Publications

Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

The Illinois Criminal and Vehicle Codes are amended to include motor fuel theft - PA 094-700

February
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
Due to Illinois' strong public policy to protect its citizens from the economic effects of motor fuel theft, the Illinois General Assembly has added Article 16J to the Criminal Code of 1961, 720 ILCS 5/Art. 16J, et seq, in order to protect the people "in their health, safety and welfare from the effects of this crime." 

An omission in an indictment is harmless error unless the defendant can prove prejudice

February
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
On December 15, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirming the defendant's ten-year prison term for involuntary manslaughter of a family or household member. 

Only the state supreme court has authority to decide between competing interests behind the court’s rules

February
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
On December 1, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reinstated the defendant's appeal for post-conviction relief and remanded his case to the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. 

Tampering with fire safety system is a Class 4 felony PA 094-707

February
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
Effective June 1, 2006, the Criminal Code of 1961, 720 ILCS 5/16-22 et seq, is amended by adding section 16-22, which makes "tampering with a security, fire, or life safety system" a Class 4 felony. 

Age lowered for tattoos and punishments increased -Pa 09 -06

January
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Illinois generally Assembly amended section 12-10 of the Criminal Code of 1961, 720 ILCS 5/12-10 et seq, by lowering the minimum age in subsection (a) required for a person to get a tattoo in Illinois from age 21 to age 18. 

Amendment to the residential burglary statute does not apply retroactively

January
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On october 20, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, reversing the defendant's burglary conviction. 

Motion for severance to consider victim in sexual assault cases Pa 09 -066

January
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
In order to consider the emotional implications of sexual abuse victims testifying at multiple trials, section 114-8(b) of the Criminal Code of 1963, 725 ILCA 5/114-8, is amended. 

Tough New Dui Laws Take Effect in ’06

By George A.M. Heroux
December
2005
Article
Page 636
These new laws, effective January 1, take special aim at drivers responsible for fatalities.

Strict compliance with Supreme Court Rule 605(a) is not mandatory

October
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 506
On August 18, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, denying the defendant's motion for remand. 

Fees, Part 1: Budgeting required for Capital Litigators

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2005
LawPulse
Page 438
Appointed criminal defense counsel must now submit budget estimates under the amended Capital Crimes Litigation Act.
 

Fees, Part 2: Higher ceilings for court-appointed attorneys?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2005
LawPulse
Page 438
Fees, Part 2: Higher ceilings for court-appointed attorneys?

A jury’s determination of first degree murder and a trial court’s imposed sentence are accorded great deference

September
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 446
On June 30, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the defendant's murder conviction, which he received following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Retroactivity and Judicial Construction of Criminal Statutes

By Larry R. Wells
September
2005
Article
Page 474
When a court interprets a statute in favor of a criminal defendant, must that interpretation be applied to events that happened before that case 
was decided? Yes, this author opines.

Crawford, Breathalyzer Tests, and the Public-Records Hearsay Exception

By Hon. William J. Haddad
August
2005
Article
Page 412
May breathalyzer logbook entries still be introduced in Illinois under the public-records exception?

Crawford v Washington and the Limits on Admitting Hearsay in Criminal Trials

By John H. Gleason
August
2005
Article
Page 408
Crawford limits a judge's discretion to admit hearsay against criminal defendants. Here's a discussion of the case's impact and 
unanswered questions.

State may rely solely on pictures as evidence depicting child pornography

August
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 390
On June 3, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, and the Circuit Court of Ogle County, sentencing the defendant to two years of probation on several counts of possession of child pornography. 

A charge of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer does not require proof that the officer activated a siren or horn to pull over the defendant

July
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 336
On May 6, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded a decision of the Lake County Circuit Court convicting the defendant of various charges relating to his arrest for speeding and possession of illegal substances.

Knowledge mens rea required to prove theft of labor or services

June
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 280
On March 31, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed the judgment, via a jury verdict, of the Circuit Court of Du Page County, convicting the defendant of misdemeanor theft of services. 

Mandatory minimum sentence increased for domestic battery - PA 093-0809

June
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 280
Effective on January 1, 2005, in addition to any other sentencing alternatives for a second or subsequent conviction for domestic battery, an individual will be automatically sentenced to a minimum of 72 consecutive hours in prison.

Criminal records relating to certain offenses may be sealed PA 093-1084

May
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 232
The State has authorized the sealing of certain criminal records of adults and of minors who were prosecuted as adults

Failure to argue self-defense as part of litigation strategy does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel

May
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 232
On March 8, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Champaign County, convicting the defendants on counts of aggravated battery, resisting a police officer, and obstructing a police officer.

No statutory right to refuse chemical testing for DUI

May
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 232
On February 3, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decisions of both the appellate and circuit courts, which granted the defendant's motion to suppress the results of his blood and urine tests. 

Defense counsel must strictly comply with requirements of SCR 604(d) motion

April
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 170
On February 15, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, reversed and remanded the Circuit Court of Kane County's decision rejecting the defendant's Supreme Court Rule 604(d) motion.

Illinois criminalizes the use of audio-visual recording equipment to tape movies inside movie theaters PA 093-0804

April
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 170
Effective immediately, any person who knowingly operates an audiovisual recording function on a device where a motion picture is being exhibited, without permission from the owner or lessee of the exhibition facility and of the licensor of the motion picture being exhibited, is guilty of criminal use of a motion picture exhibition facility.

Illinois Supreme Court Criminal 2004: Consensus and Clarification

By Evelyn G. Baniewicz
April
2005
Article
Page 182
Four-fifths of the court's criminal law decisions were without dissent, and only four were death-penalty appeals.

“Other-crimes” evidence is admissible to show defendant’s intent and lack of mistake

April
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 170
On January 21, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court found that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the evidence in question and upheld the appellate court's affirmance of the convictions.

Sentencing guidelines: mandatory no more

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
LawPulse
Page 162
The U.S. Supreme Court shook up federal criminal practice by ruling in Booker/Fanfanthat sentencing guidelines are advisory only. Not surprisingly, many questions remain.

Correspondence from Our Readers

March
2005
Column
Page 106
Search and Seizure and the Illinois Constitution 

Investigators in capital cases may obtain criminal information on potential witnesses PA 093-1011

March
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 116
Effective January 1, 2005, the State Appellate Defender may hire investigators to provide investigative services to appointed counsel and county public defenders. 

Searching the passenger compartment of a vehicle is lawful regardless of whether the suspect is arrested on probable cause or on a civil warrant

March
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 116
On December 23, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Adam County's decision denying the defendant's motion to suppress incriminating evidence found in his vehicle during a search incident to his arrest. 

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