Publications

Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

Sex offenders banned from using social networking Web sites. PA 096-0262

December
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 604
Illinois lawmakers recently added new language to the Criminal Code of 1961 to prohibit convicted sex offenders from using social networking Web sites.

Stalking laws amended. PA 096-0686

December
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 604
The Illinois General Assembly made numerous changes to the Criminal Code of 1961, including amendments to statutes on criminal stalking, aggravated stalking, and cyberstalking. 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3-7.5.

Crime victims may present victim impact statements in mental health commitment hearings. PA 096-0117

October
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 496
Illinois lawmakers have amended the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act to allow for victims of a violent crime to submit impact statements in cases where the defendant has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Inactive Client Relationships May Create Per Se Conflicts for Criminal Defense Lawyers

By Isaac J. Colunga
October
2009
Article
Page 522
A per se conflict of interest may arise because of a past client relationship, regardless of whether criminal defense attorneys have spoken with their former clients in years.

New Law Clarifies Illinois’ Sentencing Statutes

By John J. Cullerton, Peter G. Baroni, Daniel S. Mayerfield, Ryan J. Rohlfsen, and Paul H. Tzur
September
2009
Article
Page 466
A newly enacted reorganization of the Unified Code of Corrections helps bring sentencing up to date in Illinois.

2009 Spring Session Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2009
Column
Page 396
A summary of key legislation.

If erroneously admitted evidence does not prejudice the defendant, the error does not require reversal

July
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 336
On April 21, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, on defendant's appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County, affirmed the conviction of defendant, who was convicted of the unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Amendments to DUI statute should be harmonized

June
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On March 27, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Henry County, which granted the defendants' motions to dismiss, holding that two subsections of the DUI statute enacted by PA 94-329 were not embodied in the DUI law, 625 ILCS 5/11-501 (2006), at the time the offenses were alleged to have been committed.

The plain language of section 2-118.1(b) of the Vehicle Code suggests alternatives

June
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 284
On March 31, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed and remanded the judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County rescinding the statutory summary suspension of the defendant's driver's license. 

No right to expungement for pardon recipients

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
May
2009
LawPulse
Page 220
Just because the the governor pardons you doesn't mean you're entitled to have your conviction expunged, the illinois Supreme Court held.

A Critical Look at the Shaken Baby Syndrome

By Roger H. Kelly and Zachary M. Bravos
April
2009
Article
Page 200
Recent research shows that factors other than abuse may be the cause of damage thought to result from shaking, the authors argue.

New laws criminalize interference with the duties of a judicial officer. PA 095-1035

April
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 174
Illinois lawmakers amended the Criminal Code of 1961 by adding two new sections making it a crime to interfere with the duties of a judicial officer, or attempt to bribe an officer's immediate family, staff, or other court employees. 720 ILCS 5/32-4e, 32-4f.

Post-conviction petition deemed untimely

April
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 174
On February 11, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversed and remanded the ruling of the Circuit Court of Cook County which granted the defendant post conviction relief and a reduction in sentence pursuant to People v Whitfield, 217 Ill 2d 177, 840 NE2d 658 (2005) because the defendant's petition was untimely.

Rules committee hears criminal law, family law, civil practice proposals

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2009
LawPulse
Page 168
The supreme court rules committee heard proposals to require consular notification for foreign nationals, to change child custody rules, and to require additional notice to opposing counsel.

Should criminal defendants talk to the press?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2009
LawPulse
Page 168
Not a good idea, criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors agree.

Commission to Study Disproportionate Justice Impact Act enacted. PA 095-0995

March
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 122
Illinois lawmakers enacted the Commission to Study Disproportionate Justice Impact Act to assess the “nature and extent of the harm caused to minority communities” by certain provisions of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/ et seq), Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/ set seq), Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550/ et seq) and other listed laws.

Court’s failure to grant continuance plain error

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2009
LawPulse
Page 116
The high court rules that a judge’s failure to grant defense counsel’s request for a continuance in a murder trial was plain error requiring a new trial.

Judges must rule before trial on motions in limine

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2009
LawPulse
Page 116
A new ruling lets criminal defense attorneys know before deciding to let their clients testify whether their priors will be admitted at trial.

Admission of prior juvenile adjudications allowed to

February
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 70
On December 2, 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, which affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Peoria County to allow the state to impeach a defendant with certified copies of his prior juvenile adjudications.

Defending politicians, getting paid

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2009
LawPulse
Page 64
How do lawyers in the Land of Lincoln (and Ryan and Blagojevich) make sure they get paid when defending politicians charged with corruption? 

New hearsay exception added for the intentional murder of a witness. PA 095-1004

February
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 70
The Illinois General Assembly amended the Code of Criminal Procedure by adding section 115-10.6, which creates a new hearsay exception when evidence is offered against a party that has killed the declarant "intending to procure the unavailability of the declarant as a witness in a criminal or civil proceeding." 725 ILCS 5/115-10.6.

Dismissal for double jeopardy was improper

January
2009
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On October 24, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Kankakee County granting the defendant's motion to dismiss on grounds of double jeopardy. 

Code of Criminal Procedure amended to accommodate those with developmental disabilities. PA 095-0897

December
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 612
The Illinois General Assembly amended the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 by changing the heading of Article 106b and amending Section 106B-5. 725 ILCS 5/106B-5. 

Court upholds per se conflict doctrine

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2008
LawPulse
Page 606
 A conflict exists whenever an attorney represents both a criminal defendant and the alleged victim, the Illinois Supreme Court rules.

DUI Law: The BAIID Era Begins

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2008
Article
Page 616
Goodbye JDP, hello "monitoring device driving permit." Here's a look at the sweeping new DUI law that takes effect January 1.

Firefighters protected by Criminal Code amendment. PA 095-0801

December
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 612
Illinois lawmakers amended the Criminal Code of 1961 by modifying section 31-1. 720 ILCS 5/31-1. 

Incriminating statements suppressed in first degree murder case

December
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 612
On September 30, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of McLean County granting the defendant's two motions to suppress evidence. 

Aggravated driving under the influence is a Class 2 felony

November
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 554
On September 8, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Lake County finding the defendant guilty of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, and sentencing the defendant to three years in prison.

The Crawford Confrontation-Clause Bar: Governmental Involvement Is Key to “Testimonial” Hearsay

By Hon. Daniel B. Shanes
November
2008
Article
Page 574
The author argues that statements are rarely "testimonial" - and thus barred - if the government did not produce them.

Criminal Code creates “grooming” and “traveling to meet a minor” offenses. PA 095-0901

November
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 554
Illinois lawmakers amended the Criminal Code of 1961 to include two new related offenses: "grooming" and "traveling to meet a minor." 720 ILCS 5/11-25, 11-26. 

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