Q&A with the SA

HOW DO I REPORT A CRIME?

If you need to report an emergency, call 911. All crimes should be reported to the police agency in the area where the crime occurred. In certain limited circumstances, the State's Attorney's Office will accept crime reports for cases such as public corruption (click here).  If you have information related to a crime, you can also call Crime Stoppers at (815) 93-CRIME.  You can remain anonymous when reporting a crime.

I AM A VICTIM/WITNESS, DO I NEED TO ATTEND EVERY COURT DATE?


No, not unless you are notified by the State's Attorney’s Office or served with a notice to appear.  Generally, there are several court dates before the case is resolved. You are welcome to attend any court proceeding, but your presence is not always required.  If you have questions regarding whether your attendance is required, please call the Victim & Witness Assistance Division of the State's Attorneys' Office at 815-936-5800.

WHAT IF SOMEONE THREATENS ME TO DROP CHARGES?


Such a person is obstructing justice and may be guilty of a felony offense.  Call the law enforcement agency that investigated the case originally so the threat can be documented and action taken to prevent recurrence. Also, inform the prosecutor assigned to your case or the Victim & Witness Assistance Division (815-936-5800) of the incident.

WHAT IF SOMEONE THREATENS ME TO DROP CHARGES?


Such a person is obstructing justice and may be guilty of a felony offense.  Call the law enforcement agency that investigated the case originally so the threat can be documented and action taken to prevent recurrence. Also, inform the prosecutor assigned to your case or the Victim & Witness Assistance Division (815-936-5800) of the incident.

WHAT IS A "PLEA BARGAIN"?


A negotiated plea or plea agreement is an agreement between the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and the defendant as to what punishment the defendant will receive for the crime he/she committed. In making a plea offer the prosecutor will try to recommend a sentence that is close to what a jury might give in a similar case. In exchange for a certain punishment, the defendant gives up all constitutional rights, including the right to a trial.  Ultimately, the judge presiding over the case must decide whether to accept or reject the plea agreement. 

 

Occasionally, a plea-bargain may involve a "blind-plea", which means that the Defendant pleads guilty to one or more pending charges without any agreement from the State as to a sentence.  In that case, the Judge would determine an appropriate sentence after a sentencing hearing.

WHY DO SOME CASES GET DISMISSED OR NOT CHARGED?

If the prosecutor determines that there is not sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction, or that there exists some legal problem in the case, the prosecutor may dismiss a pending case, or may not charge the case in the first place. This action is taken only after a complete investigation and normally after police have exhausted all avenues for obtaining additional evidence.  In some instances, a case that was dismissed or not charged may be brought back into court at a later date.

I AM A DEFENDANT, CAN I CALL YOUR OFFICE WITH QUESTIONS?

NO.  The State's Attorney's Office is prohibited by law from providing legal assistance or advice to a defendant. For help, you may contact a private attorney or the Kankakee County Public Defender's Office (click here).  The Public Defender represents defendants who cannot afford an attorney.  The NAACP also holds regular legal clinics where you may be able to obtain free legal advice - you can contact the Kankakee County branch of the NAACP at (815) 932-0858 (or click here)

HOW CAN I HAVE MY CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNGED?

Contact the attorney who represented you during your criminal proceedings or request the appropriate forms and instructions from the Circuit Clerk's Office in the courthouse where you were convicted. Procedures may vary depending on the criminal charge and the manner of sentencing. Persons convicted of certain offenses are not eligible for expungement, but may still be eligible for sealing or a pardon.  The NAACP also holds regular free legal clinics and expungement clinics - you can contact the Kankakee County branch of the NAACP at (815) 932-0858 (or click here)

MY QUESTION HAS NOT BEEN ANSWERED HERE.  WHO CAN I CALL?


If you have a question for the State's Attorneys' Office, please call (815) 936-5800 during regular business hours of 8:30am-4:30pm, Mon-Fri (except legal and court holidays).  We will do our best to answer your question or refer you to someone who can.

Call Us: 1-815-936-5800   /   450 E. Court Street, 3rd Floor, Kankakee, Illinois 60901    /   www.K3SAO.com

The Kankakee County State's Attorneys' Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer and an Equal Opportunity Service Provider and

does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.