200 new Illinois laws scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1. Here are the new laws governing Crime, Courts, Corrections and Law Enforcemen

More than 200 new Illinois laws scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1. Here are the new laws governing Crime, Courts, Corrections and Law Enforcement in Lake County, Illinois:

  • Child Abuse by Professionals (SB 1763/PA 99-0350): Clarifies definitions to include situations where a person who is acting in a professional capacity abuses or neglects a child.
  • Abused Adult Records Access (SB 1309/PA 99-0287): Gives a Public Guardian access to records regarding investigations of abuse, neglect, financial exploitation or self-neglect of eligible adults when the Public Guardian is investigating the need for a guardianship or pursuing a petition for guardianship.
  • Abused Children Protection Orders (SB 1335/PA 99-0349): Provides that the parties to the proceedings are also entitled to copies of unfounded reports.
  • AED Mandate (SB 764/PA 99-0246): Requires sheriff’s offices and municipal police departments that employ over 100 police officers comply with the AED Act and be equipped with an AED.
  • Body Cameras (SB 1304/PA 99-0352): Establishes rules and regulations for the use of officer-worn body cameras and implements a package of police reforms. Police reforms: Prohibits police from using chokeholds, except when deadly force is justified; requires an independent review of officer-involved deaths, and makes investigation reports part of the public record if an officer involved in a death is not charged with a crime; expands police officer training to include topics like use of force; creates a database of officers who have been fired or resigned due to misconduct. Body camera regulations: Does not require police departments to use body cameras. If they choose to do so, officers must keep their cameras on when conducting law enforcement activities. Officers would be allowed to turn the camera off when talking to a confidential informant, or at the request of a victim or witness. Requires officers to let people know they are recording if they enter a home. Videos will be kept for 90 days, unless flagged for specific reasons. Allows for grants via a $5 fee increase for each $40 on criminal and traffic offenses, to go toward cameras and new training.
  • Coroner Training Board (SB 663/PA 99-0408): Creates the Coroner Training Board Act and Transfers the oversight of coroner training from the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to a new Coroner Training Board the authority to conduct and approve a training program in death investigations.
  • County Jail “Good Time” Sentencing (HB 3785/PA 99-0259): Changes existing provision that no committed person may be penalized more than 30 days of good behavior allowance for any one infraction by providing that if the infraction is the second or subsequent infraction within any 30-day period, then the committed person may not be penalized more than 60 days of good behavior allowance.
  • Court Interpreters for Civil Cases (HB 3620/PA 99-0133): Requires appointment of language interpreters for witnesses and parties in civil cases, if necessary.
  • Court Services Fee (SB 804/PA 99-0265): Allows counties to impose a higher court services fee (now maximum of $25) if the fee is supported by an acceptable cost study. The fee must be used to defray court security expenses.
  • Court Supervision for Aggravated Speeding (HB 1453/PA 99-0212): Provides that a defendant charged with speeding 26 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable speed limit may be eligible for court supervision if the defendant has not been previously convicted for a similar offense or previously assigned court supervision for a similar offense.
  • Crime Victims Debt Collection (SB 1866/PA 99-0444): Amends the Crime Victims Compensation Act to prevent a vendor who has been provided notice of a claim filed under the Act from engaging in debt collection activities against the applicant until the Court of Claims awards compensation for the debt and the payment is processed. “Debt collection activities” does not include billing insurance or other government programs, routine inquiries about coverage, or routine billing that indicates that the amount is not due pending resolution of the crime victim compensation claim.
  • Domestic Violence Sentencing Consideration (SB 209/PA 99-0384): Adds a history of domestic violence to the list of mitigating factors for judges to consider during sentencing. Creates a process for courts to review petitions for re-sentencing for certain offenses committed by a victim of domestic violence who was unable to present evidence of domestic violence at trial.
  • Discovery (HB 95/PA 99-0110 – Sen. Michael Connelly): Provides that discovery in civil cases, such as admissions of fact and of genuineness of documents, physical and mental examinations of parties and other persons, the taking of any depositions, and interrogatories shall be in accordance with rules.
  • DUI-related Safety Provisions (SB 627/PA 99-0467): Makes several recommendations based on the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee. Changes include the following:
    • Requires certain individuals suspected of consuming alcohol to sign the written warning from law enforcement.
    • Removes “hard time” provisions which currently prohibit driving relief for DUI offenders, and instead allow offenders to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit or Restricted Driving Permit, with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device.
    • Requires any offender with two+ DUI or reckless homicide convictions to install a BAIID as a condition of a Restricted Driving Permit.
    • Requires a BAIID, as a condition of a RDP, if the offender is convicted of DUI involving death, great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another.
  • Elderly Exploitation Civil Action (HB 1588/PA 99-0272 – Sen. Jason Barickman): Changes the civil liability provision of financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability to allow for a civil cause of action regardless of whether criminal charges have been filed. Civil liability provision does not limit or affect the right of a person to bring a cause of action or seek any remedy available under the common law, or other applicable law.
  • Facilitated Courtroom Testimony (SB 1389/PA 99-0094): Allows the court to set conditions it finds just and appropriate, including the use of therapy and service animals, for taking the testimony of a child victim or disabled victim in certain sex offense cases.
  • False 9-1-1 Call (HB 3988/PA 99-0160 – Sen. Michael Connelly): Requires reimbursement where a person makes a false 9-1-1 call knowing there is no reasonable ground for making the call or transmission and further knows that the call or transmission could result in the emergency response of any public safety agency. Caps reimbursement at $10,000.
  • First Responder Assault Penalties (HB 3184/PA 99-0256): Enhances the penalty for aggravated assault of a peace officer, fireman, emergency management worker, or emergency medical technician.
  • Foreclosure Special Representative (SB 735/PA 99-0024): Adds conveyances under a transfer on death instrument, conveyances where title was transferred prior to death, and where title was conveyed from the deceased’s probate estate to foreclosure cases where the court is not required to appoint a special representative for a deceased mortgagor.
  • Foreign Affairs Officers Arrests (HB 1337/PA 99-0190): Provides that the new consular notification mandate does not create any affirmative duty to investigate whether an arrestee or detainee is a foreign national.
  • Gender Identity Protection (HB 3552/PA 99-0417): Provides that the written directions a person leaves regarding disposition of that person’s remains may include instructions regarding gender identity including, but not limited to, instructions with respect to appearance, chosen name, and gender pronouns, regardless of whether the person has obtained a court-ordered name change, changed the gender marker on any identification document, or undergone any transition-related medical treatment.
  • Good Conduct Time Sentencing (HB 3475/PA 99-0381): Amends the Unified Code of Corrections by expanding who may be eligible for certificates of good conduct to include persons convicted of committing or attempting to commit a Class X felony or a forcible felony (other than certain offenses currently specifically excluded in statute).
  • Good Conduct Sentencing Credit (HB 3884/PA 99-0241 – Sen. Michael Connelly): Gives an additional 30 days of sentence credit to any prisoner who passes their high school equivalency testing while in the Department of Corrections or while they are being held in pre-trial detention (county jail) prior to the current commitment to the Department of Corrections.
