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Avoiding a Drug Conviction in Skokie—Skokie Drug Offense Attorney

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Avoiding a Drug Conviction in Skokie—Skokie Drug Offense Attorney

If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Skokie, Illinois, you have rights. It’s important that you have a skilled and experienced criminal law attorney to fight for those rights. At the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., we are experienced in defending clients charged with drug offenses. A former prosecutor, Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt understands how prosecutors build their cases. We know how to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and how to use those weaknesses to effectively advocate for our clients.

Our firm represents hundreds of individuals charged in Skokie, Illinois drug offense cases like yours. You have many options at your disposal and do not have to settle for a conviction on your record. Cases of this type have many defenses and can often be defeated through evidentiary motions or trial.

Drug crimes are taken very seriously in Skokie, Illinois and prosecuted aggressively. At the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., we understand the seriousness of these charges, and we explore every avenue to defend our clients. Many drug cases can be effectively challenged on constitutional grounds. Was there probable cause to search you, your car or your home? Was a search warrant properly obtained? Were you properly informed of your rights? If the answer to any of these questions is, “No,” it may be possible to have the evidence against you thrown out and the case dismissed.

If you are not looking to contest your matter, Cook County has several alternative sentencing programs available for offenses of this kind in Skokie, Illinois. Call our office to find out about some of the many alternatives including drug deterrent classes, expungable probation and more. Often times, we obtain dispositions on these cases that ultimately end with the DISMISSAL of all charges.

No matter what the circumstances of your arrest, Skokie Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt will carefully evaluate your case and give you an honest assessment of your prospects. Our firm handles all types of drug charges originating in Skokie, Illinois including:

Drug Possession—Possession of any amount of heroin, cocaine, morphine, LSD or any other narcotics without a prescription is a felony in Illinois.

Drug Distribution—Manufacturing, delivering and possession with the intent to deliver any controlled substance (except small quantities of marijuana) is a felony in Illinois.

Cannabis Offenses—Possession and distribution of any amount of marijuana in Illinois is illegal and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the quantity involved.

Avoiding a Drug Conviction in Skokie—Skokie Drug Offense Attorney

For a more in depth view of some of the options available to you to avoid a drug conviction on your record, see the details describing some alternative sentencing options below:

2nd Chance Probation

(730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.4)

(Text of Section before amendment by P.A. 98-718)

Sec. 5-6-3.4. Second Chance Probation.

(a) Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of, or placed on probation or conditional discharge for, any felony offense under the laws of this State, the laws of any other state, or the laws of the United States, including probation under Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, subsection (c) of Section 11-14 of the Criminal Code of 2012, Treatment Alternatives for Criminal Justice Clients (TASC) under Article 40 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act, or prior successful completion of the Offender Initiative Program under Section 5-6-3.3 of this Code, and pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of, a probationable felony offense of possession of a controlled substance that is punishable as a Class 4 felony; possession of methamphetamine that is punishable as a Class 4 felony; theft that is punishable as a Class 3 felony based on the value of the property or punishable as a Class 4 felony if the theft was committed in a school or place of worship or if the theft was of governmental property; retail theft that is punishable as a Class 3 felony based on the value of the property; criminal damage to property that is punishable as a Class 4 felony; criminal damage to government supported property that is punishable as a Class 4 felony; or possession of cannabis which is punishable as a Class 4 felony, the court, with the consent of the defendant and the State's Attorney, may, without entering a judgment, sentence the defendant to probation under this Section.

(a-1) Exemptions. A defendant is not eligible for this probation if the offense he or she pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of, is a violent offense, or he or she has previously been convicted of a violent offense. For purposes of this probation, a "violent offense" is any offense where bodily harm was inflicted or where force was used against any person or threatened against any person, any offense involving sexual conduct, sexual penetration, or sexual exploitation, any offense of domestic violence, domestic battery, violation of an order of protection, stalking, hate crime, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and any offense involving the possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon. A defendant shall not be eligible for this probation if he or she has previously been adjudicated a delinquent minor for the commission of a violent offense as defined in this subsection.

