Criminal

People v. Schutz, 2017 IL App (4th) 140956 (June). Episode 379 (Duration 7:55) Turns out all three of defendant’s attorneys had a relationship with the jailhouse informant who testified against defendant. Facts Defendant was charged with sex offenses. His attorney also represented another inmate in the same jail. This other inmate ended up testifying against the defendant as a jailhouse snitch. When the attorney realized that one of her clients was snitching on the on the other client she withdrew from defendant’s case. But Defendant’s new attorney also had represented the snitch in prior cases. Issue On appeal defendant…
Compulsory Joinder The compulsory joinder statute provides: “(a) When the same conduct of a defendant may establish the commission of more than one offense, the defendant may be prosecuted for each such offense. (b) If the several offenses are known to the proper prosecuting officer at the time of commencing the prosecution and are within the jurisdiction of a single court, they must be prosecuted in a single prosecution *** if they are based on the same act.” 720 ILCS 5/3-3. The General Assembly enacted the compulsory joinder statute “to prevent the prosecution of multiple offenses in a piecemeal…
Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.18 The Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010 which, sets out the ethical behavior of lawyers, Rule 1.18, specifically says that: (a) A person who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client. (b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client. (c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b)…
Presumption of Access The United States Supreme Court has recognized the existence of a common law right of access to judicial records and documents. Additionally, in Illinois, section 16(6) of the Clerks of Courts Act (705 ILCS 105/16(6)) provides for the public’s right to review judicial records. Specifically, that provision provides, in pertinent part, the following: “All records, dockets and books required by law to be kept by such clerks shall be deemed public records, and shall at all times be open to inspection without fee or reward, and all persons shall have free access for inspection and examination to…
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois is accusing the executive director of a southwest suburban autism center of engaging in fraud. Latrice Harrell runs the Champion Center for Autism and has been charged with filing fraudulent claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for therapeutic services that did not take place. Federal prosecutors allege that “Harrell fraudulently obtained at least $1.6 million” from the insurer. She has been charged in an indictment in U.S. District Court in Chicago with seven counts of health care fraud, as well as two counts of making false statements in…
The appellant in People v. Ramsey, 2019 IL App (3d) 160759, appealed the trial court’s order dismissing his post-conviction petition at the second stage of post-conviction proceedings, on grounds that the court erred by ruling, among other things, that an executive commutation could not be judicially reviewed. Ultimately, Third District affirmed. Daniel Ramsey was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, one count of home invasion, and one count of residential burglary. At the time Ramsey committed the crimes, he was 18 years old. Ramsey initially received the…
This is the July 2017 Illinois criminal case law audio round-up (the fast case law summary). Episode 376 (Duration 18:41) Click here to download the written summary of these cases:  July 2017 Round-Up  The July 2017 Top Illinois Criminal Law Cases (The Monthly Round-Up) Here’s a quick snapshot of the top cases: 1. People v. Holmes Illinois Supreme Court adopts the federal rule in holding that gun arrests before Aguilar are supported by probable cause. 2. People v. Harper Business exception to hearsay did not cover these “you did it” text messages. 3. People v. Avelar Can defendant be…
After getting in trouble at school, your minor child was questioned by police. You were not present, and your child was scared and started talking. What are your child’s rights? Under 705 ILCS 405/5-401.5, your child’s statement is presumed inadmissible as evidence if an officer or other public official takes your child’s statement during a custodial interrogation without first reading your child his or Miranda rights. The officer must then ask: (A) “Do you want to have a lawyer?” and (B) “Do you want to talk to me?” Further, any statement your minor child makes as a result of…
A school bus permit is required to transport school children through 12th grade for a public, private or religious school in a school bus or any other approved vehicle owned by or operated for a school or religious institution over a regularly scheduled route. School bus permit holders are subject to strict rules and regulations, especially when it comes to traffic tickets. School Bus Permit Requirements Permit holders must be at least 21 years of age, have held a valid license for the previous three years prior to application for a school bus permit, complete a classroom training course,…
Sitting just a few miles southwest of Chicago, suburban Orland Park was recently the site of a trio of drug arrests on some of the most serious charges a person can face in Illinois. According to a news report, three out-of-state men were arrested there and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell/deliver – Class X felonies. As many of our readers know, a Class X felony is the most serious felony Illinois has, apart from a first-degree murder charge. Even a first-time offender convicted of a Class X felony faces a mandatory minimum of…
The appellant in People v. Ames, 2019 IL App (4th) 170569 appealed the trial court’s order denying’s his second motion for leave to file a successive post-conviction petitio on the grounds that the circuit court erred by allowing the State to respond to the motion. Ultimately, the Appellate Court of Illinois Fourth District affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County. Ames was convicted of one count of home invasion and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and sentenced to consecutive terms of 28 years of imprisonment for home invasion and 6 years each for aggravated…
The appellant in People v. Harris, 2019 IL App (4th) 170261 appealed the decision of the trial court summarily dismissing his pro se petition for post-conviction relief on the grounds that his petition presented an arguable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to request a continuance to secure witness testimony for his claim of self-defense. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal. Harris was found guilty on five counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated battery of a child, one count of home invasion, and one count of armed robbery at…
Though Illinois State Sen. Thomas E. Cullerton lives in suburban Villa Park, he was recently indicted by a federal jury in Chicago. The 49-year-old faces multiple charges of public corruption, including 39 counts of embezzlement from a labor union. He is also charged with conspiracy to embezzle from a labor union and employee benefit plans. Federal prosecutors allege that Cullerton fraudulently received salary and benefits from a union, though he did little or no work for the organization. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John R. Lausch, Jr. states in court documents that Cullerton was a member…
When you are arrested for DUI, the police must read you the Warnings to Motorists, but this is not the same as your Miranda rights. The Illinois Secretary of State will try to automatically suspend your driver’s license on the 46th day after your arrest for DUI. The length of that suspension depends partly on whether you agreed to take a breathalyzer or other field sobriety tests. Before taking those tests, the officer must read you the Warnings to Motorists to inform you that your license will be suspended for a longer period if you refuse the tests. Illinois law…
The appellant in People v. Peacock, 2019 IL App (1st) 170308 appealed the trial court’s decision denying leave to file his successive post-conviction petition, on the grounds that his sentence constituted a de facto life sentence and violated the eighth amendment of the United States Constitution and the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution. The Appellate Court of Illinois First Judicial District ultimately reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County for further proceedings. Appellant Taki Peacock is currently service concurrent respective sentences of 80 years, 30 years, 30 years, and 30 years of imprisonment…