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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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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A summary of the law and penalties for involuntary manslaughter

July 9, 2013
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Illinois courts apply the term involuntary manslaughter to any accidental death that results from the reckless acts of another. Recklessness is the key component of involuntary manslaughter. If the acts causing the death were negligent, then the loss of life would be actionable in a civil courtroom, through a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute penalizing […]

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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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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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