When a criminal defendant pleads guilty, or is found guilty, of a criminal charge, the impact of the punishment depends on the sentence imposed by the Court. The Court can impose a variety of sentences in a criminal case. Perhaps, the best, or the least severe sentence in Illinois could be Court Supervision. The most severe punishment would be a conviction and the imposition of a jail sentence. I want to take this opportunity to discuss Court Supervision and why this may be the best option for your criminal or traffic case. This will be a general discussion of Court Supervision in Illinois. You should consult with your criminal defense lawyer to see how a sentence of Court Supervision would apply to your case and your particular situation.
The main benefit of getting Court Supervision is that if you successfully complete all of the terms of the Court Supervision sentence, you will not have a criminal conviction on your record. Court Supervision is a criminal sentence that is imposed on the majority of misdemeanor cases in Illinois. This is especially true if this is your first criminal case and the case did not involve violence or serious injuries to anyone. Court Supervision is very common in traffic cases. But just like everything in the law, the details are important because it’s not as simple as it initially appears.
If you are pleading guilty to a criminal offense and getting Court Supervision, at the time of sentencing, the Court will accept your guilty plea but will not enter a judgement of conviction that will go on your criminal record. Instead, the Court will impose a sentence and will set a final termination date to determine if you lived up to your end of the bargain and did everything the Court wanted you to do. Most of the time, if you are pleading guilty to a criminal offense, your lawyer will have entered into an agreement with the prosecutor that spells out all the terms of your sentence. One way to think about Court Supervision is to think of it as being like Court Probation. Like I tell my clients, when you plead guilty, the Court will take your guilty plea and leave it in the Court file until the final termination date. If you successfully complete your Court Supervision sentence, the Court will remove your guilty plea from your file and will tear it up and not put it on your criminal record. However, the Court computer and public Court records will show your criminal charges and the sentence imposed by the Court. Most criminal cases that result in Court Supervision can be Expunged or Sealed which means that it will not appear in a background search. Depending on the criminal charges you are facing, Court Supervision may be your best option.
Your Court Supervision sentence may contain several conditions which must be satisfied in order to successfully complete a sentence of Court Supervision. A condition of Court Supervision that is present in almost every case is that you cannot commit any crimes during the time that you are on Court Supervision. So if you were placed on Court Supervision for 4 months for a speeding ticket, if you receive another traffic ticket during the 4 months that you are on Court Supervision, you will have violated the terms of your sentence and the deal is off. Or if you are on 12 months of Court Supervision for a Retail Theft and you pick up another Shoplifting cases during those 12 months, you will have violated the terms of your Court Supervision. The Court will usually impose certain conditions on the requirements of your Court Supervision. It is common to see the Court require the completion of some community service volunteer hours, or mental health treatment, or drug treatment, or require that a defendant complete High School or obtain a GED. The conditions placed on your sentence of Court Supervision will vary from case to case and person to person. But what is common in all cases involving Court Supervision is that if you violate any of the terms of the Court Supervision, the Court can sentence you to anything you could have been sentenced to at the time the Court sentenced you to Court Supervision. Since you plead guilty, and the court accepted your guilty plea by sentencing you to Court Supervision, you cannot go back into Court and claim your innocence if you violate your Supervision. If you violate your Court Supervision, the next step for the Court to take is to determine what your sentence will be for the case that you were sentenced to Court Supervision for.
In certain cases, Court Supervision may be the best option for you. However, you need to understand what the terms of the sentence are and what could happen to you if you violate the terms of the sentence. If you have Immigration issues, you should talk to an experienced Immigration lawyer to know what the Immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a crime could be for your Immigration case. While Illinois law does not consider Court Supervision to be a criminal conviction. what Immigration Law considers a conviction for Immigration purposes is different.
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, criminal defense lawyer, with over 28-years of experience handling criminal cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois for the Years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021” by the American Society of Legal Advocates. James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney” and a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise. James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois.” James Dimeas is rated “Superb” by AVVO, 10 out of 10, the highest classification possible for any criminal defense lawyer in the United States. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized James Dimeas as a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois.”
If you are facing criminal charges, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always talk to James Dimeas personally by calling him at 847-807-7405.
What Does It Mean To Demand Trial In A Criminal Case, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, March 25, 2020.
Will I Go To Jail if I am Arrested, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, August 28, 2019.