Now, more than ever, it is critical to have an experienced attorney assist you when the court considers releasing you before trial 

As of September 18, 2023, the SAFE-T Act eliminated cash bond.  Therefore, you can no longer guarantee your pretrial release by simply paying.  The state may ask the court to hold you in jail. To do so, the state must prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that: (1) the proof is evident or the presumption great that you committed a qualifying offense, (2) your release poses a real and present threat to safety or you are a flight risk, and (3) less restrictive conditions would not avoid such a threat.

Further, the court may deny your release if the judge considers you dangerous.  The court looks at:  (1) the nature and circumstances of your offense and whether it is a violent crime, (2) whether your prior history indicates violent behavior, (3) whether you possess 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 dispositive.

The terms of your pretrial release can be very fact specific, facts that different judges may see very differently.  An experienced attorney, who is familiar with your courthouse, can best argue for your release before your specific judge.  Did the state present enough evidence that you committed a qualifying offense? Can the state show you are a threat to the community or flight risk?  Are there less restrictive conditions that can protect the community while allowing you to remain free?

 If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

References: People v. Davis and People v. Rodriguez

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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