If you have been charged with a drug crime in Illinois, there are two types of probation available to avoid serving jail or prison time and even a permanent criminal conviction: drug probation and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) probation.
Drug probation entails mandatory costs and fines of up to $12,000, 30 hours of community service, at least three drug tests and no possession of firearms throughout the probation period. Drug probation lasts for two years. The court has the authority to modify the probation terms, based on the circumstances of the case.
Once you complete drug probation, the case is automatically dismissed. This means no permanent criminal record.
Those who are eligible for drug probation in Illinois:
- Possession of cannabis – If you are charged with marijuana possession, you qualify for drug probation, unless the alleged offense involved trafficking or manufacturing.
- Possession of methamphetamines – If you are charged with possessing less than 15 grams of methamphetamine, you are eligible for drug probation.
- Possession of other substances – If you are charged with possessing other street drugs or medication without a prescription, you qualify for drug probation.
- On the other hand, TASC probation is designed to treat those who have been diagnosed with having a drug problem. This type of probation is run by a not-for-profit organization with offices located in each county. While TASC doesn’t provide direct treatment, it refers individuals to their treatment programs.
You are NOT eligible for TASC if any one of the following is true:
- You have been charged with a violent crime
- You have two or more convictions of violent crime
- You were part of the treatment program for two previous crimes within a two-year period
- You have been charged with a methamphetamine-related offense
- You have been charged with residential burglary with at least one prior felony conviction
- Your charge involves a weapon
Similar to drug probation, the program lasts for two years. Once you complete your TSAC probation, your conviction is vacated by the court, meaning your case ended without a conviction. However, if you fail to adhere to the program or fail one or more mandatory drug tests, you could be sentenced to jail time. Keep in mind, most judges understand recovery is difficult and provide some room for error unless you blatantly disobey the terms of the probation.