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An official website of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office


Programs and Agencies

19th Judicial Circuit Court

Courts in Illinois are organized by county. The term "circuit" is derived from the historical practice in which judges and attorneys would move from county to county resolving cases. This was called "riding the circuit." Today, Illinois's 102 counties are organized into 22 circuits. Due to its large population, Lake County is the only county in the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. There are 15 Circuit Judges elected by the voters once, and then face a retention vote every six years. These 15 circuit Judges set the local rules for the courthouse and determine docket assignments for themselves and for 25 Associate Judges. The Circuit Judges play a large role in the selection process of Associate Judges by voting for new judges. The Supreme Court then approves the Circuit Judges vote.

Alternative Prosecution Programs

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office provides a Felony Alternative Prosecution Program and a Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Program. Low risk offenders charged with either felony or misdemeanor offenses are eligible for this diversion program. These programs divert a defendant from the traditional course of prosecution if the defendant has accepted responsibility and agreed to improve themselves. Participants are ordered to complete counseling in the following areas: substance abuse, anger management, job training, decision-making, financial planning, parenting skills, or anti-gang strategies. The offender is required to maintain contact with the LCSAO and the courts. Participants that complete the program are “successful” and those who do not complete the program are “unsuccessful”. The new administration seeks to expand the number of participants in these programs.

Office of the Lake County State’s Attorney

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office represents the people of Lake County and at times the County itself in a court of law. It is dedicated to seek justice with integrity by vigorously and ethically prosecuting criminal acts, with empathy and compassion for the victims of crime and unwavering respect for the rights of the accused; to protect the people of Lake County by working with our criminal justice partners to make our communities safe; and to provide exceptional and professional legal representation to Lake County and its elected and appointed officials, thereby promoting responsible and trustworthy government.

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart has dedicated his new administration to making our county safer and our courthouse fairer. His office will focus on innovative and transparent solutions for the problems facing all Lake County communities.

Office of the Lake County Circuit Court Clerk

The Clerk of the Circuit Court (Clerk’s Office) is, by law, the official keeper of records for all judicial matters brought into the Circuit Court of Lake County.

Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring (T.I.M.) Specialty Courts

Lake County’s T.I.M. courts are modeled after the Standards and Practices as set forth by the National Drug Court Institute (NDCI) and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and include, Drug Court, STOP (Opioid) Court, Mental Health Court, and Veteran’s Treatment and Assistance Court. These courts divert clients who are either Veteran’s, and/or suffering from significant mental illness, and/or drug addiction from “traditional” prosecution. The courts provide support, treatment, and accountability in an effort to break the cycle of addiction and/or mental illness leading to incarceration. Collectively, the T.I.M courts serve about 100 clients at any one time.

Uniform Crime Reports

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort of more than 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies eligible to voluntarily report data on crimes brought to their attention.

Offense classifications [include] the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault as well as the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. [L]aw enforcement agencies report only the most serious offense in an incident.

Legal Terms


A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he or she knowingly engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery. (720 ILCS 5/12-1)


A person commits battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual. (720 ILCS 5/12-3)


A person commits burglary when without authority he or she knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or theft. (720 ILCS 5/19-1)

Controlled Substance

"Controlled Substance" means (i) a drug, substance, immediate precursor, or synthetic drug in the Schedules of Article II of this Act or (ii) a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, designated as a controlled substance by the Department through administrative rule. (720 ILCS 570/)

Custodial Arrest

When a person is taken into custody, based on probable cause of the commission of a crime, at a law enforcement facility such as a police department or sheriff’s office.


"Deflection" is a statutory "program in which a peace officer or member of a law enforcement agency facilitates contact between an individual and a licensed substance use treatment provider or clinician for assessment and coordination of treatment planning. This facilitation includes defined criteria for eligibility and communication protocols agreed to by the law enforcement agency and the licensed treatment provider for the purpose of providing substance use treatment to those persons in lieu of arrest or further justice system involvement" (5 ILCS 820/10).

