Illinois Politicians Aim to Make Penalties Higher For Absent Defendants

joliet criminal lawyer

When someone is arrested on criminal charges , they are typically held in in police custody until they are set to appear in court or until they are released on bail. Bail is a monetary amount that is usually set by the judge in accordance with laws and acts as a type of insurance that the person will appear back in court when they are supposed to do so. Typically, a bail amount is thousands of dollars, so defendants are only required to pay 10 percent of the set bail. Once a defendant posts bail, they are free to be released from police custody, but they do not always go back to court when required to do so.

Defendants Attempt to Avoid Prosecution

Two Illinois lawmakers are trying to make changes to Illinois’ current failure to appear laws. They state that there has been an increase in the number of suspects who post bail but never actually return to court when they are called to do so. The DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office recently expressed concern with the number of defendants who had been charged with violent crimes such as child pornography, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and aggravated DUI, but never showed up in court after posting bail.

Prosecutors Point Fingers at Bail Reform Act

DuPage County prosecutors have been blaming Illinois’ Bail Reform Act, which went into effect last year. The DuPage County State’s Attorney also said that the changes they wish to make include making a failure to appear the same class penalty as the crime the defendant was originally charged with. Currently, when a person does not appear in court when they have posted bail, they are charged with a crime that is a class lower than the original crime, though it is never less than a Class C misdemeanor.

A Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Not all defendants who are granted bail violate the agreement that is made when bail is posted. The majority of people who post bail also show up in court when they are requested to do so. If you have been charged with a crime, you have no time to waste - you should contact a Will County criminal defense lawyer . If you are facing criminal charges, call the office at 815-740-4025 to set up a consultation.