(b) When a defendant is placed on probation, the court shall enter an order specifying a period of probation of not less than 24 months and shall defer further proceedings in the case until the conclusion of the period or until the filing of a petition alleging violation of a term or condition of probation.

(c) The conditions of probation shall be that the defendant:

(1) not violate any criminal statute of this State or

any other jurisdiction;

(2) refrain from possessing a firearm or other

dangerous weapon;

(3) make full restitution to the victim or property

owner under Section 5-5-6 of this Code;

(4) obtain or attempt to obtain employment;

(5) pay fines and costs;

(6) attend educational courses designed to prepare

the defendant for obtaining a high school diploma or to work toward passing the high school level test of General Educational Development (G.E.D.) or to work toward completing a vocational training program;

(7) submit to periodic drug testing at a time and in

a manner as ordered by the court, but no less than 3 times during the period of probation, with the cost of the testing to be paid by the defendant; and

(8) perform a minimum of 30 hours of community

service.

(d) The court may, in addition to other conditions, require that the defendant:

(1) make a report to and appear in person before or

participate with the court or such courts, person, or social service agency as directed by the court in the order of probation;

(2) undergo medical or psychiatric treatment, or

treatment or rehabilitation approved by the Illinois Department of Human Services;

(3) attend or reside in a facility established for

the instruction or residence of defendants on probation;

(4) support his or her dependents; or

(5) refrain from having in his or her body the

presence of any illicit drug prohibited by the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, the Cannabis Control Act, or the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, unless prescribed by a physician, and submit samples of his or her blood or urine or both for tests to determine the presence of any illicit drug.

(e) Upon violation of a term or condition of probation, the court may enter a judgment on its original finding of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided by law.

(f) Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against the person.

(g) A disposition of probation is considered to be a conviction for the purposes of imposing the conditions of probation and for appeal; however, a discharge and dismissal under this Section is not a conviction for purposes of this Code or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime.

(h) There may be only one discharge and dismissal under this Section, Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, Treatment Alternatives for Criminal Justice Clients (TASC) under Article 40 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act, the Offender Initiative Program under Section 5-6-3.3 of this Code, and subsection (c) of Section 11-14 of the Criminal Code of 2012 with respect to any person.

(i) If a person is convicted of any offense which occurred within 5 years subsequent to a discharge and dismissal under this Section, the discharge and dismissal under this Section shall be admissible in the sentencing proceeding for that conviction as evidence in aggravation.

(Source: P.A. 98-164, eff. 1-1-14.)

(Text of Section after amendment by P.A. 98-718)

Sec. 5-6-3.4. Second Chance Probation.

(a) Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of, or placed on probation or conditional discharge for, any felony offense under the laws of this State, the laws of any other state, or the laws of the United States, including probation under Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, subsection (c) of Section 11-14 of the Criminal Code of 2012, Treatment Alternatives for Criminal Justice Clients (TASC) under Article 40 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act, or prior successful completion of the Offender Initiative Program under Section 5-6-3.3 of this Code, and pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of, a probationable felony offense of possession of a controlled substance that is punishable as a Class 4 felony; possession of methamphetamine that is punishable as a Class 4 felony; theft that is punishable as a Class 3 felony based on the value of the property or punishable as a Class 4 felony if the theft was committed in a school or place of worship or if the theft was of governmental property; retail theft that is punishable as a Class 3 felony based on the value of the property; criminal damage to property that is punishable as a Class 4 felony; criminal damage to government supported property that is punishable as a Class 4 felony; or possession of cannabis which is punishable as a Class 4 felony, the court, with the consent of the defendant and the State's Attorney, may, without entering a judgment, sentence the defendant to probation under this Section.

