Published June 27, 2012
If you are under 18 years of age and wish for a court to put you on judicial supervision for speeding or another traffic offense, you must personally appear in court in order to receive judicial supervision (absent good cause). The Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(n)) states as follows:
The provisions of paragraph (c) [pertaining to judicial supervision] shall not apply to any person under the age of 18 who commits an offense against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles or any violation of Section 6-107 [graduated license] or Section 12-603.1 [safety belts] of the Illinois Vehicle Code, except upon personal appearance of the defendant in court and upon the written consent of the defendant’s parent or legal guardian, executed before the presiding judge. The presiding judge shall have the authority to waive this requirement upon the showing of good cause by the defendant.
Published June 19, 2012
If an offense has a mandatory-minimum sentence, that means that the law requires a trial court to, at a minimum, impose a certain defined sentence. The trial court can go beyond the mandatory-minimum sentence, but it must at least impose the minimum sentence set forth in the law.
For example, consider the offense of Resisting or Obstructing a Peace Officer. The statute defining the offense, 720 ILCS 5/31-1, requires either 100 hours of community service work or 48 hours in jail. The Unified Code of Corrections also states that this offense is not eligible for judicial supervision. As such, at a minimum, the trial court must convict the defendant of the offense (supervision is not a conviction) and impose either the community service work or send the defendant to jail. The Court could go beyond this minimum, for example, by sentencing the defendant to a month of jail and 150 hours of community service work, however, the Court could not go less than the mandatory minimum.
Published June 12, 2012
Whenever a judge sentences a person to prison for multiple crimes, the law may require the sentences to run back to back. When this happens, it is said that the sentences are mandatory-consecutive sentences. If the law does not require consecutive sentences (in other words the sentences can run at the same time — concurrently), if appropriate, a judge can still choose to make the sentences run one after another under 730 ILCS 5/5-8-4(c). This is known as a court’s discretionary or permissive authority to impose consecutive sentences.
Most DUI cases are misdemeanor offenses. A misdemeanor is usually less serious than a felony, and a person can go to county jail for a misdemeanor in Illinois, but not to prison. When an aggravating factor is present, however, a regular DUI can be elevated to a felony offense. Common ways for a DUI to become a felony are as follows:
- A person did not have insurance when committing the DUI.
- A person did not have a driver’s license when committing the DUI.
- Great bodily harm occurred because of the DUI.
- The DUI was the person’s third DUI.
In Illinois, it is illegal to both operate cars and boats while under the influence of alcohol. But, these crimes are listed in separate places in the Illinois Compiled Statutes. The law that applies to boats is located in the Boat Registration and Safety Act. The exact citation is 625 ILCS 45/5-16. The law that applies to cars is in the Illinois Vehicle Code. The exact citation is 625 ILCS 5/11-501.
With either offense, a normal first offense is a Class A misdemeanor. An OUI under the Boat Registration and Safety Act will not affect a person’s driver’s license, but it may affect a person’s ability to operate a watercraft.