Publications

Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

What Price Justice? The County Board Wants to Know

By Hon. Ron Spears
May
2011
Column
Page 260
How much process is due a criminal defendant? It's a dollars-and-cents question.

Peace officers no longer required to swear to complaints issued for misdemeanors. PA 096-1206

April
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
Peace officers no longer are required to swear to complaints issued for misdemeanors, under recent amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. (725 ILCS 5/111-3).

Sexual exploitation punishable when committed in virtual presence of person believed to be child. PA 096-1090

February
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
The Criminal Code of 1961 is amended by Illinois lawmakers to incorporate virtual presence into possible means of committing the sexual exploitation of children. 720 ILCS 5/11-9.1.

Heightened penalties for public indecency, sexual exploitation of child if committed near school grounds. PA 096-1098

January
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Under the newly amended Criminal Code of 1961, it is now a Class 4 felony for a person 18 years of age or older to commit public indecency or sexual exploitation of a child within 500 feet of elementary or secondary school grounds when children are present. (720 ILCS 5/11-9; 720 ILCS 5/11-9.1)

Retail theft penalties adjusted. PA 096-1301

December
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 616
 Penalties for theft have been adjusted by Illinois lawmakers to increase the value of property covered by minimum misdemeanor and felony sentencing. 720 ILCS 5/16-1.

Killing medical professionals on the job now an aggravating factor. PA 096-1475

November
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 564
The Criminal Code of 1961 has been amended to add an aggravating factor that can result in natural life imprisonment for a criminal offender. (720 ILCS 5/9-1)

Added fines for failure to appear. PA 096-1431

October
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 508
The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 was amended affecting those persons subject to bail bond. (725 ILCS 5/110-7)

2010 Spring Session Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2010
Column
Page 404
A summary of key Illinois legislation passed this spring.

Foreseeing the “Four C’s” (Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions)

By Hon. Ron Spears
August
2010
Column
Page 432
The collateral consequences of conviction are often the gravest.

Court Supervision after Padilla v Kentucky

By Gary J. Ravitz
July
2010
Article
Page 362
Lawyers who misinform clients about supervision could be in for trouble, especially when deportation is at stake.

Averett a win for prosecutors

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2010
LawPulse
Page 286
The Illinois high court rules that it isn't reversible error for a trial court to defer ruling on motions in limine to exclude prior convictions unless defendants testify - and that's bad news for defendants who choose not to testify.

Criminal Lawyers and the New Ethics Rules

By Randall Rosenbaum
June
2010
Column
Page 326
Now lawyers must keep "information" (not just "secrets") confidential.

No Contact Orders allowed for stalking victims. PA 096-0246

June
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 292
Victims of stalking may file a "no contact order" under a new law passed by the Illinois General Assembly. 

Penalties enhanced for selling counterfeit goods. PA 096-0631

May
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 236
State lawmakers recently strengthened laws and penalties for dealing in counterfeit goods. 

Stiffer financial consequences for disorderly conduct in schools. PA 096-0413

April
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 180
Illinois lawmakers have amended the section of the Criminal Code treating disorderly conduct, creating stiffer fines for false reports or threats to schools.

Conduct that qualifies as insulting or provoking contact defined

March
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 128
On December 23, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Du Page County, which convicted the defendant of battery for insulting or provoking the complainant by touching her with his knees in a dispute in an office smoking lounge.

No statute of limitation for child pornography cases.

March
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 128
Illinois lawmakers amended the Criminal Code of 1961 to allow prosecution of child pornography offenses to be undertaken "at any time."  

Protections extended to elementary and secondary schools. PA 096-0807

March
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 128
The Illinois General Assembly has amended the Criminal Code of 1961 (Code) to provide for stiffer penalties for those who commit crimes on school property. 

Civil penalties heightened for destroying crops. PA 096-0529

February
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
Illinois lawmakers in recent months beefed up the civil penalties for destroying a farmer's crops. Under amendments to the Criminal Code of 1961, any person who knowingly damages another's crops is liable to the crop owner for money damages "up to twice the market value of the crops damaged or destroyed." 720 ILCS 5/21-1.  

“Conversation” for the Eavesdropping Act includes teaching

February
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 72
On December 8, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Stephenson County, finding that the defendant's proposed policy of operating audio-recording equipment in special-education classrooms violated section 14-2(a)(1) of the Illinois Criminal Code (hereinafter the Illinois Eavesdropping Act or Act).

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.  

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