Sentences

New Illinois law makes speeding 26 mph over the limit a crime

March 28, 2014
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Illinois tollway drivers are finding out that state laws on speeding aren’t what they used to be. Drivers used to have to worry about misdemeanor charges only when speeding more than 30 MPH over the limit. But under a new law in 2014, a motorist can get a misdemeanor driving even slower than that. The […]

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New Illinois law bans mugshot web sites while Google removes them from search

October 23, 2013
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People make mistakes… That’s just life, right? But things are different in today’s world, because social media like Facebook and Twitter are available to document people’s mistakes forever. In an instant, arrest records are disseminated for all to see in Google. There is a pernicious industry on the web that preys upon people who were […]

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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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Fatal accident: a review of reckless homicide charges and penalties

July 16, 2013
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The courts treat most accidents as a matter of negligence. The person who is responsible for the accident is considered at fault, or liable. Anyone who is injured or killed by the person at fault can recover damages in a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death. Since the person responsible did not intend […]

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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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Misdemeanor convictions that cannot be sealed: crimes of violence

November 23, 2012
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A person who is found guilty of a misdemeanor can have his record expunged in most circumstances. Most misdemeanors allow the court to impose a term of supervision if the defendant has no criminal history. Supervision is not a conviction, and it can be expunged. A conviction, however, cannot be expunged. It can only be […]

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Job applicants with criminal records may find employment under new EEOC policy

October 29, 2012
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As anyone with a criminal record can tell you, one conviction can have a devastating impact on your future. When you apply for a job with a criminal record, you usually don’t expect to make it past the background check. But that all may change soon under an important policy change with the Equal Employment […]

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