Every once in a while someone will ask me if I prosecute criminal cases in addition to defending them. This question comes up enough (albeit infrequently) that I thought I would address it on this blog. The people asking this usually think that a private-practice lawyer can be hired to either prosecute or defend criminal cases. This is not true in Illinois. The government, primarily via the state’s attorney’s office in each county, prosecutes cases; victims cannot hire lawyers to press charges. Now, the government may employ private-sector lawyers (e.g., part-time prosecutors), however, it is still the government prosecuting the cases and not hired guns.
Archive for December, 2009
Case Name: People v. Hires (.pdf)
Court: Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District
Date Decision Filed: 12/08/09
In this case, the State charged the defendant with Aggravated DUI because the defendant had eight prior DUI convictions. The defendant did not submit to chemical testing, so the evidence consisted of the arresting officer’s observations of the defendant prior to and after the officer stopped the defendant’s vehicle. The defendant challenged his conviction based on the sufficiency of the evidence and based on the unreliability of the field-sobriety tests administered to him. The Court rejected both arguments. The Court rejected the defendant’s sufficiency of the evidence challenge because “a rational jury could reasonably have inferred that [the] defendant’s erratic driving, slurred speech, and poor coordination stemmed from intoxication.” The Court rejected the defendant’s field-sobriety argument because the jury, on its own, was able to evaluate the field-sobriety evidence without the assistance of an expert. It also should be noted that the defendant received a 24-year sentence in prison for this DUI conviction (again, this was his ninth DUI conviction).
The address of the Edgar County Courthouse is 115 W. Court St., Paris, IL 61944. There are not any security checkpoints to pass through when entering the courthouse.
Courtroom “2” is located on the first floor of the courthouse. Courtroom “1” is located on the second floor of the courthouse.
The courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.