Order of Protection
  12. Defendant is not a resident of Lake County
  13. Non DUI traffic matters are not eligible
  14. The State’s Attorney’s Office retains sole discretion to accept or reject any applicant from the Program for any reason at the discretion of the State’s Attorney.

MISDEMEANOR ALTERNATIVE PROSECUTION APPLICATION AND CONDITIONS

A defendant may request to participate through their attorney at the initial arraignment date or on the first pretrial date. A continuance may be ordered to allow the State’s Attorney’s Office to determine if the defendant is eligible to participate in the program. If a defendant is accepted into the program a Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Program Agreement will be entered and the case will be continued for approximately 6 months for the defendant to complete the terms of the program which may include, alcohol or drug evaluation and treatment, restitution, public service, fees and court costs. The nature and circumstances of each case will dictate which conditions the defendant will be required to meet. Compliance with the conditions of the program are monitored through the Lake County Compliance Department. It is also important to note that a guilty plea is entered by the defendant when the Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Agreement is entered and a failure to meet the agreed conditions in the program may result in a new sentencing on the charge and not a dismissal. Please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office located across the street from the Lake County Courthouse if you are facing misdemeanor charges in Lake County to discuss your options. You can reach Richard at 312-882-1973 or http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com.

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