The term deflection was coined in 2014 in the Want to Reduce Drugs in Your Community? Why Not Deflect Instead of Arrest? Source: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) Footnote 1


"Deliver" or "delivery" means the actual, constructive or attempted transfer of possession, with or without consideration, whether or not there is an agency relationship. (720 ILCS 600/2)

Disorderly Conduct

A person commits disorderly conduct when he or she knowingly does any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace. (720 ILCS 5/26-1)


"'Pretrial diversion' means the decision of a prosecutor to refer an offender to a diversion program on condition that the criminal charges against the offender will be dismissed after a specified period of time, or the case will not be charged, if the offender successfully completes the program" (720 ILCS 5/17-1b). Illinois law recognizes and encourages diversion in the following cases: bad check cases (720 ILCS 5/17 1b), child endangerment cases (720 ILCS 5/12C-15), first-time weapon offenders (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.6), first-time drug offenders (720 ILCS 570/410), first-time property felony offenders (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.4). Diversion is a way for the State’s Attorney to remove a defendant from the traditional course of prosecution if the defendant has accepted responsibility and agreed to improve themselves. Diversion programs connect defendants with rehabilitative community services while avoiding unnecessary confinement. In Lake County, diversion opportunities include the Alternative Prosecution Program (APP) and Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring (T.I.M.) Specialty Courts. T.I.M. Courts include Drug Court, STOP (Opioid) Court, Mental Health Court, and Veteran’s Treatment and Assistance Court.

Domestic Violence

A person commits domestic battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means causes bodily harm to any family or household member; or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member. (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2)

Drug/Poison Related Death

A death that is attributed to an overdose of illicit or prescription drugs, or other non-natural substances such as carbon monoxide or ethanol. (Source: Lake County Coroner)


Driving under the influence of alcohol, another drug or drugs, an intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof. (625 ILCS 5/)


"Felony" means an offense for which a sentence to death or to a term of imprisonment in a penitentiary for one year or more is provided. (720 ILCS 5/2)


Knowing conduct which is not necessary to accomplish a purpose that is reasonable under the circumstances, that would cause a reasonable person emotional distress and does cause emotional distress to another. (720 ILCS 5/26.5-0.1)

Hate Crime

A person commits hate crime when, by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, regardless of the existence of any other motivating factor or factors, he or she commits assault, battery, aggravated assault, intimidation, stalking, cyberstalking, misdemeanor theft, criminal trespass to residence, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to vehicle, criminal trespass to real property, mob action, disorderly conduct, transmission of obscene messages, harassment by telephone, or harassment through electronic communications. (720 ILCS 5/12-7.1)


When a death results from a volitional act committed by another person to cause harm, fear, or death. Intent to cause death is a common element but is not required for classification as homicide. It is to be emphasized that the classification of Homicide for the purposes of death certification is a “neutral” term and neither indicated nor implies criminal intent. (Source: Lake County Coroner)

Jail Admission/Booking

An arrested person is admitted to the county jail when brought to the Sheriff’s office for any offense.


"Misdemeanor" means any offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in other than a penitentiary for less than one year may be imposed. (720 ILCS 5/2)

Motor Vehicle/Traffic Offenses

A person charged with an offense relating to the use or possession of a motor vehicle contained in the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/). DUI offenses not included. Traffic offenses can be either petty offenses (not eligible for jail) or misdemeanors.

Obstruction of Justice

Intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person. (720 ILCS 5/31-4)


Possession is a voluntary act if the offender knowingly procured or received the thing possessed, or was aware of his control thereof for a sufficient time to have been able to terminate his possession. (720 ILCS 5/4-2)

Retail Theft

A person commits retail theft when he or she knowingly takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment with the intention of retaining such merchandise or with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value of such merchandise. (720 ILCS 5/16-25)


A person commits theft when he or she knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner. (720 ILCS 5/16-1)