Cook County Deferred Prosecution Program
When you’re arrested for a crime in Cook County, you want to offer yourself the best possible chances of moving forward without a conviction on your record. You know the harm that a serious criminal record can do to your education or job prospects. If you’ve recently been arrested for the first time, you may want to consider participating in the Cook County Deferred Prosecution Program. Read on to learn more about the program, and to find out whether it might be a good solution in your case, contact the experienced Homewood criminal defense attorney John Fairman for a consultation.
Who is eligible to participate in the Deferred Prosecution Program?
The Deferred Prosecution Program is designed to allow first-time, nonviolent individuals to avoid going through a courtroom-based prosecution. In order to participate, individuals must be adults who have been charged with a nonviolent felony offense of either retail theft, burglary, theft, drug possession, credit card or ID fraud, or fraud. The individual must not have been convicted in the past of either a felony or of a misdemeanor that involved violence.
How does the program work?
Cook County imposes a number of participation requirements on those in the Deferred Prosecution Program, and participants risk returning to court and possibly serving jail time should they fail to comply. Eligible participants will need to complete a 9 to 12 month-long program designed to rehabilitate participants and help them to avoid criminal acts in the future. During this time, participants may be ordered to get a job, complete a substantial amount of community service, enroll in a GED program, and/or pay restitution to the victims of their crimes. Once the program is completed, the charges filed against the participant will be dismissed.
Even though you will be eligible to have your criminal record expunged after you successfully complete the Deferred Prosecution Program, the process of expungement is complex and may require that you go before a judge to argue for why your request should be granted. Since obtaining an expungement is critical to ensuring that a criminal record does not limit your future opportunities, don’t risk failure by doing it yourself. John Fairman has successfully helped clients clear their records, enabling them to move on from a dark moment in their past to build a brighter future.
Is Deferred Prosecution a good idea for me?
Whether or not you are a good candidate for the Deferred Prosecution Program will depend on a number of factors. The program could offer an excellent second chance for someone who made a one-time mistake and may need help getting back on track. However, participation requires dedication and a substantial time commitment. If the prosecutor could not prove the state’s case against you, then it would be unnecessary to spend up to a year in a form of probation. John Fairman has been providing valuable guidance to criminal defendants for decades and can provide you with valuable analysis of whether or not the prosecution is likely to obtain a guilty verdict against you, should you elect not to plead, or if a plea bargain negotiated using his years of experience and knowledge of Cook County Markham and Bridgeview courthouses would be even more advantageous than the Deferred Prosecution program.
Seek Help from an Experienced Chicago Area Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Illinois, get the help you need to clear your name by calling the experienced Chicago-area defense attorney John Fairman for a consultation, in Homewood at 708-799-4848, and in Bridgeview at 708-960-4806.