Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

Make It Go Away: A Practical and Realistic Guide to Expungement, Sealing, and Other Criminal Record Reforms

By Paul C. Meyers
September
2019
Article
Page 26
How to respond to client expungement and sealing inquiries in the wake of significant criminal record reforms in Illinois.

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Plea Bargaining in Illinois

By Nate Nieman
March
2019
Article
Page 34
Recent decisions in the U.S. and Illinois Supreme Courts have complicated the landscape for ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims brought in Illinois.

Innocence challenge after guilty plea must present a truly persuasive demonstration of innocence through compelling evidence

December
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On Sept. 28, 2018, the First District Appellate Court of Illinois held that a defendant raising a freestanding actual innocence challenge after previously entering a guilty plea must present a truly persuasive demonstration of innocence in the form of compelling evidence.

Suspicion from odd behavior at traffic stop doesn’t support canine unit search

November
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Nervousness, a criminal history, and other odd behavior are not enough to create a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity during a traffic stop, according to the fourth district.

The Trial

By Pete Sherman
November
2018
LawPulse
Page 12
Two ISBA members reflect on the Jason Van Dyke trial, its aftermath, and meaning.

Multiple methamphetamine manufacturing charges not improper under the one-act, one-crime doctrine

October
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On Aug. 6, 2018, the Fourth District Appellate Court of Illinois held that the one-act, one-crime doctrine is not violated when each count requires a different act.

Pre-trial detainees not required to give birth in jail

October
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Criminal Code was amended to include an affirmative statement requiring courts to take measures to avoid child deliveries in pre-trial detention.

Court must question defendant after alleging ineffective assistance of counsel at posttrial hearing

August
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Illinois Appellate Court ruled that a trial court failed to ask follow-up questions after a defendant made a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Additionally, pepper spray used on a store clerk is a "dangerous weapon" within the meaning of the armed robbery statute.

It’s Time to Define ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’

By Timothy James Ting
July
2018
Article
Page 24
Unlike most state courts, Illinois courts do not define "reasonable doubt" for juries. Should Illinois reconsider?

Court held that the Bradford physical authority test applies to all retail theft cases in reversing burglary conviction

April
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
In July 2014, defendant Darren Johnson was arrested for shoplifting $76.91 worth of clothing from a local Wal-Mart. The state charged the defendant with retail theft and burglary.

Criminal justice reform focuses on community service and reentry

April
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended to allow the court to give credit toward the fulfillment of community service hours for participation in activities and treatment as determined by court services.

Trial courts to allow petitions to show post-partum mental illnesses

March
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 24
The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 is amended by changing section 122-1 (725 ILCS 5/122-1) to allow for petitions in the trial court for those imprisoned that can establish their participation in a felony was a direct result of post-partum depression or psychosis, or if no direct evidence of these mental states was presented at trial or sentencing.

Illegal Stops and the Exclusionary Rule after Utah v. Strieff

By Julia Kaye Wykoff
December
2017
Article
Page 32
In Utah v. Strieff, the police stopped a suspect illegally but discovered there was a warrant for his arrest. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that evidence found during the subsequent search was admissible despite the illegal stop thanks to the discovery of the warrant. This article reviews the implications of Strieff for prosecutors and defense lawyers.

Prosecutor’s inability to contact state trooper for almost two years to appear as a witness is not due diligence

December
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The court found that the State's due diligence requirement for a 60-day extension of the speedy trial statute provision of 725 ILCS 5/103-5(c) (2014) was not satisfied where a trial was delayed for almost two years by the prosecution's inability to bring the state trooper to court.

Absolving search fees for persons on parole

November
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
Amendments to the Vital Records Act ensure that a search fee for birth and death records will not be required if the person presents a prescribed verification form completed by the Department of Corrections with the person's date of birth and social security number (410 ILCS 535/25(1)).

Bail reform to distinguish classes of offenses and reconsider release for indigent defendants

November
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
The Bail Reform Act of 2017 seeks to simultaneously promote public safety and protect the rights of the accused in Illinois' criminal justice system.

Former state’s attorney’s ‘felony enforcement’ unit back in the news

By Matthew Hector
November
2017
LawPulse
Page 14
The controversy surrounding former LaSalle County State's Attorney Brian Towne's so-called "SAFE Unit" continues.

New Law Broadly Expands Sealing of Criminal Records

By Janaan Hashim
November
2017
Article
Page 32
Until now, only nine felonies qualified for sealing of records. With passage of HB 2373, nearly all felony convictions qualify. Here's what the expansion could mean for your client.

“Other crimes” testimony is more prejudicial than probative where defendant was not permitted to inform jury of acquittal

October
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Defendant Joe Rosado was convicted by a jury of delivery of cocaine within 1000 feet of a high school. In a previous trial before the same judge, a different jury had acquitted Defendant of delivering a controlled substance to an undercover police investigator.

Defendants entitled to counsel at bail hearings

September
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Persons charged with a criminal offense are allowed counsel at bail hearings. If a defendant wants counsel for the initial appearance but is unable to obtain counsel, the court shall appoint a public defender or licensed attorney to represent him or her for the purposes of that hearing.

From the Discussions - Can you expunge only part of a criminal file?

September
2017
Article
Page 42
Q. Can you expunge dismissed counts of a file when one count is not yet eligible for expungement but all counts are in the same file?

Using Certificates of Good Conduct for Clients with Criminal Records

By Anthony Gough
September
2017
Article
Page 36
Eligible offenders can petition the court for a certificate of good conduct, which among other things lowers the liability risk for employers who hire them. Here's why and how to help your client get one.

Defendant’s passport, probation card, and prescriptions found inside of apartment were not sufficient to show that defendant lived in the apartment

July
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Terrell was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon and multiple counts related to drug possession and intent to distribute after officers found the illegal items in an apartment that contained items linked to him.

A nexus can exist between the offense, items to be seized, and the place to be searched 10 days after the commission of a crime

July
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Rodriguez was convicted of first-degree murder when he was 15-years-old. On appeal, Rodriguez argued that the trial court erroneously denied his motion to suppress evidence found during a search of his home.

Terry Stops: Cracking the Code of Reasonable Suspicion

By Sean A. Brown
July
2017
Article
Page 42
Terry v. Ohio allows police to briefly detain someone if they have a reasonable suspicion he or she is engaged in criminal activity. But when is suspicion reasonable? This article looks at the cases and offers tips for filing and challenging Terry-based suppression motions.  

People v. Thompson New Rule for Identifying Defendants in Video Recording

By John M. Zimmerman
June
2017
Article
Page 36
Thompson makes it easier for witnesses to provide lay opinion indentification testimony based on reviewing a recording. This article discusses the case's implications.

Eligible individuals recently released from DOC or DOJJ may apply for standard ID cards

May
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
This Act amends the Illinois Identification Card Act and Unified Code of Corrections to discontinue the issuance of identification cards by the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DOJJ) to recently released persons.

Possible changes for criminal defendants regarding bail procedure and requirements

May
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Several proposals were submitted in the House that would change procedures for setting bail, posting bail, and modifying bail requirements.

Has Cannabis Really Been Decriminalized in Illinois?

By Esther Seitz
April
2017
Article
Page 30
Public Act 099-0697 greatly reduced the stakes for marijuana possession. But is using pot really a civil law violation? If so, how does that affect the process due a defendant under the law?

Lawsuit challenges warrantless cellphone tracking

By Matthew Hector
March
2017
LawPulse
Page 22
A Chicago lawyer is suing the city and other defendants for gathering cellphone information in a way that violates individual privacy and should require a warrant.

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