Super User

Super User has not set their biography yet
Warrant Not Required When Hospital Initiates Toxicology TestA recent Illinois appellate court decision gained attention because it questioned the constitutionality of a state law that allows police to forcibly obtain a blood or urine sample after a person is arrested for driving under the influence. The court remanded a DUI conviction because police forced the defendant to provide samples without presenting a warrant, even though they had ample time to obtain one. The court stated that the Illinois law violates the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution because it allows police to conduct a warrantless search without needing to prove urgency. While it was a win for DUI defendants in the state, the decision applies only when specific circumstances occur. There are still scenarios where prosecutors can legally use results from blood or urine tests administered without a warrant.

Recent Example

In the case of People v. Sykes, the defendant was convicted on charges of driving under the influence of cannabis and child endangerment. The defendant had crashed her car into a wall after a day at the beach with her children. A responding police officer described her as smelling of alcohol and being disoriented. After she was taken to the hospital for examination, police arrested her on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. The defendant refused a police request to submit to a blood or urine test, and two police officers waited outside her room while she received further treatment. A doctor asked a nurse to obtain a urine sample to determine whether the woman had any intoxicating substances in her system that would explain her disoriented state. The woman refused to give a sample, and the nurse used a catheter to obtain it. The nurse requested the help of several people to hold the woman down while inserting the catheter, including the two police officers. The urine sample showed the woman had cannabis and PCP in her system. Prosecutors obtained the test results months later, which they used to add the DUI cannabis charge.

...
New Illinois Law Allows Immediate Sealing After No ConvictionCriminal charges brought against you that are acquitted or dismissed can still hurt your reputation by showing up on your record when someone does a background check. You can prevent such embarrassment by requesting that the public record of your arrest and charges be sealed. The only entities that would be allowed to see the sealed records without a court order would be:

  • Law enforcement;
  • The Department of Child and Family Services; and
  • Employers that are required by law to conduct background checks for felony convictions.

Sealing your record is a legal process that requires court approval and the opportunity for the state to respond. A recently enacted Illinois law allows defendants whose cases end without a conviction to immediately request the record of the charges be sealed.

Immediate Sealing

...

Posted by on in Criminal Law
Sleeping Judge Not Enough for MistrialYour trial when facing criminal charges is a vitally important moment in you life. A conviction can result in a prison sentence and will remain on your record. So, you may be understandably offended if a judge or juror falls asleep during your trial. The action implies that your trial is not worth staying awake for. You may even seek a mistrial on the grounds that a judge or juror was not paying proper attention during the trial. However, Illinois courts have ruled that an isolated incident of a person napping during a trial is not enough reason to cast doubt on the trial’s outcome.

Recent Example

A defendant recently appealed his first-degree murder conviction, on the grounds that there should have been a mistrial after a judge apparently fell asleep during testimony. The trial transcript shows an exchange between both counsel and the judge following a video testimony. The judge did not respond to repeated requests to turn the lights back on until a clerk reportedly poked him to wake him up. The jury eventually found the defendant guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The defense counsel filed a motion for a mistrial, claiming that the judge had fallen asleep multiple times during the trial. The judge denied both the motion and the allegation, stating that:

...
Unlawful Search Dismisses Drug Possession ConvictionAn Illinois appellate court recently overturned a man’s conviction on the charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. The defendant successfully argued that Illinois state troopers unlawfully seized and searched his vehicle before discovering the narcotics. A lower court had dismissed his request to suppress the evidence. Without legal evidence of narcotics possession, the appellate court ordered that the charge be dismissed.

Case Details

Six days before the defendant’s arrest, an undercover state trooper met the defendant in order to purchase narcotics. The defendant allegedly provided the state trooper with a small tube containing methamphetamine, but no money was exchanged. On the date of the arrest, the undercover trooper informed the state police that he believed the defendant was transporting narcotics. Police located the defendant’s vehicle, and a state trooper pulled him over for driving seven miles per hour over the speed limit. While the trooper was questioning the defendant and checking for any outstanding warrants, another trooper arrived with a dog trained to identify the presence of narcotics. The dog alerted the trooper to possible drugs in the car. The defendant allegedly gave his verbal consent for the troopers to search the vehicle, but they did not find any narcotics or evidence of hidden compartments. State police then transported the defendant and his vehicle to a local police station, claiming that impending rain would threaten the safety of the troopers at the scene. When at the station, the police began a second search and received written consent from the defendant. The troopers found tubes containing narcotics, located near the vehicle's air filter. The defendant was charged and later convicted, resulting in a 15-year prison sentence.

...

Posted by on in Criminal Law
Being Charged with Criminal Transmission of HIVSexual assault cases, such as rape, hinge upon proving whether there was consent between both parties. Some consensual sex acts are also criminalized. Illinois law makes it illegal for someone to knowingly transmit HIV to an unaware person. The victim does not need to be infected in order for charges to be brought. Conviction on a criminal transmission of HIV charge is a class 2 felony, which can result in three to seven years in prison and fines of as much as $25,000. There have been situations where offenders with HIV have purposely or recklessly infected victims by having unprotected sex. However, spite can motivate some former lovers to make the criminal accusation.

Defining Criminal Acts

Since first adopting the criminal transmission of HIV law in 1989, Illinois has made several changes that narrow the scope of the offense. Not all sexual acts pose a reasonable risk of transmitting HIV. According to the law, there are three ways someone can criminally transmit HIV:

...