  • IDOC Parolee Information (HB 2722/PA 99-0275 – Sen. Michael Connelly): Helps protect the privacy of rehabilitated inmates seeking to reenter society because of (1) witness protection issues and gang affiliation/retaliation when an inmate is released. This bill does not affect separate victim notification requirements when an offender is released.
  • Juries – Removal and Disability (HB 3704/PA 99-0102 – Sen. Michael Connelly): Provides additional means of establishing a total and permanent disability for purposes of a prospective juror seeking a permanent exclusion from jury service (an individualized education program plan or proof of a guardianship).
  • Juvenile Justice Councils (HB 3718/PA 99-0258): Eliminates provisions in the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 that require automatic prosecution of minors as adults. Eliminates mandatory and presumptive transfers to adult criminal prosecution. Retains discretionary (judicial) transfer provisions.
  • Juvenile Justice Councils (HB 4044/PA 99-0435): Amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 by expanding entities who may designate representatives to serve on county juvenile justice councils. This will add additional community-based perspectives to the juvenile justice councils.
  • Juvenile Justice Reforms (SB 1560/PA 99-0268): Prevents juvenile misdemeanants from Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) commitment, suspends automatic custodianship of DJJ for aftercare (parole) violators if they have new adult criminal charges pending, and adjusts length of aftercare time to be proportional with length of adult parole.
  • Juvenile Justice Reports (HB 3141/PA 99-0255 – Sen. Dale Righter): Amends the Unified Code of Corrections by adding a new section that clarifies the reporting requirements of the Department of Juvenile Justice to the Governor and General Assembly. Provides a due date of Jan. 1.
  • Law Licenses for Non-Citizens (SB 23/PA 99-0419): Asks the Illinois Supreme Court to grant law licenses to non-citizens provided certain conditions have been satisfied related to the recently enacted federal “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program.
  • Lifetime Sentences for Juveniles (HB 2471/PA 99-0069): Aligns Illinois’s criminal statutes with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found automatic mandatory life sentences for juveniles to be unconstitutional. Grants judges leeway to determine whether such a sentence is warranted and allows judges to lengthen or shorten a sentence depending on whether a firearm or automatic weapon was used in a capital crime.
  • Minors in Detention Facilities (HB 2567/PA 99-0254): Prohibits a delinquent minor younger than age 13 from being admitted, kept, or detained in a detention facility unless a local youth service provider has first been contacted and is not able to accept the minor.
  • Missing Persons Identification Act Changes (HB 4097/PA 99-0244 – Sen. Kyle McCarter): Prohibits law enforcement agencies from refusing to accept a missing person report on the basis of the missing person’s mental state or medical condition.
  • Mental Health Fitness Ability to Stand Trial (SB 1938/PA 99-0140 – Sen. Tim Bivins): Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure relative to defendants found unfit to stand trial by making sure that the reports of forensic examiners working for circuit courts are also provided to the Department of Human Services (DHS) in conjunction with the judge’s order remanding the unfit defendant to a DHS facility for treatment.
  • Mistaken Arrest Records (HB 169/PA 99-0363): Requires, if a person has been arrested for a criminal offense based upon mistaken identity, the law enforcement agency whose officers made the arrest to delete or retract the arrest records of that person.
  • Orders of Protection Process (HB 3161/PA 99-0240): Prohibits a special process server from being appointed in Cook County if the order of protection to be served grants the surrender of a child, the surrender of a firearm or firearm owner’s identification card, or the exclusive possession of a shared residence.
  • Out-of-State Subpoenas (SB 45/PA 99-0079 – Sen. Jason Barickman): Creates a simple process for civil cases by which a subpoena from an out-of-state court can be used to issue a discovery subpoena in Illinois.
  • Police Crisis Intervention (HB 4112/PA 99-0261): Provides that the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (LETSB) will create a standard curriculum in crisis intervention and specialized policing responses to mental illness. Requires LETSB to conduct Crisis Intervention Team Training.
  • Powdered Alcohol Ban (SB 67/PA 99-0051): Prohibits the sale of products consisting of or containing powdered alcohol in Illinois by creating a Class A misdemeanor for a violation and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violations.
  • Powdered Caffeine Prohibition (SB 9/PA 99-0050): Prohibits the sale or offering of powdered pure caffeine to anyone younger than age 18.
  • Power of Attorney (SB 159/PA 99-0328): Makes technical changes to the Illinois Power of Attorney Act relative to health-care powers of attorney.
  • Preservation and Delivery of Evidence (HB 233/PA 99-0354 – Sen. Tim Bivins): Requires the County Coroner to properly preserve evidence from a death investigation if appropriate equipment is available and release it to the investigating agency no later than 30 days after collection. Requires the police agency receiving that evidence to submit the specimens to a National DNA Index System participating laboratory within the state.
  • Probate Citations Recover (SB 1308/PA 99-0093): Allows the court to issue a citation, pursuant to any civil cause of action, for the appearance of any person who may have had assets in his or her possession and of any person who may be liable to the estate of a ward.
  • Probate Disabled Persons Wills (SB 90/PA 99-0302): Establishes a rebuttable presumption that a will or codicil is void if it was executed or modified after the testator is adjudicated disabled and either a plenary or limited guardian has been appointed and the court has found that the testator lacks testamentary capacity.
  • Probate Temp Adult Guardians (HB 2505/PA 99-0070): Amends the Probate Act to provide that a temporary guardian of a disabled adult shall have the limited powers and duties of a guardian of the person or of the estate which are specifically enumerated by court order.
  • Prostitution (SB 201/PA 99-0347): Makes it an aggravating factor in promoting juvenile prostitution, patronizing a prostitute, or patronizing a minor engaged in prostitution knowing that the minor was in the custody or guardianship of the Department of Children and Family Services.
  • Same Sex Hate Crimes Definition (HB 3930/PA 99-0077): Changes definition of “sexual orientation” in the hate crime statute, the institutional vandalism statute, and the statute concerning aggravating factors in sentencing to the definition used in the Illinois Human Rights Act. Amends the offense of institutional vandalism by replacing the term “sexual orientation” with “ancestry, gender, sexual orientation” and “physical or mental disability.”
  • Scott’s Law Changes (SB 1424/PA 99-0125): Adds recycling vehicles to vehicles covered under Scott’s Law.
  • Sealing of Criminal Records (HB 3149/PA 99-0378): Allows a person who earned a high school diploma, associate’s degree, vocational technical certification, or bachelor’s degree, or GED during the period of his or her sentence or mandatory supervised release to petition for early sealing of the record prior to the applicable waiting period.
  • Sealing of Criminal Records (SB 844/PA 99-0385): Allows for sealing of certain eligible criminal records in two years (rather than three years or four years) and other records including eligible felonies in three years (rather than four years) after the end of the case.
  • Sexual Abuse (SB 207/PA 99-0283): Makes it an aggravating factor in sentencing for certain sex offenses committed against a victim with an intellectual disability and the defendant holds a position of trust, authority or supervision in relation to the victim.
  • Statute of Limitations Suspensions for Sexual Assault Evidence Kits (HB 369/PA 99-0252): Tolls the statute of limitation period for charging a sex crime from the time evidence of a sexual assault is collected and submitted by a law enforcement agency until the completion of the analysis of the Illinois State Police.
  • Synthetic Drug Classification (SB 1129/PA 99-0371 – Sen. Kyle McCarter): Gives law enforcement a new tool in combating the sale, distribution and possession of synthetic drugs by banning their underlying chemical structure.

