Bond Hearings

Cook County Circuit Court, 2nd District Courthouse in Skokie

On September 18, 2023, the SAFE-T Act eliminated cash bail in Illinois. This does not mean you automatically go home free. The state can still ask at the court to keep you in jail until trial under certain conditions. Now, more than ever, it is critical to have an experienced attorney assist you when the court considers whether to release you. (The bond hearing is now called pretrial release or pretrial detention.)

If the state asks to detain you, the state must show by clear and convincing evidence that:

(1) it’s likely you committed a qualifying offense (the evidence is evident or the presumption great),
(2) your release is a threat to community safety or you are a flight risk, and
(3) less restrictive conditions would not avoid this threat.

The court may also deny your release because the judge considers you dangerous.

As an attorney I can help:

(1) Argue your offense is not a qualifying offense.
(2) You are not a threat or a flight risk
(3) There are conditions that would avoid such threat even if your offense is violent.
(4) The state did not follow correct procedures such as in providing your criminal history before hearing or their petition was not timely.

The terms of your pretrial release can be very fact specific. Different judges may see these facts very differently. An experienced attorney, familiar with your courthouse, may be better able to make your case to your specific judge.

See our related post at What to Expect at Your Illinois Bond Hearing Now that Cash Bail is Abolished and  What You Should Know About Illinios’s New Law Ending Cash Bail


©2024 Matt Keenan. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this website should not be construed as formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship