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630-472-9700Available 24/7
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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

First Offenders in Illinois: A Possibility of Forgiveness

Posted on in Criminal Defense

first time drug offenderAll of us make mistakes at some point, especially during our youth. Illinois courts have developed programs in order to provide those that are truly regretful for their unlawful actions a second chance. Such programs allow remorseful first-time drug offenders an opportunity to avoid being plagued with convictions that would otherwise ultimately taint their record and affect their future, education, and possible work opportunities.

The Illinois Controlled Substances Act

The Illinois Controlled Substances Act provides opportunities for those who have not previously been convicted of a crime, placed on probation, or monitored for any other offense. The Act permits a court to sentence a guilty criminal defendant a period of probation, to which the defendant must strictly adhere in order to reap the benefits of the offer. If the offender can make it through the probationary term in accordance with the terms of his probation, the conviction will not appear as a criminal conviction on the offender’s record. The terms of the probation may require the individual to:

  • Not violate any criminal statutes in any jurisdiction;
  • Not possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon;
  • Be drug tested periodically;
  • Perform community service;
  • Pay fines or costs;
  • Work or receive vocational training;
  • Undergo medical, psychiatric, or rehabilitative treatments;
  • Refrain from possession of drugs; and
  • Attend school.

These are only a few of the many possible terms of probation given to a first offender. The specific terms of the probationary agreement will vary depending on the nature of the case at issue. Probation is truly the best possible outcome for a first offender, as it will provide him or her a clean slate upon successful completion of the probationary term.

Illinois First Offender Criminal Defense Attorneys

It is important to understand that being granted a first offender sentence is a privilege; the court is not required to provide this option. This considerably more lenient and forgiving status of a first offender sentence is not a given, and it is critical to understand that even if you committed your first offense as a youth, the government can still seek for the greatest sentence within the bounds of the law.

In order to have the best chance at securing a first offender status, you should consult with knowledgeable DuPage County criminal defense attorney who knows how to navigate the legal system to ensure that you have an opportunity for a second chance. Whether your first offense was in your youth or as an adult, we understand that everybody makes mistakes at some point in their life. At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. we will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as someone who has been charged with a drug offense. We will work toward an outright dismissal of the charges, or alternatively, probation or more lenient sentences. We will carefully explain your possible options, allow you an outlet to tell your side of the story, and ultimately strive to reach the most favorable outcome for your case. Contact us today at 630-472-9700.

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