(a-1) Exemptions. A defendant is not eligible for this probation if the offense he or she pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of, is a violent offense, or he or she has previously been convicted of a violent offense. For purposes of this probation, a "violent offense" is any offense where bodily harm was inflicted or where force was used against any person or threatened against any person, any offense involving sexual conduct, sexual penetration, or sexual exploitation, any offense of domestic violence, domestic battery, violation of an order of protection, stalking, hate crime, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and any offense involving the possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon. A defendant shall not be eligible for this probation if he or she has previously been adjudicated a delinquent minor for the commission of a violent offense as defined in this subsection.

(b) When a defendant is placed on probation, the court shall enter an order specifying a period of probation of not less than 24 months and shall defer further proceedings in the case until the conclusion of the period or until the filing of a petition alleging violation of a term or condition of probation.

(c) The conditions of probation shall be that the defendant:

(1) not violate any criminal statute of this State or

any other jurisdiction;

(2) refrain from possessing a firearm or other

dangerous weapon;

(3) make full restitution to the victim or property

owner under Section 5-5-6 of this Code;

(4) obtain or attempt to obtain employment;

(5) pay fines and costs;

(6) attend educational courses designed to prepare

the defendant for obtaining a high school diploma or to work toward passing high school equivalency testing or to work toward completing a vocational training program;

(7) submit to periodic drug testing at a time and in

a manner as ordered by the court, but no less than 3 times during the period of probation, with the cost of the testing to be paid by the defendant; and

(8) perform a minimum of 30 hours of community

service.

(d) The court may, in addition to other conditions, require that the defendant:

(1) make a report to and appear in person before or

participate with the court or such courts, person, or social service agency as directed by the court in the order of probation;

(2) undergo medical or psychiatric treatment, or

treatment or rehabilitation approved by the Illinois Department of Human Services;

(3) attend or reside in a facility established for

the instruction or residence of defendants on probation;

(4) support his or her dependents; or

(5) refrain from having in his or her body the

presence of any illicit drug prohibited by the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, the Cannabis Control Act, or the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, unless prescribed by a physician, and submit samples of his or her blood or urine or both for tests to determine the presence of any illicit drug.

(e) Upon violation of a term or condition of probation, the court may enter a judgment on its original finding of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided by law.

(f) Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against the person.

(g) A disposition of probation is considered to be a conviction for the purposes of imposing the conditions of probation and for appeal; however, a discharge and dismissal under this Section is not a conviction for purposes of this Code or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime.

(h) There may be only one discharge and dismissal under this Section, Section 410 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, Treatment Alternatives for Criminal Justice Clients (TASC) under Article 40 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act, the Offender Initiative Program under Section 5-6-3.3 of this Code, and subsection (c) of Section 11-14 of the Criminal Code of 2012 with respect to any person.

(i) If a person is convicted of any offense which occurred within 5 years subsequent to a discharge and dismissal under this Section, the discharge and dismissal under this Section shall be admissible in the sentencing proceeding for that conviction as evidence in aggravation.

(Source: P.A. 98-164, eff. 1-1-14; 98-718, eff. 1-1-15.)

Avoiding a Drug Conviction in Skokie—Skokie Drug Offense Attorney

410 Probation

(720 ILCS 570/410) (from Ch. 56 1/2, par. 1410)

Sec. 410. (a) Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of, or placed on probation or court supervision for any offense under this Act or any law of the United States or of any State relating to cannabis or controlled substances, pleads guilty to or is found guilty of possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance under subsection (c) of Section 402 or of unauthorized possession of prescription form under Section 406.2, the court, without entering a judgment and with the consent of such person, may sentence him or her to probation.

(b) When a person is placed on probation, the court shall enter an order specifying a period of probation of 24 months and shall defer further proceedings in the case until the conclusion of the period or until the filing of a petition alleging violation of a term or condition of probation.

(c) The conditions of probation shall be that the person: (1) not violate any criminal statute of any jurisdiction; (2) refrain from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapon; (3) submit to periodic drug testing at a time and in a manner as ordered by the court, but no less than 3 times during the period of the probation, with the cost of the testing to be paid by the probationer; and (4) perform no less than 30 hours of community service, provided community service is available in the jurisdiction and is funded and approved by the county board.

