TASC Probation is a special kind of probation that is available to criminal defendants who have substance abuse issues and elect to receive treatment for their disorder. It’s a possible sentence that I have explored throughout the years to help my clients avoid a criminal conviction and be able to move on with their lives. TASC stands for “Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities.” This not for profit organization has offices throughout the State of Illinois in every County that provides treatment services for adults who have substance abuse issues. TASC probation is different from regular drug probation in that you do not have to be charged with a drug crime to receive TASC probation.
Under the Illinois Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependency Act you can ask that the court treat you as someone who has a drug problem. Once you make that request you will be lined up for an evaluation with a representative of the TASC program. They will interview you and determine whether you are acceptable for their program. My experience has been that TASC will accept you if they determine that they have a program that they think will help you and if they determine that you are being honest and are ready for help. They want to make sure that you are seeking their services because you really want help for your substance abuse issues and not just trying to avoid a criminal conviction for your criminal case.
You are not automatically eligible for TASC probation. There are certain things about your case and your background that could make you ineligible for TASC Probation. If you are being charged with a violent crime, or you are being charged with a DUI, or if you have two or more convictions for a violent crime, or if you have another pending felony, or if you are already on probation or parole, or if you have been admitted to a treatment program two or more times in the past, or if you have been convicted of a Residential Burglary and have one or more felony on your background, you may not be accepted into the program. There may be other things about you and your case that may make you ineligible for TASC Probation. That’s why you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you with TASC so you could avoid having a criminal conviction on your record.
Once you are accepted into the TASC program you will plead guilty to the criminal charges but a conviction will not go on your record. Your case will be continued for 24 months and the court will order that you be placed on probation and be required to do certain things. You will be required to perform at least 30 hours of community service. You’re not going to be allowed to possess a firearm or use any illegal drugs. You’ll be required to submit to random drug testing and pay all fines fees and costs. In addition to these basic requirements the court may add other conditions to your probation depending on you and your situation. Throughout my years of practicing criminal law, I’ve had cases in which judges have ordered my client to get a job or continue looking for a job, get a High School or GED diploma, or undergo drug, alcohol, psychiatric and mental health treatment. The additional requirements depend on the particular case and the particular individual before the court.
You may be required to appear periodically in court for the judge to see how your probation is going. But if you do everything that you are supposed to do and do not commit any crimes and do not test positive for any illegal drugs, when you appear at the final court date and the court is informed that you successfully completed the program the case will be dismissed and you will no longer be facing criminal prosecution. Not only is your criminal case over but you will not have a criminal conviction on your record and if anyone ever asks you if you have ever been convicted of a crime you can answer truthfully that you have not been convicted. However, if you do not successfully complete the probation you will be brought back into court and you will be sentenced for the crime that you plead guilty to when you were placed on TASC probation.
In certain cases, TASC probation may be the best option for successfully resolving a criminal case. Every case is different. That’s why you need to talk to an attorney who has experience handling cases involving possible drug abuse. You have options if the attorney that you hire knows what they are and knows how to obtain them for you. Chicago criminal defense lawyer, James G. Dimeas, has spent the past 25 years handling criminal cases in Cook County, DuPage County and Kane County. To talk to James G. Dimeas anytime about your particular case, you can call him at 847-807-7405.
Illinois TASC Statute: 20 ILCS 301/40-5.