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updated: 5/7/2013 2:14 PM

Woman accused of practicing dentistry applying for pretrial diversion

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A dental hygienist accused of performing dental work without a license on nights and weekends at a North Aurora office is applying for Kane County's Pretrial Diversion program for nonviolent, first-time offenders.

Silvia A. Hernandez, 36, of the 400 block of Iowa Street, Aurora, was charged with several felonies earlier this year and is free after posting $3,500 bond while her case is pending.

She is accused of burglary, unlawful practice of dentistry, deceptive practices and theft, according to court records. Hernandez is accused of doing dental work at the office on nights and weekends when it was normally closed.

The most serious charge of burglary carries a top prison term of seven years if convicted, but probation is an option.

Defense attorney Kathleen Colton said her client has begun the application process for the program.

In the program, the defendant must be interviewed by the state's attorney's office and approved by a panel of residents. The defendant must complete a battery of tasks, such as community service, restitution, counseling and other options, before prosecutors ultimately dismiss the felony charge or charges.

Colton said Hernandez is a good candidate for the diversion program.

"She's never been in trouble before. She's a mother. She's a wife," Colton said. "She's a very nice person. You can see why somebody with her personality would try to help people."

North Aurora police said a woman came into North Aurora Dental Associates, 100 N. Lincolnway in July 2012 complaining of a problem with her braces.

The staff could not find the woman's records, but she then told them "Dr. Silvia" had done the work and pointed to Hernandez in a staff photograph, police said. The dental office called police.

Hernandez is due in court July 10 when Kane County Judge John Barsanti is expected to consider the state's attorney's recommendation.

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