Cook County

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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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 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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Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon under Illinois law

October 5, 2011
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The state of Illinois has some of the nation’s toughest laws on firearms. It is tragic because Chicago is one of the most violent places in America. If there is any place in America where a person would need a firearm for protection, it would be Chicago. Although the Second Amendment gives each person the […]

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Having contact with victim in domestic battery is a crime

August 15, 2011
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After an arrest for domestic battery, typically the police will release the offender upon payment of a small bond or signing a recognizance bond. The bond sheet is been provided to the person along with his other property. However, in some counties, the police will bring the person who was arrested before a judge for […]

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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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New Illinois Supreme Court ruling limits use of field sobriety test

July 24, 2010
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The Supreme Court of the state of Illinois issued a new ruling in 2010 concerning the use of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN). During an arrest for DUI, the police officer will ask the driver to stand still and follow a pen with his eyes, and keep his head motionless. The HGN test is […]

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The police officer asked me to follow a pen with my eyes. Is that a field sobriety test?

April 9, 2010
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During a traffic stop, if a police officer suspects that a driver is intoxicated, he will use special training to assist him in making the decision whether to arrest. The police officer will ask the motorist to participate in field sobriety tests (e.g. FSTs) to determine whether the driver is impaired. The National Highway Traffic […]

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What is the law in Illinois on possession of a controlled substance?

March 7, 2010
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Possession of a controlled substance is a felony criminal offense under Illinois law. The penalties for this offense are set out in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act at 720 ILCS 570/1 et seq. Police officers, lawyers, and judges refer to the offense of unlawful possession of a controlled substance as UPCS. In Cook County, the […]

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I got a DUI and it is my third offense. What are the penalties in Illinois?

March 6, 2010
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A third offense for driving under the influence is a very serious case because it is not a misdemeanor offense. Rather, a third DUI in Illinois is a Class 2 felony. The fact that the first DUI offense resulted in supervision which the defendant completed does not matter. The supervision may have resulted in a […]

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