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Diverting Your Criminal Case to a Specialty Court: Are You Eligible and Should You Agree?

Joliet Alternate Court SentenceIn Illinois, some criminal charges can be diverted to a specialty court. These alternative solutions —also known as diversion court—give you the chance to prove to the courts that your mistake was just a one-time occurrence. As long as you successfully complete the terms of your diversion, the criminal charge does not go on your record. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for this option, and even those that are should carefully consider whether or not diversion is the right choice for their situation. The following information can help in making that decision.

Types of Diversion

Through diversion court, the justice system attempts to address the core issue behind a defendant’s criminal offense. This is why there are different types of diversion court; each is meant to deal with a specific issue. Those that are currently available in Illinois include:
• Traffic court diversion;
• Mental health specialty court;
• Veterans’ specialty courts;
• Drug courts (includes all drug diversion options); and

To qualify for any one of these diversion options , you must meet certain criteria. For example, some drug diversion courts accept offenders with any general substance abuse disorder, but others only take those that have been charged with a specific drug-related crime. You must also voluntarily agree to participate in the program, and you cannot have any violent crimes over the last ten years to qualify for a specialty court option.

Is Diversion the Right Option for Your Situation?

Even if you do qualify for diversion, it is critical that you consider all of your options before you accept. Know the strengths of your case, and if you have any chance at having the charges dismissed without diversion. Also, be certain that you fully understand the terms of your diversion. Failure to successfully complete the program will generally result in a criminal conviction, possible jail time, and other consequences, such as fines and penalties. You should also know what to do if you ever violate the terms of your diversion (you may be given a chance to make it right), and how it could affect your case. Lastly, know your odds of conviction if you take your case to trial, and what it would mean for your future.

We Can Help You Decide

If you are facing criminal charges and considering diversion, contact a Joliet criminal defense lawyer to ensure that you have all of the facts and understand all of your options before you accept. Dedicated to helping you get back to your life as soon as possible, we carefully examine your case, answer all of your questions, and will aggressively protect your rights and best interest. To learn more about how we can assist with your criminal case, schedule your free initial consultation today.

Reasonable Grounds for Charges of Aggravated Assault

Joliet Assault Injury AttorneyWhen you are accused of aggravated assault , it is understandable that one of your very first concerns may be whether or not you are being justly accused. Does the arresting officer really have the right to take you into custody? Are the grounds for your arrest truly reasonable, or are they somewhat questionable? These questions depend greatly on the nature of the accused crime. If you are facing aggravated assault charges, it is important to know where you stand, and one of the best ways to educate yourself is by reviewing the Illinois state laws that govern such charges.

What the Law Considers Reasonable Grounds

In general, when a person commits an act of conduct without lawful authority and is aware that it places another person in harm’s way, the law considers the action to be an assault. The law states that if you place another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery, it is a Class C misdemeanor. Aggravated assault is a more serious form of assault, which may include the use of a weapon.

An individual may also be charged with this aggravated assault if they know their victim happens to be a physically handicapped person, a person 60 years of age or older, a teacher or school employee, or a community policing volunteer. There are other grounds for aggravated assault charges that are based on the status of the victim or the location of conduct. For example, if an individual harms someone who works for the community or does so in retaliation for performing their official duties, the perpetrated can be charged with aggravated assault. Additionally, if the offense is committed on public property, in a public place of accommodation or amusement, or at a sports venue, aggravated assault charges may follow.

What Cannot Be Used as Reasonable Grounds

When it comes to aggravated assault, mere verbal threats, such as shouting or the use of profanity, cannot be the only grounds for charges. There must be some form of physical threat, and the person being assaulted must have reasonable belief that the accused offender is either in possession of a weapon or has the intention of carrying out a threat that somehow places them in harm’s way.

If you have been accused of aggravated assault, it is important you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Joliet who can help examine your case and protect your best interests in a court of law. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba is a former prosecutor who understands the law and is ready to provide the help you need. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

Exercising Your Rights During an Arrest: What You Need to Know

Arrested Joliet Illinois AttorneyWhile most citizens know they have the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, and the right to privacy in their own home, they do not fully understand what these rights mean. Add in the fear of crossing a police officer and it is no mystery why so many fail to fully exercise their rights during an arrest. Do not make the same mistake! Learn what rights you have under the law, and how you can exercise them, should you ever be arrested.

Your Right to Privacy and Proper Procedure

As a U.S. citizen, the Fourth Amendment protects you from an unwarranted invasion of your privacy. This broadly encompassing amendment means that an officer cannot legally perform a search or seizure of your vehicle, home, or person without your permission or probable cause. If you give them consent – either verbally or implied – they can and will attempt to use anything they find as evidence. So do not invite an officer into your home, do not “secure” your vehicle, and do not hand over your keys when they ask. To add an extra layer of protection, you can also verbally say (as loudly as possible) that you do NOT give them permission to search your vehicle. If any bystanders hear you, their testimony could be used as mitigating evidence in your case.

Your Right to Remain Silent

Failing to remain silent is one of the most common and most incriminating mistakes that arrested individuals make. They try to explain their innocence, start blurting out questions that incriminate them, give away information that they do not have to, or otherwise say something that can be used as evidence against them. From the moment that an officer pulls you over, stops you, or approaches you, you have the right to exercise silence. You do not have to answer when they ask about the joint in your ashtray, give them your address when they ask, or try to explain why you ran the stoplight. You do not have to say anything at all.

Your Right to an Attorney

Often, those who are facing possible charges do not know when they can exercise their right to an attorney. This is partly because law enforcement is not required to ask you if you want your lawyer present since that right is expressed when they read you your Miranda rights. This means the burden is on you to request one. When should you? The answer to this is simple: you request your attorney the moment you are taken into custody or pulled in for questioning. Again, do not say anything until your attorney arrives.

Once you contact our firm, we will help to ensure that all of your other legal rights are protected. We will also work aggressively to mitigate your charges. No matter what situation you are facing, we fight for the most favorable outcome in your case. Call 815-470-4025 to speak with an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney today.

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