Understanding the SAFE-T Act and What it Means for You

Understanding the SAFE-T Act and What it Means for You

As of January 1st, 2023, Illinois’ SAFE-T Act has been implemented by (most) counties throughout the state. No matter where your opinion lands on the new reforms, the fact remains that it has now become an official part of Illinois’ laws. As such, you need to know what exactly the SAFE-T Act is and how it might affect you. Brave Law Center can answer your questions about the SAFE-T Act and provide legal support for those facing criminal accusations in Central Illinois.

What is the SAFE-T Act?

The SAFE-T Act is a product of recent social and political reform efforts focused on the treatment of prisoners/detainees and the procedures and training of policed departments throughout the state. The SAFE-T Act sets new training standards for law enforcement, establishes rules for the “use of force” when immobilizing suspects, and requires all police to have body cameras by 2025. However, it isn’t only police department reforms that were targeted in this Act.

The elimination of monetary bail is perhaps the most controversial amendment introduced in the SAFE-T Act. The purpose of eliminating cash bail is to reduce incarceration before guilty verdicts and move away from a pretrial detention system based on a person’s existing wealth. Instead, a judge will determine pretrial detention; otherwise, a defendant will not be detained.

How Pretrial Detention Will Work

Pending decisions made by the Illinois Supreme Court, monetary bail will no longer be applicable in Illinois. A system will replace cash bail to determine whether offenders should be released or held before trial. This system will consider the offense of each individual, and a judge will determine whether a criminal offender should be detained or released before trial. This decision is based on several factors, such as:

  • If the defendant is a danger to an individual or the community
  • The defendant is accused of a non-probational offense
  • If the accused offense is part of the SAFE-T Act’s Detention Net
  • The defendant is determined to be a flight risk

Regarding the Detention Net, this is a list of crimes that are not eligible for pretrial release and will require a prosecutor to deliberate further on whether their client should be free of detention. The Detention Net includes the following offenses:

  • First and Second-Degree Murder
  • Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Residential Burglary
  • Aggravated Arson
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated Battery resulting in great bodily harm
  • Felonies involving the use or threat of physical force or violence
How the SAFE-T Act Impacts You

In general, you likely won’t see a direct impact on your life due to the changes established in the SAFE-T Act. Indirectly, you’ll benefit from an increase in more focused police training and regulation, as law enforcement officers and officials will be held accountable by stricter standards than before. Additional reforms expected to impact society positively include prison and sentencing reforms like additional work release opportunities for prisoners, reduction of the length of parole for certain offenses, etc. Of everything included in the SAFE-T Act, the amendment most likely to impact you directly is the elimination of cash bail.

The State Government Building in Springfield IL

If you or someone you know is accused of a criminal offense and arrested, they are no longer detained if they cannot produce bail. Avoiding pretrial detention ensures you receive fairer treatment and can more quickly take steps toward securing legal representation. However, if a judge determines you aren’t eligible for pretrial release, law offices like Brave Law Center can help prove you aren’t a danger to others or a flight risk.

Call Brave Law Center Today

At Brave Law Center, we’re always up-to-date with the latest changes and amendments to Illinois’ legal system. If you have questions about the SAFE-T Act or other laws implemented at the beginning of the year, talk with a Brave Law representative. Or, if facing criminal prosecution and need representation from a qualified attorney, call Brave Law today at 309-250-2907. We are located at 330 NE Perry Ave, Peoria, IL 61603.

Criminal, Divorce, Family Law Attorney in Peoria IL

330 NE Perry Ave., Peoria IL 61603

120 S Main St., Eureka, IL 61530

Criminal, Divorce, Family Law Attorney in Peoria IL


Criminal, Divorce, Family Law Attorney in Peoria IL