Publications

Articles on Sentencing

Gun offenders face stricter sentencing guidelines for unlawful use or possession of firearms

September
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
A felon convicted of unlawful use or possession of a firearm shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not less than 7 years but not more than 14 years.

Juvenile adjudications held equivalent to convictions for extended-term sentencing

April
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 22
The Illinois Supreme Court held that a prior juvenile adjudication is the equivalent of a prior conviction for purposes of extended-term sentencing.

Mandatory sentence overturned for being grossly disproportionate to the offense

March
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 28
Busse's sentence of 12 years in state penitentiary for burglary committed in a school was overturned as excessive.

Sentencing review process proposed for youthful offenders

February
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
A proposed amendment to the Uniform Code of Corrections would allow certain youth offenders to petition for sentencing review.

Mental illness officially taken into consideration for sentencing

November
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Unified Code of Corrections was amended to ensure mental illness will be weighed in favor of withholding or minimizing a prison sentence.

Enhanced sentencing under the Habitual Criminal Act does not violate proportionate penalties clause

May
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On February 19, 2016, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that enhanced sentencing under the Habitual Criminal Act does not affect whether a sentence for aggravated vehicular hijacking with a dangerous weapon other than a firearm ("AVH/DW") violates the Proportionate Penalties Clause of the Illinois Constitution.

Final Words: A Sentencing Hearing Guide for Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys

By Timothy James Ting
May
2016
Article
Page 24
A look at an often overlooked proceeding in criminal law that has a powerful impact on a defendant's future.

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.

Additional factor in imposing extended term sentences. PA 098-0014

August
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 392
With the popularity of flash mobs - and flash mob criminal groups - on the rise in recent years, the legislature added mob action to the list of factors that a court may consider in order to impose an extended term sentence. 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2.

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.

Guilty Pleas and Parole: A Practitioner’s Guide to People v Whitfield

By Geoffrey Burkhart
November
2011
Article
Page 580
Whitfield creates a remedy for defendants who took negotiated pleas without being told they must also do "mandatory supervised release" (aka parole). This article explores the law.

Fine raised for imposing absolute liability for misdemeanor crimes. PA 096-1198

July
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 336
Illinois lawmakers have amended the Criminal Code of 1961 to raise the fine when imposing absolute liability on a person who committed a misdemeanor offense that is not punishable by incarceration (720 ILCS 5/4-9).

First-time misdemeanor violators of the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act may elect to receive treatment. PA 096-1440.

July
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 336
The Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act has been amended and expanded to allow not only addicts or alcoholics convicted of a crime but also first-time misdemeanor violators of the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act to choose to receive treatment under the supervision of a designated licensed program. (20 ILCS 301/40-5; 720 ILCS 690/4).

Death penalty is abolished. PA 096-1543

May
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 228
Illinois lawmakers have abolished the death penalty in Illinois and all existing sentences may not be imposed. (725 ILCS 5/119-1 new). All monies previously held in the Capital Litigation Trust Fund are now to be used to provide services for families of the victims of homicide and to provide training for law enforcement personnel.

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)

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.

Electronic Home Detention Program now available for juvenile offenders. PA 096-0293

July
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 348
Illinois lawmakers amended the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 to allow electronic home detention as an appropriate form of sentencing for wards of the court. 705 ILCS 405/5-7A-101.

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. 

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.

Demystifying Illinois DUI Sentencing

By Larry A. Davis
July
2009
Article
Page 352
Presenting Illinois’ confusing DUI sentencing options as a chart enables practitioners to see at a glance which penalties their clients face.

No withdrawal allowed for a “blind plea”

January
2008
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On October 26, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Will County sentencing the defendant to 22 years for pleading guilty to two counts of first degree murder.

Challenging the Constitutionality of the Illinois Consecutive Sentencing Statute

By Patrick Gallagher
February
2007
Article
Page 96
The author argues that the Illinois consecutive sentencing statute violates the Sixth Amendment by allowing judges rather than jurors to make findings of fact that increase a defendant's punishment.

Police departments typically not “victims” under restitution statute

July
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 334
On April 6, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed in part and vacated in part the decision of the Circuit Court of DuPage County to order defendant Danenberger to pay restitution to the Naperville Police Department (Department) as a condition of her probation for filing a false police report. 

Court Supervision in Traffic Cases: New Strategies for Amended Laws

By Theodore J. Harvatin
April
2006
Article
Page 192
What impact does supervision really have on your clients, especially commercial drivers? Make sure you're up to date.

Adding conditions to plea agreement after it is negotiated may violate defendant’s due process rights

March
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 118
On December 20, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and vacated the sentence imposed by the Circuit Court of Cook County on the defendant.

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.

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.

Probation in combination with imprisonment deemed acceptable punishment for offenders admitted into a drug court program P.A. 093-1014

December
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 620
In an effort to advance both the rehabilitation of criminal offenders and public protection, the Illinois Unified Code of Corrections (IUCC) has been amended to assert that a term of imprisonment in combination.

A plea agreement cannot be rejected for lack of timeliness unless the defendant has been given advance notice of a deadline

November
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 568
On August 11, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the Circuit Court of Champaign County's conviction and sentence and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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