Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

Criminal justice reform commission seeks to shrink prison population By Matthew Hector April 2015 LawPulse, Page 10 Governor Rauner's Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform has a goal of reducing the population of Illinois' overcrowded prisons by 25 percent over 10 years.
The Mandatory Criminal Fines Conundrum By Jennifer Donnelly and Steve Dellinger April 2015 Article, Page 28 Judges typically rely on the circuit clerk to determine mandatory fines, but the clerk often goes further and actually imposes them, which makes the fines void. This article proposes some solutions.
Ignorance of the law - an excuse after all? By Matthew Hector February 2015 LawPulse, Page 12 The Supreme Court ruled that a "reasonable mistake of law" can provide reasonable suspicion to justify a traffic stop. Are police being held to a lower standard than ordinary citizens?
Court-mandated risk assessment evaluation January 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 While setting bail and the conditions of release under the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, the court may order a risk assessment evaluation for a respondent facing any of the following charges:
E-filing comes to criminal court By Matthew Hector December 2014 LawPulse, Page 566 Effective last September, the Illinois Supreme Court expanded its electronic filing standards to include criminal and traffic cases.
Expanding recording of custodial interrogation, improving eyewitness ID By Matthew Hector December 2014 LawPulse, Page 566 Last year, more crimes were added to the list requiring recording of custodial interrogations, and the criminal code will soon change to reduce the risk of mistaken eyewitness identification.
A Quick Guide to Clearing Criminal Records in Illinois By Wayne Brucar December 2014 Article, Page 586 A criminal record can be an insurmountable hurdle for job-seeking clients in a tough market. Here's how you can help them move beyond their criminal pasts.
When Criminal Evidence Goes Missing By Colby G. Hathaway October 2014 Article, Page 490 What happens when police destroy evidence or prosecutors don't disclose it? This article explains when defendants can claim due process violations and seek discovery sanctions.
The U.S. Supreme Court Says ‘No’ to Cell-Phone Searches Incident to Arrest By David J. Robinson September 2014 Article, Page 438 The Riley court established a rare bright-line rule under the Fourth Amendment when it declared that data searches of cell phones - regardless of type - are unlawful incident to arrest.
Citizen Tips and the Fourth Amendment By Rob Shumaker July 2014 Article, Page 336 More cases, including a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, define whether a police investigatory stop based on a citizen tip is valid.
A Practitioner’s Guide to Illinois’ Speedy-Trial Statute By Jill Ausdenmoore June 2014 Article, Page 284 Find out what the cases say about how to calculate a defendant's speedy-trial period.
Aggravated battery of a nurse May 2014 Illinois Law Update, Page 220 The Criminal Code of 2012 has been amended by adding another aggravated battery offense.
Silence as Self-Incrimination after Salinas v. Texas By Robin B. Murphy April 2014 Article, Page 184 After Salinas, non-custodial suspects must expressly invoke the right to remain silent, or silence can be held against them. But in Illinois, state law provides some evidentiary protection.
Revestment doctrine exists but rarely applies, high court rules By Janan Hanna March 2014 LawPulse, Page 114 The revestment doctrine lets a trial court be "revested" with jurisdiction even though the litigants failed to file post-trial motions. In People v. Bailey, the supreme court affirmed but strictly narrowed the doctrine.
Collateral Consequence Considerations for Illinois Practitioners after Padilla v. Kentucky By Angela Rollins February 2014 Article, Page 76 Deportation isn't the only important collateral consequence of pleading guilty that looms for Illinois lawyers and their clients. Here's a look at the evolving law.
Family members no longer exempt from prosecution for aiding fugitive. PA 097-0741 July 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 Any individual over the age of 18 is now guilty of a Class 4 felony if he or she actively "aids or assists" a criminal offender in escaping a jurisdiction in which the offender "is to be arrested, charged, or prosecuted."
Illinois lawmakers revive overturned armed robbery sentencing enhancement By Adam W. Lasker July 2013 LawPulse, Page 330 After the high court held a sentencing enhancement unenforceable because its penalty was tougher than that of a second law with the same elements, lawmakers changed the elements of the second law and thereby revived the first.
A Guide to the Confrontation Clause By Geoffrey Burkhart June 2013 Article, Page 304 When does the Sixth Amendment require prosecutors to produce a live witness rather than an out-of-court statement against a defendant? Here's a look at the latest developments.
No double jeopardy though jurors were sworn, high court rules By Adam W. Lasker June 2013 LawPulse, Page 278 The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Martinez that, even though the jury was already empanelled, the defendant was not in jeopardy because the state stood silently by and presented no evidence.
Illinois high court affirms criminal contempt convictions of E2 nightclub owners By Adam W. Lasker May 2013 LawPulse, Page 222 The Illinois Supreme Court reversed a ruling that vacated criminal contempt convictions against the owners of a Chicago nightclub where 21 people were killed in a stampede.
SCOTUS rules warrantless dog-sniff search of home unconstitutional By Adam W. Lasker May 2013 LawPulse, Page 222 Unlike an earlier decision this term that allowed dog-sniff evidence from a traffic stop, Jardines holds that the dog-sniff search of a front porch requires a warrant.
Admissibility of Dog-Sniff Evidence: Evaluating Probable Cause after Florida v. Harris By David J. Robinson April 2013 Article, Page 194 In Harris, the U.S. Supreme Court held that dog-sniff evidence can be admissible even if prosecutors do not lay a detailed foundation that the dog is well trained.
Arguing Witness Credibility at Closing After People v. Adams By Jill Ausdenmoore February 2013 Article, Page 92 In Adams, the Illinois Supreme Court reemphasized that prosecutors' commentary on witness credibility at closing must be based on the evidence.
New limitations on possession of methamphetamine precursors. PA 097-1008 January 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 The General Assembly has added a new section to the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. 720 ILCS 646/120 new.
Clerk to furnish lists of moving violations involving taxi drivers. PA 097-1062 December 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 632 A new section of the Taxi Safety Act of 2007 now requires that, when vehicle citation records are not readily available for a particular taxi or registered taxi driver, the appropriate circuit-court clerk must provide a list of moving violations, if any, to a governmental unit upon request. 625 ILCS 55/15 new.
A Practitioner’s Guide to Expunging and Sealing Criminal Records in Illinois By Joshua D. Carter December 2012 Article, Page 642 Clearing criminal records is important business for many clients – here's a quick guide.
Fines designated to the Violent Crimes Victim Assistance Fund have increased. PA 097-0816 October 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 520 Persons convicted of or placed under supervision for a misdemeanor, a felony, or some offenses under the Illinois Vehicle Code after July 1, 2012, must now pay increased fines to fund the Violent Crimes Victim Assistance Fund.
A trio of laws to curb texting, phoning behind the wheel By Adam W. Lasker October 2012 LawPulse, Page 514 The legislature forgoes a full ban on cell use by drivers in favor of a targeted approach that bans hand-held communications in construction zones, emergency scenes, and other places.
The Real Prisoner’s Dilemma By Hon. Ron Spears August 2012 Column, Page 442 Defendants have a Constitutional right to effective counsel during plea bargains.
Crime victims’ rights amendment won’t appear on November ballot By Adam W. Lasker June 2012 LawPulse, Page 286 A proposed constitutional amendment that would have made crime victims party to the defendant’s trial undermined the constitutional presumption of innocence, the ISBA and other opponents, including prosecutors, argued.