(d) The court may, in addition to other conditions, require that the person:

(1) make a report to and appear in person before or

participate with the court or such courts, person, or social service agency as directed by the court in the order of probation;

(2) pay a fine and costs;

(3) work or pursue a course of study or vocational

training;

(4) undergo medical or psychiatric treatment; or

treatment or rehabilitation approved by the Illinois Department of Human Services;

(5) attend or reside in a facility established for

the instruction or residence of defendants on probation;

(6) support his or her dependents;

(6-5) refrain from having in his or her body the

presence of any illicit drug prohibited by the Cannabis Control Act, the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, unless prescribed by a physician, and submit samples of his or her blood or urine or both for tests to determine the presence of any illicit drug;

(7) and in addition, if a minor:

(i) reside with his or her parents or in a foster

home;

(ii) attend school;

(iii) attend a non-residential program for youth;

(iv) contribute to his or her own support at home

or in a foster home.

(e) Upon violation of a term or condition of probation, the court may enter a judgment on its original finding of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided.

(f) Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him or her.

(g) A disposition of probation is considered to be a conviction for the purposes of imposing the conditions of probation and for appeal, however, discharge and dismissal under this Section is not a conviction for purposes of this Act or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime.

(h) There may be only one discharge and dismissal under this Section, Section 10 of the Cannabis Control Act, Section 70 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, Section 5-6-3.3 or 5-6-3.4 of the Unified Code of Corrections, or subsection (c) of Section 11-14 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012 with respect to any person.

(i) If a person is convicted of an offense under this Act, the Cannabis Control Act, or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act within 5 years subsequent to a discharge and dismissal under this Section, the discharge and dismissal under this Section shall be admissible in the sentencing proceeding for that conviction as evidence in aggravation.

(Source: P.A. 97-334, eff. 1-1-12; 97-1118, eff. 1-1-13; 97-1150, eff. 1-25-13; 98-164, eff. 1-1-14.)

Avoiding a Drug Conviction in Skokie—Skokie Drug Offense Attorney

Drug School****

Drug school is another viable option……

The State’s Attorney’s Drug Abuse Program (SADAP), also known as “drug school,” may be an option for individuals in Cook or St. Clair Counties who have first-time and low-level offenses. The program allows eligible participants to avoid convictions and instead take classes on the consequences of both substance abuse and justice involvement.

Eligible participants agree to attend a series of 4 classes, which take place weekly and are 2.5 hours each. Cases are identified at preliminary hearing. If individuals are eligible for the program and agree to its rules, they may waive their rights to a preliminary hearing and be given a three-month continuance.

To succeed in the program, participants must attend all 4 classes, not be under the influence of any substance, and not be disruptive. If they comply with program rules, their cases are nolled (not continued) by the prosecution, and, if nolled, participants are eligible to apply for expungement virtually immediately. Classes are conducted by the Gateway Foundation.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for this program, an individual must:

be an adult

have a simple PCS, cannabis, or drug paraphernalia charge (misdemeanor or felony)

have no history of drug dealing, violence, or felony conviction

be charged in either Cook County or St. Clair County, Illinois

TASC’s Role

TASC registers participants for classes, maintains a database of participant registration, coordinates the reporting and sharing of relevant information, and provides reports to the State’s Attorney’s Office to verify individuals’ participation.

****Information from the TASC department Cook County Illinois

As always, the Law Office of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. offers free consultations for anyone charged with a felony offense in the Skokie Courthouse or any other municipality.

Main Office

555 Skokie Blvd.

Suite 500

Northbrook IL 60062

Office: 847-239-4703

Email: mrglaw@sbcglobal.net

Website: www.illinois-defenseattorney.com

Text: 773-383-8745

Avoiding a Drug Conviction in Skokie—Skokie Drug Offense Attorney

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