Did you know that more people now die in the U.S. each year from drug/alcohol overdoses than from shootings or car accidents? In response to this public health crisis, state governments have been experimenting with a variety of solutions, including substance abuse treatment programs and other alternatives to imprisonment for low-level drug offenses.
Illinois, for example, offers a program known as 410 probation, also known as first-time drug offender probation ( 720 ILCS 570/410 ). As with any sentence of probation or court supervision, an offender must plead guilty to the drug charge. But if they fulfill all of the terms of the 410 probation, the charges will be dismissed, and they will not have a conviction on their record. (In that respect, this is more like a court supervision than a probation.) Avoiding a drug felony conviction can be critical to one’s ability to obtain employment in many fields.
What Crimes Are Eligible for 410 Probation?
The Class 4 felony of possession of a small quantity of a controlled or counterfeit substance under 720 ILCS 570/402(c), such as:
- Less than 15 grams of a substance containing cocaine, heroin, LSD, or morphine.
- Less than 30 grams of a substance containing ketamine, methaqualone, pentazocine, or phencyclidine.
- Less than 200 grams of a substance containing peyote, barbituric acid, or amphetamine.
- Less than 200 grams of a substance containing a Schedule I or II narcotic drug not listed elsewhere.
The Class 4 felony of unauthorized possession of prescription drugs under 720 ILCS 570/406.2.
What Are the Requirements for 410 Probation?
To qualify for 410 probation, you must have no previous conviction or court supervision for any criminal drug offense. You can get 410 probation more than once in a lifetime, but no more than once within a four-year period.
You may be required to pass a drug evaluation. If that evaluation finds that you have a substance abuse problem, making it unlikely that you can fulfill the terms of 410 probation, then you will not be eligible for 410 probation.
410 probation lasts for two years. During that time, you must fulfill numerous conditions, which typically include: no new criminal charges, no possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons, random drug tests, performing at least 30 hours of community service, paying fines and court costs, meeting with a probation officer or other agency on a regular basis, holding a job or going to school, and receiving such medical and/or psychiatric treatment as the court deems appropriate.
During that two-year period, if you fail to meet any of the conditions set by the judge, you will go back to court for a probation violation hearing. The judge may then convert your sentence of 410 probation to regular probation or imprisonment, in which case you will then end up with the drug conviction on your criminal record.
The arrest and charges will still show up on your criminal record, but after a period of time, you can petition to have those records expunged.
Choose an Experienced Joliet Drug Crimes Defense Attorney
Having a drug felony conviction on your record can make it very difficult for you to obtain employment in many fields. If you have been charged with a Class 4 felony drug crime, 410 probation is one way to avoid the criminal conviction, but there are other options as well. You will need the advice of a Will County drug crimes defense lawyer. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba will examine all the facts of your case and develop a strategy to help you obtain the best possible outcome to your case. Contact us at 815-740-4025 at any time for a free consultation.