State legislatures consider and enact laws that address all aspects of pretrial policy, including citations, release eligibility, conditions of release, commercial bail bonding, victims’ rights and diversion. These legislative policies have an important role in providing fair, efficient and safe practices carried out by law enforcement and the courts.
Below is a synopsis of this state’s pretrial release laws as of March 2013 and any relevant legislative reports or audits. Recent enactments modifying these provisions can be found in NCSL’s pretrial enactments database.
Citation in Lieu of Arrest
Issuing a citation is not presumptive, however a citation can be issued by peace officers when there is reasonable grounds to believe that person is committing or has committed a crime, or by sheriffs after arrest for class C misdemeanors. (725 ILCS 5/107-12)
Pretrial Release Eligibility
State constitution and statute provide a presumption of pretrial release. Pretrial release can be denied for capital offenses, offenses punishable by life or life without parole, stalking and aggravated stalking, felonies not eligible for probation, unlawful use of weapons when the offense occurred in a school zone, and terrorist threats. (Const. Art. 1 §9; 725 ILCS 5/110-4)
Guidance for Setting Release Conditions
State statute provides a presumption of pretrial release on non-monetary conditions. Courts are instructed to use a risk assessment for offenses related to violating a protection order or when a pretrial services agency provides release recommendations to the court. (725 ILCS 5/110-2 & -5(f); 725 ILCS 185/20)
Pretrial Release Conditions
Law allows release on personal recognizance. Common conditions of release include: cash deposit, property bond, other secured bond, supervision and additional requirements. Electronic monitoring is authorized for defendants supervised by a pretrial services program. A secured deposit, surety or property bond is required— only if the defendant is released without a pretrial release hearing— for violent crimes against a family or household member if the defendant has a similar prior conviction or the offense involved physical harm, threat of physical harm or possession of a deadly weapon. (725 ILCS 5/110-2, -8, & -10)
Defendants charged with capital offenses, offenses punishable by life or life without parole, stalking, aggravated stalking, felonies not eligible for probation, unlawful use of weapons when the offense occurred in a school zone or terrorist threats require a hearing to deny pretrial release. State law specifies time frames for when the hearing must be held, addresses detainment of the defendant pending the outcome of the hearing and enumerates rights of the defendant. (725 ILCS 5/110-6.1 & -6.3)
Bail Bond Agent Licensure
Commercial bondsmen are prohibited. (725 § 5/103-9; § 5/110-7 & -8)
Victims’ Rights and Protections
Victims have the right to notification of the pretrial release hearing and notification of pretrial release. Pretrial release hearings are required for violent crimes against a family or household member if the defendant has a prior similar conviction or the offense involved physical harm, threat of physical harm or possession of a deadly weapon. Electronic monitoring that includes technology to communicate with the victims when boundaries are violated can be ordered for a violation of a protection order. If a bail bond is forfeited, the funds can be applied to a violent crime victims’ assistance fund upon the defendant’s conviction. (725 ILCS 120/4.5(c) & (b); 725 ILCS 5/110-5.1; 730 ILCS 5/5-8A-7; 705 ILCS 105/27.6)
Diversion programs authorized include: worthless check programs; and substance abuse, mental health, and veterans/active military problem-solving courts. (730 § 166/1 et. seq., § 167/1 et. seq., § 168/1 et. seq.; 720 § 5/17-1b)
Full text of statutes can be retrieved using NCSL’s State Legislatures Internet Links database or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice Program.