Continually Recognized for Our Successful Results

Continually Recognized for Our
Successful Results

The Law office of Louis M. Pissios has successfully handled many complex and high-profile cases in Illinois including everything from Driving Under the Influence Cases to Drug Cases to Murder Cases, and everything in between. We are in Lake County, Illinois and handle every case with the diligence necessary to get you the best results possible.

Our attorneys provide unparalleled legal representation to those who are facing serious criminal charges. We have extensive experience in all areas of Criminal Law. Our Firm has a reputation for providing top-notch, high quality representation.

We recognize that every person, and every criminal prosecution, is unique. We tailor our practice to the individual needs of each and every client. Our ethics, skill and knowledge will help you obtain the best possible results.

The lawyer you choose to represent you can affect the results of your case. Our legal defense team includes experienced private investigators, paralegals and translators. . We provide high quality, creative and thorough legal representation to each and every one of our clients. We are only as good as the results we obtain for our clients. Our greatest compliment comes from the fact that many of our former clients and other attorneys refer clients to us for representation.

You should not compromise your choice of an attorney. This may be one of the most important decisions that you ever make.

Lake County police departments looking to add body cameras

 

It’s not unusual for police officers to be filmed by people with cellphones during a traffic stop nowadays, but police throughout Lake County may be wearing body cameras to monitor interactions as soon as this fall in Round Lake Park, and other departments are not far behind.

From Round Lake Park to Round Lake and Mundelien to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, municipalities and their police departments are moving ahead with body cameras.

“This is definitely the wave of the future and something that’s needed,” Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said. “Body cameras are a type of evidence and the more evidence we have in any case the better.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner last week signed legislation that lays out the rules for police body cameras in Illinois, making it only the third state in the country to establish such rules, according to an Associated Press analysis. While it does not mandate body cameras, although there was legislation floated that would have done just that, it does specify how they will be worn, when they have to be turned on and how long the recordings must be kept as evidence.

It also established a grant program funded by a $5 addition to traffic tickets to help police departments buy the body cameras.

“They are going to be involved in every case, even misdemeanors,” Nerheim said. “You’re going to see footage on every single case.”

Nerheim said his office is working with the more than 40 police departments in Lake County on uniformity. If each department operated on a different system, that could pose a problem for his office, which would handle the recordings in court.

“It’s important we are part of the process,” he said.

Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said if everything goes as planned his department will be ready to roll out the body cameras by mid September.

“It’s logical we’re doing this,” he said, “We decided this was the way to go.”

The village has purchased 6 4RE in-car systems with panoramic HD cameras and 13 VISTA HD body-worn cameras that have adjustable lenses so officers can adjust them according to their height. The total cost was approximately $57,000, which also includes a server and needed software.

For Patrol Officer Donna O’Brien, the body camera, which uses industrial strength magnets to hold it in place, is a good thing.

“I prefer them,” she said, “It’s good to have one more form of evidence to back up the truth.”

“I also think it’s good tool for training. I can review how I walked up to a vehicle during a traffic stop or person and see how I might of done it differently,” or see something that may have put her in danger, but she didn’t realize it at the time, she said.

