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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Racial profiling by Illinois police? Statistics show minorities ticketed more than whites

August 31, 2012
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Chicago radio station WBBM recently reported that statistics show that during traffic stops, minorities are charged with traffic offenses disproportionately. Depending on their sources, statistics can be misleading. But these numbers come from a source that even prosecutors and judges would acknowledge as an authority: the Illinois Department of Transportation. A WBBM Newsradio analysis of […]

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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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Procedure for stalking no contact order in Illinois

May 31, 2012
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Illinois courts have a new law that allows an individual to seek a restraining order against another. In 2010, state lawmakers in Springfield passed a bill creating a stalking no contact order. The restraining order that is available under this statute differs from an order of protection and a sexual assault civil no contact order. […]

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Cook County to host annual expungement summit June 2, 2012

May 1, 2012
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All persons who have ever been arrested in Cook County should be aware of the free expungement seminar scheduled for June 2, 2012. Under Illinois law, any person who is arrested and charged with a crime has a record with the Illinois State Police that can be disseminated nationwide. The record of the arrest remains […]

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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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