Class 4 Felonies

What is the Cannabis Law in Illinois?

March 17, 2016
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Cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana, is illegal in the state of Illinois. Despite the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (410 ILCS 130/1) becoming effective as of January 2014, recreational use, distribution, and sale of marijuana in any quantity remains a crime in the State of Illinois. Many people downplay the severity […]

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Overview: Expunging Your Criminal Record in Illinois

February 27, 2016
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Expungement is the process where a criminal court disposition is removed from your public record. According to Illinois law, to expunge means “to physically destroy records or return them . . . and to obliterate the [offender’s name] from any official index or public record, or both.” 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(a)(1)(E). If you have been convicted […]

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Understanding the Risks of Retail Theft in Illinois

February 23, 2016
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“It was only a shirt.” “No one was looking.” “I think it’s just a misdemeanor anyway.” If these thoughts have ever crossed your mind, it is important to take a step back and understand the significant disruption a retail theft conviction could have on your life. Theft crimes throughout the country are on the rise […]

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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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Illinois Supreme Court rules aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute violates 2nd Amendment

September 16, 2013
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In one decision, the Illinois Supreme Court has undone thousands of convictions for carrying a loaded firearm, and opened the door for the release of hundreds of inmates in prison. The state high court has ruled that the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute is unconstitutional. Individuals who were convicted of this crime may […]

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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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Important changes to Illinois retail theft laws in the year 2012

April 24, 2012
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Illinois state law concerning retail theft has seen some significant changes in the year 2012. State lawmakers in Springfield have overhauled the retail theft statute. First, the offense is no longer found under 720 ILCS 5/16A-1. That section was repealed, and replaced by Section 16-25. All charges for retail theft written in 2012 fall under […]

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