“It will keep me on my toes, but I always act professionally,” she said.

Filenko said the response of his officers has not been “why do we need them,” but “when are we getting them.”

“In my opinion this is going to become standard, it may even be mandatory eventually,” he said. He knew two years ago they were going to need new squad car videos and he thought of incorporating the body cameras with that new system.

“It’s still not going to replace the human eye,” he said, but in the worse-case scenario, an officer involved shooting, “the more video the better,” said Filenko, who is in charge of the Major Crime Task Force that is called in to investigate those shootings.

Round Lake Police Chief Michael Gillette said his mayor and trustees wanted to get ahead of the curve and be pro-active. “I’m proud of the board and the mayor for letting us do that,” he said of their purchase of 15 FirstVu HD cameras from Kansas-based Digital Ally, at a cost of $13,800.

“We feel it’s a good tool for the officers to put together a solid case,” he said, “and of course it would be used in allegations of misconduct. I think they are really good tools.”

Bigger departments have bigger problems with figuring out the financing, but the Waukegan Police Department is “aggressively” researching different models, according to Cmdr. Joe Florip.

“We need to see what will work best (for the 80 patrol officers and 20 patrol cars). We’re excited as an organization to get body cameras. We think it’s best for our community and the police department,” he said.

“It’s priceless when it comes to a citizen complaint. There’s nothing like pulling up a video,” he said, noting that sometimes they can do that now from dash cameras and sometimes residents see their actions in a different light.

The Lake County Chiefs Association, headed by Highland Park Chief Paul Schafer, said they are getting more inquiries from other chiefs about body cameras. There still needs to be a lot of policy work, such as how to handle Freedom of Information requests, obscuring juvenile or witness faces from the video and other issues and having the personnel able to do that.

“There’s a lot of implementation with this new technology that the chiefs are taking a look at,” he said. They plan to have it on their agenda for the September meeting.

Other departments like Round Lake Beach are just starting to look into it, partly because of the funding mechanism included in the bill the governor recently signed. For some departments it would be hard to afford and they want to make sure they get the right equipment.

“We want it done right the first time,” said Police Chief Dave Hare. But he believes they will benefit police and the community.

“Transparency is a good thing for the community and body camera play into that,” he said

Illinois Supreme Court released 4 criminal law cases for March 2016.

 

Here are the top 13 criminal law cases from the Illinois court system for March 2016. The first 4 are from the Illinois Supreme Court. Number 4 was a victory for the defense at the lower level and the Illinois Supreme Court had something to say about that.

  1.  People v. Burns
    The “no-nights visits” rule is affirmed, can’t bring the sniffer dog to your front step for a little sniff action.
  2. People v. Bradford
    Prosecution no longer allowed to overcharge an ordinary retail theft to a burglary.
  3. People v. Clark
    Aggravated vehicular hijacking and armed robbery without a firearm are not lesser-included offenses of aggravated vehicular hijacking and armed robbery with a firearm.
  4. People v. Timmsen
    Apparently, the police can stop you for trying to legally avoid a roadblock.
  5. People v. Abram
    Officers approach defendant who was sitting in his car he then, to say the least, ensues in outright flight.
  6. People v. Smith
    This trial judge was overruled; there is nothing unconstitutional about requesting citizen’s to roll up their sleeves.
  7. People v. Thompson
    Some of the State’s remarks relied on questionable advocacy, but did not rise to the level of clear and obvious error.
  8. People v. Meuris
    In a leaving the scene of an accident prosecution the State must not only prove that Defendant knew he was involved in an accident but also that another person was involved.
  9. People v. Weinke
    Reviewing court says ASA exaggerated the severity of victim’s condition and misled the court as to the source and timing of her information in order to pressure the court into granting a quickie deposition.
  10. People v. Tayborn
    Trial counsel was ineffective for not challenging defendant’s confession given without Miranda warnings.
  11. People v. Little
    Cigarette break is not a sufficient amount of time to remove the taint of the original Miranda violation.
  12. People v. Gray
    These drug officers were themselves charged with distributing narcotics and Defendant was not told about the investigation before he plead guilty to his own drug charges.
  13. People v. Fulton
    In a charge of armed habitual criminal the same conviction can be used as one of the predicate offenses as well the predicate to the UUW Felony conviction that may be being used.

What is a deposition

 

What is a deposition?
In about 30 years of working in the law I have seen many documents used to prepare witnesses for deposition. I decided to write one that would be easily understood by the typical lay witness. This article is not legal advice. It is a compilation of advice given by various attorneys, which I hope you will find useful.

If you use this for a client, it should be provided on the attorney’s letterhead with this cautionary language at the top: Note: This document is privileged and confidential. Do not show it to anyone. Read it several times before giving your deposition.

PREPARING FOR YOUR DEPOSITION

General Notes

Your deposition is extremely important and will affect your case in many ways. You must understand everything in this preparation document before being deposed. A deposition is a device commonly used in the “discovery” phase of a lawsuit, before trial. All parties in a lawsuit, through their attorneys, have a period of time after a suit is filed in which to discover facts about a case in order to prepare for trial. Depositions and interrogatories (questions to be answered in writing under oath) are two of the most commonly used.

In a deposition, the witness (you in this case) is called the deponent and is sworn to tell the truth (by the court reporter, who is neutral) before any questions are asked. Attorneys will attend for both sides and the attorney for the opposing party will ask you questions, while the court reporter takes everything down to provide everybody with a copy. Portions of the transcript will probably be used in the trial.

The opposing attorney also wants to get your testimony committed to writing. Warning: everything you say will be used against you, and it is the opposing attorney’s purpose to get you to say something that will hurt your case. Your deposition is not for your benefit; it is for the benefit of the other side. You must resist the urge to tell your story or vindicate yourself or justify your actions. You must answer the questions as briefly as possible and never volunteer information. You will have your chance at trial, when your attorney is asking the questions. So listen carefully to each question, think before answering, and answer concisely-with a “yes” or “no” if possible.

