Publications

Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

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 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.

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