Ohio has recently changed its Intervention in lieu of conviction (“ILC”) statute, and the change greatly benefits defendants across the State. ILC provides for a program allowing certain categories of offenders to receive assistance and/or treatment in order avoid the ramifications of a felony conviction. It is not designed as punishment, but instead is an opportunity for certain offenders to address the underlying issues that contributed to their criminal charges and, in turn, receive a dismissal of his or her criminal charges. For more information on ILC, see our previous blog post on the topic.
The new ILC changes, which should be effective mid-March of this year, allows judges to keep offenders in ILC even if they violate their treatment programs. Previously, the Court was required to revoke ILC for offenders who violated the terms of their treatment program, via picking up new criminal charges, failing a drug or alcohol test, missing required meetings, etc. Effectively, it was a one strike and you’re out policy for offenders. This resulted in numerous revocations of ILC which, in turn, lead to those defendants ultimately being convicted of their offenses.
The new law grants judges discretion whether to keep an offender in ILC despite a violation of their treatment terms. This should result in less convictions for offenders engaged in ILC, many of whom are addicted to drugs and often dealing with relapse as part of recovery.
If you have questions about ILC, please feel free to contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers for a free consultation.