Class 1 Felonies

Felons not required to disclose criminal convictions on Illinois government job applications

October 13, 2013
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In an unprecedented move, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued an order that allows applicants for state government jobs to apply without having to disclose felony convictions. Governor Quinn calls it an order to ‘Ban the Box,’ referring to the box job applicants have to check to disclose convictions. The administrative order, issued October 3, […]

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Criminal conviction can result in deportation, even for permanent residents

July 1, 2013
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The impact of the criminal conviction can be long-lasting and devastating. A conviction is usually a permanent record that will never go away. Although Illinois courts have a procedure for expungement and sealing, most felony convictions do not qualify, and very few misdemeanor convictions are eligible. Unfortunately, the fact that a conviction comes from decades […]

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Department of Corrections reinstates early release program

May 10, 2013
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There was a time in Illinois when inmates could get released from state prison in only days. It was the era of “dress-in-dress-out.” Those days are long gone, but the state penitentiary has re-instituted another form of early release. The new early release program has caused confusion in courtrooms throughout the state. To understand it, […]

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Truth-in-sentencing: defendants must serve more than 50% of the sentence imposed

March 20, 2013
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Defendants in felony cases are subject to special rules in sentencing. Compared to misdemeanor sentencing, felonies are complicated. The court is governed by obscure rules that can sometimes produce unexpected results. And the last thing a defense attorney wants in court is to advise a client on a sentence and have something unexpected come up. […]

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First felony offense eligible for deferred prosecution under Offender Initiative Program

December 29, 2012
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A person who is charged with a felony but has no criminal background will benefit from a new state law in 2013 that allows for dismissal. The Offender Initiative Program is a new statute modeled after the deferred prosecution program developed by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. The statute will apply in all counties […]

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Illinois theft laws: elements of the offense and penalties

June 11, 2012
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The offense of theft under Illinois law is misunderstood. Many people think that because it is not a violent offense, and in some cases, it has no discernible victim, it is not a serious offense. This thinking is wrong. Theft can result in a jail sentence. A person who is arrested for theft, assuming he […]

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Important new bill in legislature would expunge felonies

March 26, 2012
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In the current legislative session, Illinois lawmakers are considering a very important new statute to be added to the criminal code. Senate Bill 3349, proposed by Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), would create a special type of probation for felonies that can be expunged. If signed by the governor, a defendant with a pending felony would […]

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An explanation of Illinois sex crimes

March 5, 2012
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The accusation of sexual misconduct can be devastating for a defendant. First, the person is tried in the court of public opinion, and almost always found guilty when his or her mug shot appears in the news. Second, regardless of any sentence imposed in a criminal case, the defendant will be required to register as […]

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Statistics show increase in felony charges across state of Illinois

May 29, 2011
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The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority has been tracking felony and misdemeanor filings in state courts throughout Illinois over the years, and their findings may surprise you. The findings come as no surprise, however, to attorneys and judges handling these caseloads. The studies prove that, on average, prosecutors are seeking stiffer penalties more than ever. […]

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Illinois felonies result in conviction despite fact that offender has no criminal background

May 24, 2011
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A person with no experience in the criminal justice system will see that the courts make a distinction between felony and misdemeanor cases. In almost every courthouse in Illinois, felony cases are heard by a judge who hears only felony matters. The judge presiding over felony cases is usually a Circuit Judge. These judges are […]

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