Depositions are not the trial, even though they may be used at trial. Depositions are informal proceedings, usually taken in an attorney’s office, and the judge is not present. They usually last two to six hours sometimes less. The scope of questions is unlimited, and attorneys have the right to ask broad questions on topics that may seem irrelevant. Many topics are covered in depositions that will never be admissible at trial. You must answer all questions unless your attorney instructs you not to answer (another reason for listening to the complete question and taking time before answering).

The opposing attorney may act like Mr. Nice Guy, and you should be polite, but always remember: his duty is to try to help his client by weakening your case. Do not trust him and always remain mentally sharp. Some opposing attorneys will be short and snappy with you, and at times may seem hard-lined and relentless in questioning you. Despite the tactics by opposing counsel, you must remember that he/she is not your friend. Your only friend in the deposition is your attorney.

Your attorney will not ask you any questions. He is there to protect you from improper questioning. Remember: this is not the place to tell your story, but only to give facts as you know them. If your attorney begins to speak, you must stop talking. If the attorneys enter into discussions, you are not to say a word, but listen carefully to what is being said. If your attorney makes an objection, remain silent until he/she tells you to answer. If your attorney instructs you not to answer, do not answer no matter how angry the other attorney becomes or how harmless the question may seem to you.

Getting Ready for Your Deposition

First read this document several times and make sure you understand all of it. If not, ask your attorney or his staff about anything you do not understand. Then review any interrogatories you have answered, because the other attorney will probably use them at your deposition. Read the pleadings and motions that have been filed and go over them with your attorney if you have questions about them.

The other side has the right to ask you to bring documents to your deposition. If you have not been asked to bring anything, do not bring anything. If you have been asked to do so, do your best to gather the documents requested, even if it means getting them from a lockbox or storeroom. Review all documents with your attorney before your deposition. If you have not been asked to bring any documents, but you have documents you think you should bring, discuss it with your attorney.

Important: Letters between you and your attorney and his/her staff, and any documents prepared in connection with the lawsuit are privileged and confidential and never should be produced. These documents may be privileged under the attorney-client privilege or under the work-product privilege. If you produce even one of them, you may forfeit the privilege for all of them. If any documents requested by the other side are privileged and confidential, let your attorney know immediately.

Your attorney or his staff will meet with you before your deposition to prepare you further. Do not hide anything from your attorney. You must be totally truthful with your attorney (and that includes his/her staff) and you will not be fully protected if there are things the other side may know that your attorney doesn’t know. Be candid in all respects and rest assured that everything you say to your attorney or his staff is privileged and confidential. Think of any bad things the other side could possibly know and be sure to let your attorney know about them.

The Deposition Itself

Dress neatly. The best outfit is comfortable business attire, with nothing flashy, nothing offbeat, nothing dirty, nothing sloppy. Remember, the other attorneys are evaluating you as a witness. If you will be making a good impression on the jury at trial, your testimony is more valuable.

Produce requested documents and answer truthfully. Your duty is to answer each question as truthfully as you can, but also with as short an answer as possible. Before answering any question, remember to look straight at the attorney asking the question, listen carefully, pause at least two or three seconds to think, and then give your short, concise answer politely and calmly. For most questions, a “yes sir” or “no sir” or “I don’t know” is sufficient. If you say more than three sentences, you have probably said too much. Remember to do this with each question, so that every answer is formal and controlled and you are controlling the tempo of your deposition.

Always be polite. Your conduct and demeanor may be more important than the answers you give. Try to make a good impression. Relax and remain calm, trying not to show nervousness. (You will be nervous, but try not to show it.) Always respond courteously. Always refer to the attorneys as “Mr.” or “Ms.” Speak up positively with assurance.

You may consult with your attorney. If you have questions or concerns about your potential answer, you may ask the opposing attorney, “May I consult with my attorney?” You may then either talk privately at the table or go outside to discuss it with your attorney. Do not be afraid to ask your attorney questions if you feel it important, but keep these consultations to an absolute minimum. Your attorney cannot tell you how to answer but can help clarify the question. Never answer a question with a question or rhetoric.

Your testimony must be truthful. Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but only in response to questions, and with short answers. If you do not tell the truth, you could be subject to criminal prosecution for perjury. If you are caught not telling the truth, it will hurt your credibility and therefore, your case. You must answer every question truthfully.

Answer only from your personal knowledge. Never volunteer an opinion unless specifically asked to do so. Never guess or speculate. Guessing or speculating is not truthful. Do not do it. Don’t let the opposing attorney fool you into making statements outside of your personal knowledge or about something you do not remember.

Testify in your own words. Don’t let opposing counsel put words in your mouth. Stay with your version of the facts as you know them. One tactic some attorneys use is to say “Well, is it fair to say that . . . ?” If he/she uses this tactic and attempts to summarize parts of your testimony, listen carefully and do not agree unless it is exactly true in all respects; if not, state that you do not agree with his/her summary.

Do not be intimidated. The opposing attorney may make an insinuation or express an opinion that you are not telling the truth. This is an old trick and you should not fall for it. He/she may say something like, “Do you mean to tell me that you’re willing to sit here under oath and swear to that?” Remain calm, look him/her in the eyes, and say, “I have just testified to that fact under oath.” The opposing attorney may speak with a raised voice and seem hateful, but your attorney will not let you be badgered or let things get out of hand.

Be careful of questions dependent on your memory. If you are asked about something that happened long ago and you do not remember the date or time, just say so, and do not guess. Nobody expects you to remember every fact of your life. If pressed for dates, you can say, “To the best of my knowledge, it was around that time.” If you don’t remember, say so. Often, the truthful answer to a question begins with “To the best of my knowledge at this time.”

