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Illinois "Second Chance" Probation Law

On August 3, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed significant legislation that allows judges the option of sending some first-time and non-violent criminal offenders to probation instead of having a felony conviction tarnish their record. This gives convicted criminals the chance to avoid the lifetime of consequences that a felony conviction can bring. Once the probation has been successfully completed, the sentenced will have their case dismissed. After a period of time without additional criminal charges, the charge can be expunged from their record.

Does Second Chance Probation benefit me?

Estimates show that 50% of those that have been sentenced to prison will end up spending additional time in jail or prison within just three years. Instead of perpetuating this tough cycle, Second Chance Probation is aimed at allowing all Illinois residents to become contributing members of society and keep job prospects and opportunities open to even the criminally convicted.

To be eligible for Second Chance Probation, the accused must:

  • Never have received probation, conditional discharge, or a prior felony conviction; and
  • Be charged with a Class 3 or 4 felony involving drugs, criminal damage to property, or theft.

A defendant facing charges of violence, driving under the influence, or any sex offense is ineligible for probation. The probationary period must be at least two years, and the accused will be barred from breaking any criminal laws or possessing firearms. They must also repay the victim, cover any fines and court costs, perform community service, obtain a job, graduate from high school, and submit to drug testin during the enirety of their probation.

For those that have not been charged with a violent crime, probation may be the appropriate punishment. With a felony conviction expunged from their records, and individual can move past their mistake to obtain employment and a better future.

Second Chance Probation is not an automatic sentencing. If you or a loved one have been charged with a first-time, non-violent, offense, this may be the best option for you. Contact The Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege to learn if our firm can secure this outcome in your criminal case.

405 N. Wabash Ave., Suite P2C, Chicago, IL 60611
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Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege - Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at 53 West Jackson Blvd., #1515 Chicago, IL 60604. View Map
Phone: (312) 626-2400