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What does conditional discharge mean?

East Peoria, IL |

Is it possible to plead for a conditional discharge when facing a DUI sentence?

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Conditional discharge is a part of sentence that allows the court to retain jurisdiction over the defendant. This means a conviction enters, but is not as restrictive as probation. Depending on the particular jurisdiction, a person sentenced to conditional discharge may have to report only once or twice. There are usually several other conditions that the defendant must complete in order to successfully complete a term of conditional discharge.

Conditional discharge is not a plea. A court will impose it, when appropriate, only after a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty. Conditional discharge is available for most DUIs.


Conditional discharge is a sentence imposed after a plea or finding of guilty. It is a misnomer because nothing is actually discharged. It is a conviction, and if that is the sentence imposed on a DUI, your license will be revoked by the Secretary of State.

In short, it is just like probation, except that in some counties, you will report to a social service rep instead of a probation officer, and you may not have to pay the monthly probation fee that many counties impose (but there may still be a monthly social services fee).

There is no point in pleading guilty in exchange for an offer of CD unless you have absolutely no defenses and it is the only way to avoid jail. If you don't have an attorney, get one now.


As pointed out, it is a conviction and your license will be revoked. If you have no prior DUI’s in your background, you should be looking for supervision, which will not revoke your license.

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