Archive for May, 2008

If You Don’t Talk, You Might Walk

If you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, don’t talk to the police. OK, that wasn’t strong enough: DON’T TALK TO THE POLICE. You have the right to remain silent, so use it. Charles Kenville shares why you shouldn’t talk to the police.

Serious Misdemeanors

You might not realize this, but some misdemeanors are more serious than some felonies. The best way to illustrate this is by example and I will provide two.

First, consider Criminal Sexual Abuse, which can be Class A misdemeanor. Even though it is a misdemeanor in some cases, any person convicted of this crime will have to register as a sex offender. There is much more of a social stigma associated with being a registered sex offender than there is with having a felony history, especially where the felony arrest is of a type that will be eligible for sealing or expungement down the road.

Second, some misdemeanors are not entitled for day-for-day credit. The maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is 364 days in the county jail. If a person is sentenced to 364 days in the county jail in a case where day-for-day credit does not apply, then that person will actually serve 364 days in jail. Compare this with a possible Illinois Department of Corrections sentence for a Class 4 felony. The sentencing range for a Class 4 is one to three years. With good-time credit, an inmate sentenced to one year in the Illinois Department of Corrections will serve much less than a year.

The Difference Between Assault and Battery

In Illinois, what is the difference between assault and battery?

According to the Illinois Compiles Statutes, “[a] person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” 720 ILCS 5/12-1. Battery, on the other hand, occurs when a person “intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means, (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.720 ILCS 5/12-3.

Here is an example how this might work. Let’s assume that you decide to punch me and I haven’t given you authority to punch me. Let’s further assume that you act on your decision and take a swing at me. Finally, let’s assume that you don’t land the punch because I see it coming and duck. Since you don’t land the punch, you neither cause me to suffer bodily harm nor make physical contact of any kind — let alone insulting or provoking contact. Thus, you do not batter me. But, I see you swing at me — and I duck so you won’t hit me. So, you assault me because you place me “in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.”

If your punch hits me, regardless of whether I get hurt, that is insulting or provoking contact. As a matter of fact, I might direct a nasty word or two in your direction.

So, in summary, assault is where you swing and miss; battery is where you swing and hit.

Question: Will I lose My License for Underage Drinking?

Answer: Yes, that is the law in Illinois.

If you are under the age of 21 and enter a guilty plea to (or are found guilty of) Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor, you will lose your driver’s license for at least three months. You may lose your license for a longer period of time given certain circumstances. You will lose your license even if you are placed on judicial supervision.

In the grand spectrum of things, there are worse evils than kids drinking alcohol, however, the driver’s-license penalty in minor-consumption cases shows that even minor crimes can have serious consequences.

Erase Your Online Criminal History

If you read the last several posts on this blog, you will become aware that there is much publicly available information on criminal defendants that is only a few keystrokes away. If you have a criminal history on Judici or a site similar to Judici, you may be able to make that information disappear from the public eye. This can be done through the expungement and sealing processes. But, please note that not all cases are eligible to be expunged or sealed, but many certainly are. Click here for more information on expungement and sealing.

How to Understand Material on Judici — Part 4

The post will focus on the dispositions section of a case on Judici. You can reach this section by clicking the word “Dispositions” after pulling up a case. This section is about the final result in a case. You may encounter one or more of the following terms in any given case.

Supervision

This means that a defendant entered a guilty plea but did not receive a conviction. If the defendant complies with all the terms of his supervision, he will be successfully discharged from supervision without a conviction on his record. Furthermore, after a certain amount of time, he may be eligible to expunge (erase) his case.

Conditional Discharge

This means that a defendant received a conviction and is being monitored by the court, however, he does not have a probation officer. The state’s attorney will file a petition to revoke the defendant’s conditional discharge if he fails to do what he was ordered to do, or if he commits another crime. If the state’s attorney proves the petition or the defendant admits the petition, the defendant will be re-sentenced on the case.

Probation

The defendant received a conviction on his criminal record and he will be monitored by the probation department for a period of time.

Nolle Prosequi

The case was dismissed by the state’s attorney, however, the state’s attorney can re-file the case as long as the statute of limitations (the period of time in which a case must be filed) has not run.

Dismiss

The state’s attorney dismissed the case and the state’s attorney cannot re-file the case.

DOC

The court ordered the defendant to serve time in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Medical/Mental Treat

The defendant must go get a mental health evaluation from a licensed counselor and comply with any treatment the counselor recommends.

Drug Treatment

The defendant must go get a drug evaluation from a licensed counselor and comply with any treatment the counselor recommends.

Alcohol Treatment

The defendant must go get an alcohol evaluation from a licensed counselor and comply with any treatment the counselor recommends.

Public Service

The defendant must preform a certain number of hours of community service work.

Jail

The defendant received either actual or stayed time in the county jail. The time is stayed time unless the words “In Force” appear in the corresponding status section of the table.

Related Post: Online Case Info Q&A

How to Understand Material on Judici — Part 3

A helpful feature on Judici for a defendant is the fines-and-fees feature. This feature allows a defendant to see how much money he still owes on a case. (After pulling up a case on Judici, the “Fines & Fees” link appears towards the top of the page. Click that link.) The most important information on the fines-and-fees page is the total line. That line shows the total due, the total paid, and the balance owed. There is a bunch of other information on this page, but most of it is not likely to be important to a defendant. (This other information shows how the court costs break down.) One line, besides the total line, that a defendant might want to pay attention to is the line for probation fees, which vary from case to case. Probation fees are in addition to the fine and court costs a defendant must pay. In many cases, there are no probation fees and this line will not be present.

Related Post: Online Case Info Q&A


BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.