What is an indictment in the legal world?

An indictment in the legal world refers to a formal written accusation or charge against an individual or entity that alleges that they have committed a criminal offense. It is typically issued by a grand jury or a prosecutor in a criminal case after they have gathered sufficient evidence to believe that a crime has been committed and that the person or entity named in the indictment is responsible for it.

An indictment outlines the specific charges, details of the alleged offense, and other relevant information. It serves as the foundation for the subsequent legal proceedings in a criminal case, providing notice to the accused of the charges they are facing and the basis for those charges.

Indictments are a critical part of the criminal justice system in many jurisdictions and are designed to ensure that individuals are informed of the allegations against them and have an opportunity to defend themselves in court. The issuance of an indictment does not indicate guilt; it’s a formal step in the legal process that initiates criminal proceedings and leads to a trial, plea negotiation, or other resolution of the case.

The historical origins of the 5th Amendment.

The historical origins of the 5th Amendment can be traced back to English common law and the struggles for individual rights and liberties. The amendment is part of the United States Bill of Rights, which was added to the Constitution to protect the rights of American citizens.

The 5th Amendment was ratified in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, which comprises the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Its origins can be traced to several key historical events and principles:

  1. English Common Law: The concept of the 5th Amendment has its roots in English common law, where certain rights were recognized as fundamental protections against the arbitrary exercise of government power. These principles were brought to the American colonies by English settlers.
  2. Magna Carta (1215): One of the earliest sources of protection against government abuse can be found in the Magna Carta, a foundational legal document in English history. Issued by King John of England in 1215, the Magna Carta established the principle that no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
  3. Colonial Experience: The American colonists experienced various grievances under British rule, including violations of their rights to trial by jury and protection against self-incrimination. These experiences further fueled the desire to enshrine protections in the form of amendments to the newly drafted Constitution.
  4. Influence of State Constitutions: Several state constitutions, adopted prior to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, already included provisions similar to those found in the 5th Amendment. These state-level protections were influential in shaping the Bill of Rights.
  5. Constitutional Convention: During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, there was a heated debate over the inclusion of a Bill of Rights. Some framers, like James Madison, initially opposed it, arguing that the Constitution itself provided sufficient protection for individual rights. However, others, including anti-Federalists, insisted on the inclusion of explicit protections. The eventual compromise led to the addition of the Bill of Rights, which included the 5th Amendment.

The 5th Amendment guarantees several important rights, including protection against double jeopardy, the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination, and the right to due process of law. It plays a vital role in safeguarding individual liberties and ensuring that the government cannot deprive citizens of their life, liberty, or property without following established legal procedures.

What is unique about the U.S. legal system?

What is unique about the U.S. legal system?
The U.S. legal system is unique in a number of ways. Here are some of the most distinctive features:
A written constitution. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and all other laws must be consistent with it. This gives the Constitution a special place in the U.S. legal system, and it has been used to protect individual rights and liberties.
The separation of powers. The U.S. government is divided into three branches: the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. This system of checks and balances helps to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful.
The adversarial system. In the U.S. legal system, the two sides in a case (the plaintiff and the defendant) are represented by lawyers who argue their case before a judge or jury. This system is designed to ensure that both sides have a fair opportunity to present their case and that the truth will be uncovered.
The jury system. In criminal cases, the jury is responsible for deciding whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. This system is based on the idea that ordinary citizens are best able to determine the guilt or innocence of a defendant.
The use of precedent. In the U.S. legal system, judges are bound by the decisions of previous cases. This is known as the doctrine of stare decisis, and it helps to ensure that the law is applied fairly and consistently.
These are just some of the unique features of the U.S. legal system. It is a complex and evolving system, but it is one that is designed to protect individual rights and liberties, uphold the rule of law, and ensure justice for all.
In addition to the features mentioned above, the U.S. legal system is also characterized by its emphasis on individual rights, its adversarial nature, and its use of juries. These features have been both praised and criticized, but they have helped to shape the U.S. legal system into what it is today.

What are the responsibilities of a criminal defense lawyer?

A criminal defense lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in defending individuals or organizations accused of criminal offenses. Their primary responsibility is to protect the rights of their clients and ensure they receive a fair trial. Here are some of the key responsibilities of a criminal defense lawyer:

