Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

Federal standard time By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2010 Lawpulse, Page 66 New laws standardize the way time periods are calculated in federal court.
New felony for using a stolen firearm to commit a crime. PA 096-0190 February 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 Criminals who commit crimes with stolen guns now can be charged with a new Class 2 felony - use of a stolen firearm in the commission of an offense.
New law criminalizing obstruction of identification. PA 096-0335 February 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 The Illinois General Assembly is cracking down on the obstruction of identification.  
Penalties stiffened for animal and dog fighting. PA 096-0226 February 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 Illinois lawmakers in recent months stiffened penalties for activities associated with animal and dog fighting. 
Admissibility of Government Wiretaps after People v Coleman By David J. Robinson January 2010 Article, Page 44 Coleman created an exception to the Illinois eavesdropping statute for joint state and federal investigations. The author criticizes the case and considers its practical implications.
Aggravated battery with a firearm law now protects students; Unlawful use of weapons law extends protection to public transportation facilities. Public Act 096-0041 January 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 State lawmakers amended the charge for aggravated battery with a firearm to include protection for students.
Counties empowered to create consolidated drug courts.PA 096-0776 January 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 Illinois lawmakers recently amended the Drug Court Treatment Act to allow counties in the same judicial district to form a single drug court.
Recruiting minors into street gangs now a felony. PA 096-0199 January 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 Recruiting minors into street gangs is now a Class 1 felony, under recent amendments to the Criminal Code of 1961. 
A Freer Hand for Police at Illinois Traffic Stops By Rob Shumaker December 2009 Article, Page 624 In response to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Illinois Supreme Court issued decisions that give police more freedom to search and question vehicle occupants at traffic stops.
Illinois adopts new rules governing rehabilitation of juvenile sex offenders December 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 604 The Sex Offender Management Board adopted new sections regulating the treatment and rehabilitation of convicted juvenile sex offenders.  
Sex offenders banned from using social networking Web sites. PA 096-0262 December 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 604 Illinois lawmakers recently added new language to the Criminal Code of 1961 to prohibit convicted sex offenders from using social networking Web sites.
Stalking laws amended. PA 096-0686 December 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 604 The Illinois General Assembly made numerous changes to the Criminal Code of 1961, including amendments to statutes on criminal stalking, aggravated stalking, and cyberstalking. 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3-7.5.
Crime victims may present victim impact statements in mental health commitment hearings. PA 096-0117 October 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 496 Illinois lawmakers have amended the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act to allow for victims of a violent crime to submit impact statements in cases where the defendant has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Inactive Client Relationships May Create Per Se Conflicts for Criminal Defense Lawyers By Isaac J. Colunga October 2009 Article, Page 522 A per se conflict of interest may arise because of a past client relationship, regardless of whether criminal defense attorneys have spoken with their former clients in years.
New Law Clarifies Illinois’ Sentencing Statutes By John J. Cullerton, Peter G. Baroni, Daniel S. Mayerfield, Ryan J. Rohlfsen, and Paul H. Tzur September 2009 Article, Page 466 A newly enacted reorganization of the Unified Code of Corrections helps bring sentencing up to date in Illinois.
2009 Spring Session Roundup By Jim Covington August 2009 Column, Page 396 A summary of key legislation.
If erroneously admitted evidence does not prejudice the defendant, the error does not require reversal July 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 On April 21, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, on defendant's appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County, affirmed the conviction of defendant, who was convicted of the unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
Amendments to DUI statute should be harmonized June 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On March 27, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Henry County, which granted the defendants' motions to dismiss, holding that two subsections of the DUI statute enacted by PA 94-329 were not embodied in the DUI law, 625 ILCS 5/11-501 (2006), at the time the offenses were alleged to have been committed.
The plain language of section 2-118.1(b) of the Vehicle Code suggests alternatives June 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On March 31, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed and remanded the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County rescinding the statutory summary suspension of the defendant's driver's license. 
No right to expungement for pardon recipients By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2009 Lawpulse, Page 220 Just because the the governor pardons you doesn't mean you're entitled to have your conviction expunged, the illinois Supreme Court held.
A Critical Look at the Shaken Baby Syndrome By Roger H. Kelly and Zachary M. Bravos April 2009 Article, Page 200 Recent research shows that factors other than abuse may be the cause of damage thought to result from shaking, the authors argue.
New laws criminalize interference with the duties of a judicial officer. PA 095-1035 April 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 174 Illinois lawmakers amended the Criminal Code of 1961 by adding two new sections making it a crime to interfere with the duties of a judicial officer, or attempt to bribe an officer's immediate family, staff, or other court employees. 720 ILCS 5/32-4e, 32-4f.
Post-conviction petition deemed untimely April 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 174 On February 11, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed and remanded the ruling of the Circuit Court of Cook County which granted the defendant post conviction relief and a reduction in sentence pursuant to People v Whitfield, 217 Ill 2d 177, 840 NE2d 658 (2005) because the defendant's petition was untimely.
Rules committee hears criminal law, family law, civil practice proposals By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2009 Lawpulse, Page 168 The supreme court rules committee heard proposals to require consular notification for foreign nationals, to change child custody rules, and to require additional notice to opposing counsel.
Should criminal defendants talk to the press? By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2009 Lawpulse, Page 168 Not a good idea, criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors agree.
Commission to Study Disproportionate Justice Impact Act enacted. PA 095-0995 March 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 122 Illinois lawmakers enacted the Commission to Study Disproportionate Justice Impact Act to assess the “nature and extent of the harm caused to minority communities” by certain provisions of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/ et seq), Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/ set seq), Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550/ et seq) and other listed laws.
Court’s failure to grant continuance plain error By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Lawpulse, Page 116 The high court rules that a judge’s failure to grant defense counsel’s request for a continuance in a murder trial was plain error requiring a new trial.
Judges must rule before trial on motions in limine By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2009 Lawpulse, Page 116 A new ruling lets criminal defense attorneys know before deciding to let their clients testify whether their priors will be admitted at trial.
Admission of prior juvenile adjudications allowed to February 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 70 On December 2, 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, which affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Peoria County to allow the state to impeach a defendant with certified copies of his prior juvenile adjudications.
Defending politicians, getting paid By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2009 Lawpulse, Page 64 How do lawyers in the Land of Lincoln (and Ryan and Blagojevich) make sure they get paid when defending politicians charged with corruption?