If you don’t know, say so. Again, do not speculate and do not guess. If you do not know the answer to a question, just say, “I do not know.” Do not assume anything. Another old trick is for the opposing attorney to pull out a piece of paper and read it to himself, then ask you if you remember writing a letter to [name] that said [facts]. Don’t be fooled into admitting something of which you are not sure. Don’t say, “I guess so” when the truthful answer is “I do not remember writing such a letter.”

Don’t give long, rambling answers. The opposing attorney will always gain an advantage if you talk too much. Never ask to explain your answer before giving it. And don’t explain your proper “yes sir” or “no sir” answer, either. You must not volunteer information that is unsolicited ever. An example: You are asked to “State the highest degree of education you have earned.” Many witnesses respond: “Well I graduated high school and then went to college for two years.” This is volunteering information. The correct answer is “a high school diploma.” You will only hurt your case and help the other side’s case if you volunteer information, no matter how harmless it may seem.

Don’t give an opinion unless asked. Just answer with facts and never give your opinion or belief unless asked for it. Again, this is volunteering information and can only hurt your case.

Finish your answers. If you do have a long answer, and the other attorney interrupts you when giving your answer, you should politely insist on finishing your entire answer. Just state that you were not through with your answer and insist on being allowed to finish it.

Use care with documents. If you are asked about a certain document, you should ask to see the document before answering. But never refer to a document to refresh your memory without first discussing it with your attorney. In some states, if a deponent is asked a question and stops to look at a document to refresh his/her memory, the document must be disclosed even if it is a privileged document.

Always keep your guard up. Everyone is nervous about giving a deposition. It is only natural. Sometimes a deponent will begin to relax as the deposition progresses and they may even actually begin to enjoy being the center of attention. Avoid this feeling. It is dangerous and leads to your forgetting the rules outlined in this article. Remain alert, be on guard, sit up straight, and remember to:

a. Look and listen
b. Pause and think
c. Answer briefly

Remain polite and courteous, keep your guard up, and don’t let the opposing attorney talk you into hurting your case. Never let yourself be provoked into anger, arguing, or being upset.

Nothing is “off the record.” The court reporter is taking down every word. An attorney may ask you for an answer “off the record,” but do not fall for it. The only thing off the record will be discussions among attorneys when the reporter has been instructed to stop recording.

After Your Deposition

Provide information if agreed. During the deposition, you and your attorney may agree to produce something to the other side. Locate it immediately after the deposition and deliver it to your attorney as soon as possible.

Correct errors in the transcript. You will have a limited time to make any corrections after the court reporter has typed the transcript. Read it carefully and make all corrections. If you don’t do so within the time period, which may be as few as 20 days, you will not be able to correct it later and you will be stuck with it at trial. Follow your attorney’s advice regarding making the corrections.

Answers may need to be supplemented. In some states you are required to supplement any answers you gave at a deposition. If you are asked a question in a deposition, and your answer later changes, you must let your attorney know. For example, you may be asked for names of witnesses, and after your deposition you learn of another witness. You must give that new information to your attorney immediately.

Review your deposition before trial. Make sure you re-read your deposition testimony before you get to trial. Most cases settle and never reach trial, but not all cases settle. If you are going to trial, it is critical that you know everything you have said under oath, whether in a deposition or interrogatories.

Couple seek to have convictions thrown out, cite corrupt Chicago cop

Couple seek to have convictions thrown out, cite corrupt Chicago cop

Ben Baker had long been a thorn in the side of corrupt Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts, who framed the part-time drug dealer on a narcotics charge in retaliation for refusing to pay a protection payoff of $1,000, court records show.

While Baker was on bond awaiting trial in December 2005, he and his wife, Clarissa Glenn, were stopped by Watts and one of his team members. Once again, the officers claimed they found a bag of heroin in Baker’s car and tagged the couple with major felony drug charges, according to the court records.

Faced with up to 15 years in prison and frightened that their young children would be left without parents, the couple copped deals with prosecutors in order to spare Glenn from prison. Baker, though, had an additional two years tacked on to his sentence for the other drug case — a total of 14 years behind bars.

Now Baker and Glenn are seeking to have those guilty pleas thrown out, claiming in a court filing last week that Watts had planted the heroin — this time as retribution for blowing the whistle on him. Watts had been tipped off that Baker had gone to the Chicago police internal affairs division about his earlier shakedown, records show.

To buttress their claim, the couple has produced court records that show the judge who took their guilty pleas in September 2006 was already aware that Watts’ crew was under investigation, according to the petition filed in Cook County Criminal Court.

In fact, Judge Michael Toomin told the couple that if the allegations were ever proved, they could come back to court and he would gladly throw out their cases.

The court filing marks the latest fallout over the corrupt squad led by Watts, who in 2012 was charged along with one of his underlings, Officer Kallatt Mohammed, with shaking down a drug courier who turned out to be an FBI informant. Both were convicted and sentenced to federal prison.

Baker was freed in January after serving more than a decade of his 14-year sentence. Cook County prosecutors agreed to drop the original drug charge against him after his lawyer, Joshua Tepfer, revealed dozens of pages of court and law enforcement records showing that police internal affairs had been aware as far back as the late 1990s of corruption allegations involving Watts’ team — yet failed to take them off the street.

At the time of Baker’s arrest, Watts and his entire crew also were the target of an ongoing FBI investigation, according to records uncovered by Tepfer, of the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School. One FBI report from September 2004 showed that an informant had told federal agents that Watts and other officers were routinely shaking down drug dealers for thousands of dollars in cash in exchange for police protection at the Ida B. Wells public housing complex.

But it wasn’t until five years later that agents were able to build a criminal case against Watts and Mohammed, based in part on the undercover work of two whistleblower officers, Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria.

Tepfer told the Tribune on Friday that the latest filing shows how Watts and his crew were able to terrorize a community for years with their illegal schemes, using their police powers to keep the largely poor and vulnerable people who lived in Ida B. Wells in line.

