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Cook County Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program

Updated on August 20, 2021 → Under

In 1994 the SWAP (sheriffs work alternative program) was put in place to provide an alternative to jail time for nonviolent misdemeanor offenses.

After trial instead of getting jail time for a DUI or traffic offense, non-violent offenders can be sentenced to SWAP.  Instead of serving time, they can participate in community service instead of serving jail time. Through SWAP municipalities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies get free manual labor. Also, the offenders are able to acquire work skills and experience in performing manual labor tasks. The neighborhood is kept clean and the participants have a chance to improve their lives.

Offenders are supervised by trained sheriff deputies in the cook county sheriff’s work alternative program and they perform a wide range of physical labor tasks such as cleaning parks and streets for days a week. If you are being accused of drunk driving or have been charged with a DUI misdemeanor offense or felony offense it doesn’t have to ruin your whole life. There are a variety of detention alternative initiatives that you can get into as a sentence instead of getting jail time and other severe penalties. Our DUI lawyers at Dohman Law Group can help you get a deal that will not end with you serving jail time.

Frequently Asked SWAP Questions

If you have never gone through the program you may have questions concerning the SWAP program. Here are some of the frequently asked questions concerning the SWAP program that will help enlighten you on how it all works.

How to Register for SWAP?

There are two ways that offenders that have been sentenced to eth Sheriff’s work Alternative program can register.

  • One of them is through calling SWAP through their contact number and registering over the phone. As an offender you are encouraged to call within 24 hours of stepping out of the court room.
  • There is also a new online registration application that you can use. You can visit the SWAP registration website to fill out the application.

When Should You Register?

Offenders or defenders that have committed a misdemeanor, felony, or have a traffic case have to register in person or online within a 30 days period of time from the court date.

Fees to Be Paid

If there are offender fees that are to be paid they should be paid during the time of registration or when you are starting your workday. You can pay the fees at any registration site using your credit card. Personal checks and cash payments are not acceptable. The works schedule and the fees of the offenders will be reviewed during the registration time.  

Rules of the Program

Offenders participating in the SWAP program will be advised of the rules and regulations and will receive a copy of all the rules and regulations during the orientation process.

Sheriffs Work Alternative Program

Other Detention Alternatives Initiatives

Here are some other alternatives to incarceration programs that allow the court to divert juveniles with offenses or minors from detention so they can get into constructive community-based counseling, treatment, and residential care.

Confinement at home with Electronic monitoring

The court can order home confinement with electronic monitoring during the day and evening. It can be used as an alternative for minors in order to secure detention when they are non-compliant with the court’s pre-dispositional and pre-adjudicatory directive. It can as well be used when individuals violate dispositional conditions.

Evening Reporting Centers

These are community-based alternatives to detention sites that are in partnership with other social services organizations that are sponsoring the program. In these centers, minors that are nonviolent are provided with highly structured group activities that are well supervised. The program is aimed at reducing the risk of the minors getting rearrested and allowing the minors to be able to continue attending school while remaining at home. The Juveniles are supervised from 4 PM up to 9 PM within five days a week. The community service workers at the program offer minors development workshops, educational activities, as well recreational programming during their community service hours.

Penalties for a BAC of more than 0.16

When a police officer stops you by the road when they suspect you of driving under influence, they can administer a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer test is administered as part of almost all driving under influence arrests. The state uses this as evidence to show that the driver is guilty. An individual who shows an alcohol concentration breathalyzer result of 0.08 or more is found in violation of the law.

If the defendant has a higher result they are subject to harsher additional penalties and sentences if they are found guilty. In Illinois, the rules are that if an individual has a breathalyzer result that is double the legal limit it can lead to a harsher sentence such as license suspension and jail time in the cook county jail. 

First-time DUI offenders in Illinois that have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 attend 100 hours of community service and pay a fine of $500. In Cook County, the required days of community service may be served with the participant getting into the Sheriff’s Work alternative program. A fine of $500 is paid additionally and the total fine amounts to $1000.

However, there is a way that a defendant can avoid a mandatory minimum sentence if they have a BAC of 0.16 or higher. Even if the test results are admissible, during sentencing in court they can avoid serving the mandatory minimum jail sentence. They can do so by getting the assistance of an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney. We are ready to hear you out and help you with your case. Give us a call at 847-616-9993!

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