Navigating Illinois’ Pretrial Detention: A Comprehensive Guide

Nov 2, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

The implementation of the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act, part of the broader Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act, marks a pivotal shift in the state’s approach to pretrial detention. Moving away from a cash bail system, the act emphasizes a fairer judicial process. But what does this mean for those facing charges? Let’s delve into the specifics of what you can be detained for and what you are less likely to be detained for under this new legislation.


Detainable Offenses Explained

Under the Pretrial Fairness Act, the focus is on the severity of the crime and the associated risk. Detainable offenses typically include:

  • Violent Felonies: Such as murder, aggravated battery, sexual assault, and kidnapping. These are considered high-risk offenses where the safety of the public or a specific individual may be in jeopardy.
  • Serious Gun-Related Offenses: This includes possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or using a firearm in the commission of an offense.
  • DUI Resulting in Death or Serious Injury: These are grave offenses where impaired driving has led to significant harm or loss of life, calling for potential pretrial detention. Understanding DUI Offenses in Illinois can offer more clarity.
  • Aggravated Stalking or Violations of a Protective Order: Where there is a demonstrated threat to the safety of another person.
  • Pretrial Release Violations: If someone violates conditions of a previous pretrial release, particularly in the case of violent crimes, this can lead to detainment.
  • Failure to Appear: If an individual has a history of not appearing in court, this may also result in detainment to ensure they are present for their trial.

Understanding Non-Detainable Offenses

The Pretrial Fairness Act also outlines situations where pretrial detention is not favored:

  • Minor Drug Possession: Non-violent offenses involving controlled substances, especially in small quantities, are generally not subject to pretrial detention.
  • Non-Violent Theft and Fraud: Crimes that involve property but do not impose a direct threat to public safety typically will not lead to detainment.
  • Most Traffic Offenses: With the exception of severe cases, such as a repeat DUI offender, traffic offenses are usually not grounds for pretrial detention.

What These Changes Mean For You

As someone navigating the criminal justice system, it is vital to understand these distinctions. Whether you’re a defendant, a concerned family member, or simply a citizen trying to stay informed, these legal nuances can impact lives significantly.

If you require assistance or further explanation about these offenses and how they may affect pretrial detention, please consult with a knowledgeable attorney. As a dedicated legal professional, I am committed to ensuring your rights are upheld. For inquiries or detailed discussions, contact me directly.

The SAFE-T Act and the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act represent a significant reform in our justice system, aiming to ensure that pretrial detention is fair and just, not simply a matter of financial means. For anyone facing legal challenges, it’s more important than ever to seek expert legal counsel.

For more information on how these legislative changes could affect you or your case, or to get support if you’re facing detainable charges, reach out to my office.