The SAFE-T Act eliminated cash bond in Illinois as of September 18, 2023. However, you may still be held in jail if the state can meet certain criteria.

First, the state must file a petition. Then, the state must show by clear and convincing evidence that: (1) the proof is evident or the presumption great that you committed a qualifying offense, (2) your pretrial release poses a real and present threat to the safety of the community or you are a flight risk, and (3) that less restrictive conditions would not avoid that threat.

The court considers: (1) the nature and circumstances of the offense charged and whether it is a violent crime,(2) whether your prior criminal history indicates violent behavior, (3) whether you possesse or have access to weapons,(4) the weight of evidence against you, and (5) the nature and seriousness of the threat your release would pose to the community. No one factor is enough by itself.

What I Can Do:

As an attorney, I can help argue for your release. Did the state follow procedures? For example, the state must give you a copy of your criminal history prior to hearing. Does your offense meet the definition of detainable? One defendant was release even though he was charged with aggravated battery because the battery hadn’t caused great bodily harm. Even if the court intends to grant the state’s request, an attorney can argue for less restrictive conditions such as electronic home monitoring.

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. Also see Can the court revoke my pretrial release?