“These cases were brought by vindictive and corrupt police officers who were framing individuals for things that they did not do,” Tepfer said. “(Baker and Glenn) are likely just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to victims of the decadelong criminal enterprise headed by Sgt. Watts.”

The experience was particularly rough on Glenn, a churchgoing mother of three who had never been arrested before and has not been since, according to her lawyer, Jonathan Brayman.

“Every step of the way, Clarissa has told anyone who would listen that she and Ben were innocent,” he said.

According to the petition, Baker and Glenn were stopped by Watts and Officer Alvin Jones on Dec. 11, 2005. Jones claimed in police reports that as he walked up to the car he saw Glenn hand a clear plastic bag filled with heroin to Baker, who put it in the driver’s-side console.

But Baker and Glenn claimed Watts had pulled the bag out of his sleeve and placed it in the car after a search had turned up no drugs. Back at the Wentworth District police station, Jones and several other members of Watts’ team typed up a false report, adding officers as witnesses who weren’t even at the scene, the couple alleged.

Before the couple pleaded guilty, Judge Toomin acknowledged in court that he had been shown reports that indicated Watts’ crew had been under investigation by internal affairs and that a prosecutor with the state’s attorney’s office’s public integrity unit was involved. But there had been no concrete evidence of wrongdoing and no move by prosecutors to drop the charges, so the judge said he couldn’t do anything with the information, according to a transcript.

“Let me say this to both of you,” Toomin told Baker and Glenn, according to a transcript. “There has not been sufficient showing to me that these are renegade police officers, that they are bad police, that they are outlaws.”

But, Toomin said, “police officers do get charged with doing things that are wrong, breaking the law.”

“If that should happen here in this case, I would have no hesitation,” the judge said. “I would toss out these convictions.”

KENTUCKY SENATE PASSES GOP BILL ALLOWING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST INTERRACIAL COUPLES

KENTUCKY SENATE PASSES GOP BILL ALLOWING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST INTERRACIAL COUPLES

Despite being legal in the United States since 1967, Kentucky Republicans are trying to turn back the clock on interracial marriage by allowing discrimination against interracial couples.

A bill moving forward in the Kentucky Senate would give private businesses and public institutions the right to discriminate against basically anyone they want to as long as they hide behind their Bibles when they do it.

In other words, interracial couples, Muslims, atheists, and gay people can be denied services by businesses and the government for religious reasons even though federal law explicitly forbids discrimination. While the bill does not expressly mention these groups, it is so broad that it might as well.

According to SB180:

‘Protected activities’ means actions by people commissioned, employed, hired, retained, or otherwise used by the public or the government to provide customized, artistic, expressive, creative, ministerial, or spiritual goods or services, or judgments, attestations, or other commissions that involve protected rights;
‘Protected activity provider’ means a person who provides protected activities; and
‘Protected rights’ means the rights of persons to be free from governmental actions that impair, impede, infringe upon, or otherwise restrict the exercise of any right guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Kentucky, including but not limited to a person’s right of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and right to peaceable assembly.

The bill even denies those who are discriminated against the ability to sue in court, which makes it even more clear that Republicans want to turn Kentucky into a theocracy where civil justice and civil rights only belong to conservative “Christians.”

It hasn’t passed yet, but considering the Senate and the House are controlled by Republicans, and Tea Party nitwit Matt Bevin is the Governor, it’s only a matter of time before this bill becomes law and drags Kentucky back to the 1950s.

Illinois DUI Case List

Expert Witnesses
 
People v. Jones, 2015 IL App (1st) 121016 (04/22/2015) (“foundational element” used
to strike a state firearms expert witness)
 
People v. Safford, 392 Ill. App. 3d 212, 221 (2009) (court said that the admission of an
expert’s testimony requires an adequate reliability foundation)
 
People v. McKown, 236 Ill.2d 278 (2010) (HGN foundations case but see King below)
 
People v. Floyd, 2014 IL App (2d) 120507 (March 2014) (retrograde extrapolation based
on a single breath test is more speculation than science)
 
Soto v. Gaytan, 313 Ill. App. 3d 137 (2000) (another case that talks about a foundational
element)
 
People v. Negron, 2012 IL App (1st) 101194 (2012) (another case that allows a
fingerprint expert to testify but discusses Safford’s foundations test)
 
Discovery Sanctions
 
People v. Tsiamas, 2015 IL App (2d) 140859 (December 2015) (State can’t ignore
discovery notice)
 
People v. Moravec, 2015 IL App (1st) 133869 (November 2015) (DUI sanctions
UPHELD)
 
People v. Kladis, 2011 IL 110920 (DUI evidence suppressed after video is destroyed)
 
People v. Aronson, 408 Ill.App.3d 946 (2011) (failure to make a copy is a sanctionable)
 
People v. Strobel, 2014 IL App (1st) 130300 (June 2014) (no discovery violation occurred here so it was error to impose a discovery sanction)
 
People v. Olsen, 2015 IL App (2d) 140267 (June 2015) (error for the trial judge to
suppress evidence due to a purported discovery violation)
 
People v. Moises, 2015 IL App (3d) 140577 (August 2015) (trial court’s decision to grant a discovery sanction is reversed because there was no discovery violation when officer did not record the FST)
 
Probable Cause
 
Navarette v. California, 134 S.Ct. 1683 (2014) (anonymous 911 call justifies traffic stop)
 
People v. Anderson, 2013 IL App (2d) 121346 (October 2014)
 
People v. Butorac, 2013 IL App (2d) 110953 (December 2014) (officers may board a
boat to enforce registration requirements)
 
People v. Cummings, 2014 IL 115769 (March 2014)
 
People v. Gonzalez­Carrera, 2014 IL App (2d) 130968 (September 2014)
 
People v. Timmsen, 2014 IL App (3d) 120481 (July 2014) (it’s ok to avoid a traffic roadblock so long as you don’t break any other traffic laws)
 
