In Illinois, some people have been exonerated after being wrongfully convicted of crimes that they did not commit. Some of these people were convicted after being falsely identified by witnesses. The problem of false identifications in criminal cases is widespread, affecting innocent people across the U.S.
Passed in the summer of 2017, the Bail Reform Act took effect in Illinois on Jan. 1. The new law requires courts within the state to consider a defendant's financial situation when determining if he or she should post bail to be released. It also requires that the court consider the threat a person may face before requiring bail as a condition of release.
In Illinois, black people who are charged with crimes are likelier to be convicted of the charges that carry jail time and to receive harsher punishments than those who are white. While the disparate treatment of suspects by law enforcement officers has long been studied, a new study analyzed the treatment of defendants by prosecutors and the courts, finding that the disparate treatment continues within the court system.
Illinois residents can be charged with tampering with evidence if the authorities believe that the accused individuals attempted to conceal, alter, falsify or destroy the evidence. This evidence can include any object or documentation that could potentially be useful to a police investigation or inquiry.
On April 12, it was reported that an Illinois man who spent 21 years in prison received a $13 million award for a wrongful conviction. The man was convicted and incarcerated after he signed a murder confession that was allegedly drafted by Cook County prosecutors and officers with the Chicago Police Department.
When a defendant in Illinois is first handed charges, the investigation into their case is usually not complete. In fact, a lot of evidence may be discovered up to the date of the final ruling. If prosecutors find evidence that may point to the defendant's innocence, they are obligated to reveal it to the criminal defense attorney.
Illinois residents who are accused of helping or encouraging another person to commit a crime could potentially be charged as an accomplice. Someone who is accused of being an accomplice can potentially face a prison sentence and other serious consequences.
We’ve been looking in recent posts at a recent Supreme Court decision which held that states may not impose criminal penalties upon DUI suspects who refuse to submit to blood testing. Taken together, the recent ruling and the McNeely decision mean that law enforcement officers must ordinarily have a warrant before taking a blood draw, and may not criminally punish a DUI suspect for refusing to submit to blood testing.
Previously, we began looking at a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling which held that states may not, under constitutional law, impose criminal penalties for a drunken driving suspect’s refusal to submit to a blood test. The case is significant not only because of the impact it will have upon the enforcement of drunken driving laws, but also because of the way it resolved previous case law.
Search and seizure issues are important to explore when building a defense in drunk driving and drug cases. Despite the public safety risks posed by drunken driving and drug trafficking/use, criminal suspects still have constitutional rights that need to be protected.