Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

Criminal records may be sealed based on educational achievements made during sentence

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Amendments to the Criminal Identification Act allow sealing of certain eligible criminal records upon termination of a petitioner's last sentence.

Definition of “sexual abuse” expanded for employees of state-operated facilities and community agencies

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Department amended the Part on the Office of Inspector General Investigations of Alleged Abuse or Neglect in State-Operated Facilities and Community Agencies pursuant to Pub. Act 99-323. 59 Ill. Adm. Code 50 (eff. Jan. 5, 2016).

Education grants established for persons exonerated of wrongful convictions

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Commission adopted a new Part titled Grant Program for Exonerees pursuant to Pub. Act 99-199. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 2743 (eff. Jan. 7, 2016).

Identification of a known minor victim required in charging documents to preserve criminal defendant’s rights

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court's holdings, which approved the trial courts' dismissal of criminal charges because of an insufficient charging document.

Sentencing scheme for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon does not violate Illinois Constitution’s Proportionate Penalties Clause

March
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 26
On December 3, 2015, the Supreme Court of Illinois reversed a circuit court's order and held that section 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(C) of the Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (AUUW) statute does not violate the Proportionate Penalties Clause of the Illinois Constitution or the Equal Protection clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions.

Weapons Restrictions and the Second Amendment: Illinois Law After Aguilar

By Jill Ausdenmoore
March
2016
Article
Page 34
What parts of the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute are still valid after Aguilar and its progeny? A look at the current state of Illinois law.

Circuit court does not have power to dismiss case for want of prosecution when State does not appear for 15 minutes

February
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On December 4, 2015, the Fourth District Appellate Court reversed the circuit court's dismissal of traffic charges against defendant Alberto Lopez.

New restrictions on vendors seeking debt collection from crime victims

February
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Under this new section in the Crime Victims Compensation Act ("CVCA"), new restrictions have been placed on vendors seeking to collect debts from crime victims.

When Is Identity Evidence Unsuppressible in a Criminal Case?

By Charles P. Burns & Michael Conte
February
2016
Article
Page 40
Does a stop's illegality taint the evidence obtained from it? A Fourth Amendment debate in the federal courts could spill over into Illinois criminal cases.

Ending the One-Man Show-Up

By Brendan Max
December
2015
Article
Page 36
In a show-up, police bring a suspect back to the scene for a witnesses i.d. This article discusses its inherent risks and suggests that face-recognition technology may offer an alternative.

Pacesetting police body camera law takes effect January 1

By Matthew Hector
December
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
The sweeping legislation also expands police officer training beyond the academy, bans chokeholds, and clarifies that citizens may film police officers, among other changes.

Cook County Drug Analysis Field Test Pilot Program initiated

November
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
The Cook County Drug Analysis Field Test Pilot Program has been initiated.

Proposed amendments to Criminal Code of 2012 expand definition of sexual orientation

November
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
The "Hate Crime," "Institutional Vandalism," and "factors in aggravation and extended-term sentencing" sections of the Criminal Code of 2012 (the "Criminal Code") have been amended.

Report: State police crime lab’s toxicology testing methodology flawed

By Matthew Hector
November
2015
LawPulse
Page 14
According to a news report and a criminal defense lawyer, internal audits of the Illinois State Police crime lab's toxicology section reveal fundamental problems with the section's testing methodology.

Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute’s FOID card and minor provisions are severable from its unconstitutional provisions

October
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On July 13, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court held that sections 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A), and (d)(2) of the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon ("AUUW") statute are unconstitutional.

For Traffic Stops, Ignorance of the Law Can Be an Excuse

By Rob Shumaker
September
2015
Article
Page 38
Recent cases from the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts hold that an officer's objectively reasonable mistake of law can justify a traffic stop.

Possession of a firearm and ammunition deemed separate offenses

September
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On February 20, 2015, the supreme court held that the unlawful use of weapons ("UUW") by a felon statute authorizes the State to charge the possession of a firearm and the possession of ammunition as separate offenses.

Proposed rule would require prosecutors to reveal post-conviction exculpatory evidence

By Matthew Hector
September
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
Under a proposed change to the Rules of Professional Conduct, Illinois prosecutors would have to disclose credible post-conviction evidence that a person found guilty is in fact innocent.

Record of an arrest based on mistaken identity may be disposed of by State or Local Records Commission

September
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
This bill would amend both the State Records Act and Local Records Act in regard to procedures for destruction of arrest records for arrests based on mistaken identity.

Bill would decriminalize pot possession, tie DUI to impairment

By Matthew Hector
June
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
HB 218 would lower the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a fine and change DUI law so that drivers could no longer be charged for registering only trace amounts of cannabis.

Defendant obtains dashcam recordings through FOIA request

By Matthew Hector
June
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
After police said dashcam videos of a traffic-related marijuana arrest didn't exist, the defendant announced he already had them. How? He got them in response to a FOIA request.

When ‘Or’ Means ‘And’: A Trap for Criminal Appeals

By Timothy J. Ting
June
2015
Article
Page 40
Criminal defense lawyers who appeal judgments entered after guilty pleas must certify that they have consulted their client about claims of error in both the guilty plea and sentence.

Increased access to individual criminal history transcripts

May
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Where before only law enforcement and correctional facilities could provide individuals with their criminal history transcripts, a new rulemaking by the Department of State Police allows licensed fingerprint vendors to provide this service for a fee.

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 & 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.

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