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Alternatives to Jail

Not everyone who is arrested for a crime has no other choice but jail time if convicted; in fact, there’s a drug case statute that allows someone convicted of a drug crime to complete felony probation with conditions such as counseling and clean drug screens, and at the end have their case dismissed completely, to the point that it would not even stay on their criminal record.

Another possible alternative to incarceration can include deferred prosecution, which is available for some non-violent crimes. This allows someone take a plea, and hold the case open without judgment while they complete some very specific probation terms; as long as they never get in trouble again, there is no problem. Of course, if they do get in trouble again, the court just has to enter the conviction and determine the sentence.

What Happens in a Drug related Case?

If someone is caught with a gram of cocaine, they are subject special section of the probation called 55010, which mean a minimum of 24 months’ probation, 50-hours of public service and clean drug screens, so if someone did all that and completed counseling, their case will be dismissed, although if they were charged with another drug case or committed a DUI, they will be looking at 1-3 years in prison. That’s why it’s important to do well in these programs; people have to prove they deserved a second chance and walk away.

How Does Someone Get Charges Off Their Record?

Different people have a different understanding of what it means to remove something from their record; in most cases, people mean expungement, but it is also possible to have a record sealed, and they are two different things. I do not handle expungements myself; I have a colleague who does that; some offenses can be expunged, but not all; if an offense falls within an eligible category, and it has been at least two years since the last date of any court action when the case was ended and the person was set free, they could petition the chief judge of the circuit court and the state’s attorney can decide whether to object, although ultimately, it will be up to the judge to wipe the record clean.

Sometimes, the court will fight an expungement, because it requires them to destroy that person’s FBI cards, fingerprints and other dataIn reality, I am not sure they always destroy everything; my guess is the FBI keeps some records. Overall, expungement isn’t easy to do, and only some offenses even qualify.

Sealing someone’s record is different; even if they don’t want to get rid of the record altogether, officials may feel they don’t want to ruin someone, so they are more likely to allow the record to be sealed. Sealing a record means that no one will be able to see the record outside of the court system. That can be very important, because a future employer won’t be able to see it, not would anyone else, unless you got into trouble again down the road. It doesn’t make sense to deny someone a job and force them onto welfare for something they did when they were 20 or 25 years old.

What Can People Do Once Their Case Is Over To Get Back On Their Feet And Return To Normal Life?

The best advice for anyone is to stay out of trouble and do what they are supposed to do. There may be come conditions based on their charge, so they may be on probation, and they should just concentrate on living a normal life, free of law-breaking life. Hopefully, their attorney can help with that, by trying to keep their criminal record clean, because no one wants to prevent them from getting a good job or going back to school.

Overall, though, it’s up to each person to make sure everything is as good as possible, starting with hiring the right attorney to handle their case as well as possible and ending with good behavior and showing they deserved a second chance.

For more information on Alternatives To Jail, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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