What is First Offender Probation in Illinois?

First Offender Probation is a type of probation that may result in the dismissal of the criminal charge if the term of probation is completed satisfactorily.  Once a case has been dismissed upon completion of probation it is possible to expunge the case from a person’s criminal record.  See 720 ILCS 550/10.

What will a person have to do to successfully complete First Offender Probation?

First Offender Probation is a 24 month term.  A person shall not violation any laws in any state, refrain from possession a firearm or dangerous weapon, submit to drug testing, and perform at least 30 hours of community service.  The court may also impose other conditions including reporting to social services, pay a fine, obtain employment, undergo psychiatric treatment, stay away from drugs, and various other conditions.  See 720 ILCS 550/10.

Am I eligible for First Offender Probation?

An accused person is eligible for First Offender Probation in a very limited number of circumstances.  First, the accused must never have been convicted or placed on probation or court supervision for any offense charged under the Illinois Cannabis Control Act (or a similar cannabis crime in another state) or any charge under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.  Second, the accused must be charged with Possession of Cannabis under 720 ILCS 550/4 section (a), (b) or (c), Manufacture or Delivery of Cannabis under 720 ILCS 550/5 section (a), (b) or (c), or Unauthorized Production or Possession of Cannabis Sativa Plant under 720 ILCS 550/8.

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