People v. Santovi, 2014 IL App 2014 IL App (3d) 130075 (May 2014) (no pc to arrest defendant before cop yells at the women and orders her to open the bathroom door or he’ll kick it down)
 
People v. Taiwo, 2015 IL App (3d) 140105 (April 2015) (proper to stop a car for a lane infraction when the cop had a hunch the car was connected to an accident he was
investigating)
 
Rescissions & Suspended DLs
 
People v. Elliott, 2014 IL 115308 (January 2014) (recession only acts prospectively and
has no retroactive effect, thus rescinding a suspension will not undue convictions based
on that suspension)
 
People v. Smith, 2013 IL App (2d) 121164 (November 2013) (DWLS can’t be revoked)
 
People v. Clayton, 2014 IL App (4th) 130340 (March 2014) (even if
notice was tampered with by the cop defendant had actual notice of his pending suspension)
 
People v. Gaede, 2014 IL App (4th) 130346 (November 2014) (defendant withdrew his consent and implied consent statute found constitutional)
 
People v. Morales, 2015 IL App (1st) 131207 (January 2015) (suspension reinstated defendant received proper notice from the police on the day of his arrest and had more than ample opportunity to challenge the suspension in court)
 
People v. McLeer, 2015 IL App (2d) 140526 (February 2015) (officer amends the report after it was issued, suspension stands because SOS had enough information that the
notice was given)
 
People v. Gutierrez, 2015 IL App (3d) 140194 (July 2015) (A PBT test is not a
statement, thus, the officer’s DL suspension is proper)
 
Blood & BAC
 
People v. Wuckert, 2015 IL App (2d) 150058 (December 2015) (625 ILCS 5/111­501.4
trumps hospital policy that the results should not be used for legal purposes)
 
People v. Armer, 2014 IL App (5th) 130342 (October 2014) (warrantless blood draw
suppressed when not done with consent nor under exigent circumstances)
 
People v. Harris, 2015 IL App (4th) 140696 (May 2015) (consensual blood draws ok)
 
People v. Weidner, 2014 IL App (5th) 130022 (March 2014) (no error to wipe
defendant’s arm with an alcohol wipe before hospital took his blood)
 
People v. Hutchinson, 2013 IL App (1st) 1023332 (November 2013) (no error in
admitting report of lab results as a business record)
 
People v. Harris, 2014 IL App (2d) 120990 (May 2014) (state had problems showing the
breathalyzer was certified)
 
People v. Eagletail, 2014 IL App (1st) 130252 (December 2014) (logbook and printout
admissible even though printout was made years after the breath test)
 
People v. Chiaravalle, 2014 IL App (4th) 140445 (December 2014) (officer made a
continuous observation even though he may have had his back to the defendant from
time to time)
 
People v. Thomas, 2014 IL App (2d) 130660 (May 2014) (speedy trial violated when
police waited to issue BAC citation they already knew what the hospital blood BAC was)
 
People v. Torruella, 2015 IL App (2d) 141001 (August 2015) (no error here when the
trial judge accepted calibration records of the breathalyzer as a business record and no
error when the court disregarded the defense expert’s testimony)
 
People v. Smith, 2015 IL App (1st) 122306 (August 2015) (state failed to establish that
the machine was properly certified within the 62 day window required by the
regulations)
 
Evidence
 
People v. Blakey, 2015 IL App (3d) 130719 (November 2015) (prior inconsistent
statement in this DUI huffing case was admitted in error)
 
People v. Phillips, 2015 IL App (1st) 131147 (October 2015) (defendant blew under .08
and attacked that the officer’s opinion he was intoxicated)
 
People v. Way, 2015 IL App (5th) 130096 (September 2015) (proximate cause defense,
error to deny the defendant a chance to defend her aggravated DUI by arguing that the
cannabis in her system did not contribute to the accident)
 
People v. King, 2014 IL App (2d) 130461 (November 2014) (officer can testify to how
defendant acted during instructions of HGN even though the results themselves not
admitted)
 
People v. O’Donnell, 2015 IL App (4th) 130358 (March 2015) (officer committed error
when she testified it was her belief that Defendant was lying to her at the scene of the
one car accident and that he was showing deception
 
People v. Kathan, 2014 IL App (2d) 121335 (August 2014) (a drug driving case with an
admission, bad driving and impairment leads to guilt)
 
People v. Morris, 2014 IL App (1st) 130512 (July 2014) (actual physical control
established when defendant passed out in front seat of parked car, the ignition off, the
driver’s side door open, and keys in his right hand)
 
Sentence
 
People v. Lake, 2015 IL App (3d) 140031 (April 2015) (9 year sentence for aggravated
DUI Death conviction upheld; it was not excessive; defendant was racing a horse)
 
People v. Rennie, 2014 IL App (3d) 130014 (May 2014) (16 year olds 6 year sentence
for aggravated DUI upheld she had weed in her system when motorcyclist died in an
accident)
 
People v. Stutzman, 2015 IL App (4th) 130889 (August 2015) (defendant inappropriately plead guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in violation of one
act one crime principles)
 
People v. Mischke, 2014 IL App (2d) 130318 (December 2014) (enhancement to a Class 2 felony occurs whenever a defendant has two prior convictions for any form of DUI, not just aggravated DUIs)
 
People v. Guillen, 2014 IL App (2d) 131216 (November 2014) (misdemeanor plea dismissed after defendant plead guilty and double jeopardy did not attach during the sentencing hearing)
 
Miscellaneous
 
People v. McGuire, 2015 IL App (2d) 131266 (December 2015) (section 11­501(a) of the Vehicle Code does not govern the operation of a watercraft)
 
People v. Hasselbring, 2014 IL App (4th) 131128 (November 2014) (defendant was a biker riding with friends when a friend hit his tire and died there was an error in an answer to a jury instruction)
 
Village of Bull Valley v. Zeinz, 2014 IL App (2d) 140053 (September 2014) (local
conviction for DUI reversed because the village failed to prove that it happened in their
jurisdiction)