Are cell phones “contraband”? And what’s a “penal institution”?By Helen W. GunnarssonMay 2011Lawpulse, Page 222A volunteer lawyer is charged with a felony for allegedly bringing "contraband" - her cell phone - into a police station interview room.
Volunteering to represent indigents pro bono in an area of law with which you're unfamiliar? Your heart may be in the right place, but be careful.
Death penalty is abolished. PA 096-1543May 2011Illinois Law Update, Page 228Illinois lawmakers have abolished the death penalty in Illinois and all existing sentences may not be imposed. (725 ILCS 5/119-1 new). All monies previously held in the Capital Litigation Trust Fund are now to be used to provide services for families of the victims of homicide and to provide training for law enforcement personnel.
Retail theft penalties adjusted. PA 096-1301December 2010Illinois Law Update, Page 616 Penalties for theft have been adjusted by Illinois lawmakers to increase the value of property covered by minimum misdemeanor and felony sentencing. 720 ILCS 5/16-1.
Averett a win for prosecutorsBy Helen W. GunnarssonJune 2010Lawpulse, Page 286The Illinois high court rules that it isn't reversible error for a trial court to defer ruling on motions in limine to exclude prior convictions unless defendants testify - and that's bad news for defendants who choose not to testify.
Conduct that qualifies as insulting or provoking contact definedMarch 2010Illinois Law Update, Page 128On December 23, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Du Page County, which convicted the defendant of battery for insulting or provoking the complainant by touching her with his knees in a dispute in an office smoking lounge.
Civil penalties heightened for destroying crops. PA 096-0529February 2010Illinois Law Update, Page 72Illinois lawmakers in recent months beefed up the civil penalties for destroying a farmer's crops. Under amendments to the Criminal Code of 1961, any person who knowingly damages another's crops is liable to the crop owner for money damages "up to twice the market value of the crops damaged or destroyed." 720 ILCS 5/21-1.
“Conversation” for the Eavesdropping Act includes teachingFebruary 2010Illinois Law Update, Page 72On December 8, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Stephenson County, finding that the defendant's proposed policy of operating audio-recording equipment in special-education classrooms violated section 14-2(a)(1) of the Illinois Criminal Code (hereinafter the Illinois Eavesdropping Act or Act).
Federal standard timeBy Helen W. GunnarssonFebruary 2010Lawpulse, Page 66New laws standardize the way time periods are calculated in federal court.