Criminal

Part 6: When Does Police Questioning Become Coercive? People v. Ramsey People v. Ramsey, 839 N.E.2d 1093 (4th Dist. 2005) began with reports of farmers who were complaining of a truck in the area possibly involved in methamphetamine production. A deputy stopped a truck in the area because it had a broken windshield. The deputy handed his driver’s license and proof of insurance to the officer through a vent-glass window because the driver’s side window could not be lowered.  The deputy wrote a warning ticket and returned to the truck. He then handed defendant his driver’s license and insurance card,…
Part 5: Do I Have To Give Police Consent To Search My Vehicle? The majority of roadside car searches are done without a warrant and without probable cause. How’s that possible you may ask? It’s possible because most people give police consent and permission to search their car. This post features many of the SCOUTS and Illinois case law that create the rules for police consent search of a vehicle. A consent search is completely voluntary. That means when an officers asks for your permission to search your car you always retain the right to refuse. You can choose to…
Part 4: Police Inventory Car Search Are impoundment/inventory searches lawful where probable cause does not exist for the vehicle? Yes. Are items admissible as evidence if discovered during a lawful inventory of the contents of the vehicle? Yes. May containers be opened during an inventory search? Yes. May the trunk searched? Yes. In Part 4 […] The post Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Police Inventory Search Of A Vehicle In Illinois first appeared on IllinoisCaseLaw.com.…
Part 3: Probable Cause & The Automobile Exception Probable cause to search car means if an officer has reason to believe that there is evidence of a crime in a car that car can be searched without a warrant.  If probable cause exists for the vehicle itself, is it lawful to perform a warrantless search of the vehicle? Yes. May containers be opened and searched? Yes. It is lawful to perform a search of the entire vehicle. Any containers that could hold the object of the search may be opened. The Warrant Requirement Exception For Vehicles Is Still Alive But…
Part 2: The Ordinary Scope Of A Traffic Stop Before there can be a car search there usually is a traffic stop. But does a traffic stop alone allow a warrantless search of a vehicle?  No, of course not. Gant made that much clear. Here, we’ll outline the normal scope of every traffic stop. In other words, after a valid traffic stop an officer will always be allowed to do certain specific things no matter what. This ensures an officer will have some minimum amount of contact with the driver and occupants of a car. This is called the ordinary…
Part 1: Gant And The Aftermath The Arizona v. Gant, 129 S.Ct. 1710, 556 U.S. 332 (2009) decision from the United States Supreme Court was an unmitigated disaster…for police. It was a huge set back for car searches and officer safety.  But if it was a loss for officers can Arizona v. Gant be considered a win for citizens? On this page we’ll provide some back ground on the Gant decision and explain what kind of car searches are allowed after this landmark SCOTUS opinion. Before Gant, police had broad “search incident to arrest” authority. Anytime a person was arrested…
DUI cases do not routinely get thrown out of court short of a plea agreement or trial. But the court can dismiss your case if it meets certain criteria. A court may dismiss a case on any of the following bases: Your case did not go to trial within the time limits of the speedy trial act. Prosecution is barred by double jeopardy. You received immunity from prosecution. You were indicted by a grand jury that was not properly selected or certified, resulting in substantial injustice to you. The court does not have jurisdiction or the county is an improper…
The appellant in People v. Gallano, 2019 IL App (1st) 160570 appealed the trial court’s decision dismissing his post-conviction petition on the grounds that post-conviction counsel failed to comply with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 651(c) by failing to amend the petition to include notarized affidavits from two potential witnesses. The Appellate Court of Illinois First District ultimately affirmed the judgment of the circuit court. Gallano was found guilty at a jury trial of first-degree murder and concealment of homicidal death and sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 60 years and 5 years, respectively. Id. at ¶ 5. The initial conviction…
If you drive just north of Cook County, you will find Lake County and Gurnee. According to news reports, a Chicago man was recently arrested there and charged for his alleged involvement in the theft of $50,000 worth of diamonds. Law enforcement officials said the diamonds were stolen from a Gurnee jewelry store in December. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office arrested the 43-year-old on a charge of theft of over $10,000.  Officials said Gurnee investigators used social media in their efforts to identify a suspect and then received help from Chicago law enforcement agencies to find him. According to…
The appellant in People v. Moore, 2019 IL App (3d) 170485, appealed the trial court’s order denying his motion for leave to file a successive post-conviction petition on the grounds that appointed counsel provided unreasonable assistance. The Third District ultimately affirmed the judgment of the trial court. Moore was found guilty of seven counts of first-degree murder and one count each of home invasion, aggravated criminal sexual assault, robbery, residential burglary, and arson. Appellant was sentenced to death, which was subsequently commuted by Governor George Ryan (in 2003) to a term of natural life imprisonment. Id. at ¶ 3. Thirteen years…
1) When Can Police Search My Car? Generally speaking when a car is stopped for a traffic violation, a general search of the vehicle is not permitted. However, if an officer has specific and articulable facts that his safety is in danger, he may then conduct a limited search for weapons. Additionally, under the automobile exception, if an officer is in possession of facts sufficient to support probable cause to believe a car contains contraband, it may be searched without a warrant. A car can be searched under the following circumstances: An arrestee is within reaching distance of the vehicle…
The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act requires that applicants meet a ‘good moral character’ standard that is defined as ‘adherence to generally accepted moral standards of the community’. Until October 25, 2019, DUI was not used as the basis for a finding that an applicant was not of good moral character and, generally, did not carry any immigration consequences. Now, under a new directive from the U.S. Attorney General, evidence of two or more DUI convictions establishes a presumption that the non-citizen is not of good moral character and immigration relief may be denied. Evidence of rehabilitation after the DUI…
The Illinois “Revenge Porn” statute does not require a vengeful intent, and the Illinois Supreme Court has said that is OK. In a recent decision, the court concluded the statute did not violate the First Amendment by unduly restricting free speech. Under the law, it is a Class 4 felony to intentionally disseminate an identifiable image of another person over age 18 involved in a sex act or whose intimate parts are exposed where the image was obtained under circumstances in which a reasonable person would understand the image was to remain private and should know that the person in…
Episode 724 (Duration 33:57). Chicago defense attorney Peter Lewis explains what a litigant can do when their criminal discovery is missing the police body cam video. Subscribe: Apple | GoogleSpotify | Android | RSS | Direct Download APPLE PODCASTS GOOGLE PODCASTS SPOTIFY ANDROID RSS DIRECT DOWNLOAD In This Case… The State’s Attorney’s position is if they didn’t get it from the police then it doesn’t exist. Attorney Peter Lewis Am I Entitled To Have The Police Body Cam In My Case? Yes. Generally, speaking a criminal defendant is going to be entitled to possess a copy of the…
In 2019, the Chicago Police Department made national headlines after it announced that its very first gun arrest of the new year had taken place just one minute after midnight of January 1st. The announcement highlighted the department’s focus on making weapons arrests – except that it was not the first gun arrest of 2019. And two weeks after the arrest, the weapons charge was dropped. One more thing: the only ones who were punished for the arrest were the arresting officers and the sergeant who signed off on the arrest report. All three were suspended for falsifying the time…
The appellant in People v. Borizov, 2019 IL App (2d) 170004 appealed the decision of the trial court dismissing his pro se post-conviction petition, which alleged ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failing to raise each issue in the motion for a new trial. The Appellate Court of Illinois Second District affirmed the decision of the circuit court. Borizov was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of solicitation to commit murder. Following conviction, Borizov filed a motion for new trial, alleging 31 trial errors. One of the alleged errors was that a juror should have been…