Cook County's State's Attorneys Office offers a unique diversion program for adult felony offenders without a prior felony conviction who have been arrested for committing a specified nonviolent felony offense. The Deferred Prosecution Program diverts certain nonviolent felony defendants into an intensive 12- month pre-indictment program and offers services to them with the goal of these defendants avoiding future criminal behavior. Successful completion of this program could result in the State's Attorneys Office dismissing the felony charge, and failing this program results in continued felony prosecution in court.
The nonviolent offenders who would be applicable for the program must have committed one of the following felonies:
- Retail theft
- Possession of burglary tools
- Possession of a stolen motor vehicle
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Possession of methamphetamine
However, a person accused of delivery of a controlled substance or intent to deliver or manufacture a controlled substance would not be eligible. An individual who committed a violent offense, or a crime where bodily harm was inflicted or where force was used against anyone or threatened against any individual, would also not be eligible.
Nonviolent offenders who may have committed the above-listed crimes would qualify for the program if they meet the following criteria:
- No age limitation
- No prior felony conviction
- No prior misdemeanor conviction for a violent offense
- No previous participation in this program
Previous involvement in the Cook County State's Attorneys Office Drug School Program doesn't disqualify a person from participating in the Deferred Prosecution Program.
During the 12-month program, a defendant must not break the law or possess a firearm or dangerous weapon. Likewise, he or she will have to make restitution to the victim, obtain employment or perform 30 hours of community service, and work toward getting a GED or vocational training. He or she may also be required to get counseling or psychiatric treatment; pay fines, fees, and court costs; refrain from using illegal drugs; and submit to random drug testing. If the defendant is a minor, he or she will have to reside with parents or in a foster home, attend school or a youth program, and contribute to the family's finances.
Talk to Us About Your Case Today
If you're unsure about your eligibility for the program, talk to one of our skilled Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyers about your situation. Our attorneys have many years of experience working with people accused of crimes. We know the criminal justice system inside and out and can offer you advice on how best to proceed with your case.