  1. Legal Counsel: Criminal defense lawyers provide legal advice and guidance to their clients throughout the entire legal process. They explain the charges against their clients, assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, and discuss the potential consequences and options available.
  2. Case Analysis: Lawyers carefully review all the evidence, witness statements, and legal documentation related to the case. They analyze the facts to identify any legal loopholes, inconsistencies, or potential defenses that can be used to protect their client’s interests.
  3. Investigation: Criminal defense attorneys conduct independent investigations to gather additional evidence or information that can support their client’s defense. They may hire investigators, interview witnesses, review surveillance footage, or consult with experts to build a strong case.
  4. Legal Strategy: Based on their analysis and investigation, defense lawyers develop a legal strategy tailored to their client’s specific circumstances. They determine the most appropriate defense approach, such as challenging the evidence, questioning witnesses’ credibility, or negotiating for a favorable plea deal.
  5. Court Representation: Defense lawyers represent their clients in court proceedings. They present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, object to improper evidence, and make motions to protect their client’s rights. They also prepare and deliver opening statements, closing arguments, and handle all necessary legal procedures during trial.
  6. Negotiation: Criminal defense attorneys engage in negotiations with prosecutors to seek a favorable outcome for their clients. This may involve plea bargaining, where they work to reduce charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. They strive to secure the best possible outcome, whether it’s a dismissal, reduced charges, or minimized penalties.
  7. Legal Advocacy: Defense lawyers advocate for their clients’ rights at all stages of the legal process. They ensure that their clients’ constitutional rights, such as the right to a fair trial, due process, and protection against self-incrimination, are upheld. They may challenge the admissibility of evidence obtained unlawfully or argue for the suppression of certain statements.
  8. Expertise and Research: Criminal defense lawyers stay up-to-date with changes in criminal law, precedents, and legal strategies. They conduct legal research to support their arguments, stay informed about relevant case law, and apply their expertise to develop strong defenses.
  9. Client Support: Defense attorneys provide emotional support and reassurance to their clients throughout the legal proceedings. They maintain open lines of communication, address concerns, and ensure their clients are well-informed about the progress of their case.
  10. Post-Trial Actions: In the event of a conviction, criminal defense lawyers may assist their clients with post-trial actions such as filing appeals, seeking sentence reductions, or exploring other legal remedies to challenge the verdict or reduce the penalties imposed.

It’s important to note that the specific responsibilities of a criminal defense lawyer can vary depending on the jurisdiction, the nature of the case, and the individual circumstances.

Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution

Under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, individuals are granted several important rights that protect them in criminal proceedings. The Fifth Amendment states:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Here are the key rights provided by the Fifth Amendment:

  1. Protection against Self-Incrimination: The Fifth Amendment guarantees that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” This means that an individual cannot be forced to testify or provide self-incriminating evidence that may be used against them in a criminal trial.
  2. Protection against Double Jeopardy: The “Double Jeopardy” clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the government from prosecuting an individual twice for the same offense. Once a person has been acquitted or convicted of a particular crime, they cannot be tried again for that same crime.
  3. Right to Due Process: The Fifth Amendment safeguards an individual’s right to due process of law. This means that the government must follow fair and established legal procedures before depriving a person of their life, liberty, or property. It ensures that individuals receive fair treatment, notice of the charges against them, and an opportunity to be heard in court.
  4. Grand Jury Indictment: In cases involving serious crimes, the Fifth Amendment requires that a person can only be prosecuted for a capital or infamous crime after being indicted by a grand jury. However, this requirement does not apply to cases arising in the military or militia during times of war or public danger.
  5. Protection of Private Property: The “Takings Clause” of the Fifth Amendment ensures that the government cannot take private property for public use without providing just compensation to the owner. This protection is often associated with the concept of eminent domain, which allows the government to take private property for public use, but only if fair compensation is provided.

These rights granted by the Fifth Amendment are essential for safeguarding individuals’ liberties and ensuring fairness and justice in the criminal justice system.

The law of personal injury

The law of personal injury, also known as tort law, is a legal framework that governs cases where a person has suffered harm or injury due to the actions or negligence of another party. Personal injury law allows individuals who have been injured to seek compensation for their losses and damages.

Here are some key aspects of personal injury law:

  1. Negligence: Many personal injury cases are based on the concept of negligence. To establish negligence, the injured party must show that the responsible party owed them a duty of care, breached that duty, and as a result, caused injury or harm. For example, in a car accident case, a driver may be considered negligent if they were texting while driving and caused a collision.
  2. Types of Personal Injury Cases: Personal injury cases can arise from various situations, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, workplace accidents, and intentional acts like assault or battery. Each type of case may have specific legal elements and requirements that need to be met.
  3. Damages: In personal injury cases, the injured party may be entitled to different types of damages, including economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other measurable financial losses. Non-economic damages cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  4. Statute of Limitations: Personal injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations, which is the timeframe within which a lawsuit must be filed. The specific time limits vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of case. Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation.
  5. Insurance and Settlements: In many personal injury cases, insurance companies are involved. The injured party may need to communicate and negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a settlement. It’s important to understand that insurance companies may try to minimize the amount of compensation paid, so it can be helpful to have legal representation to protect your interests.
  6. Role of Personal Injury Lawyers: Personal injury lawyers specialize in representing individuals who have been injured due to the negligence of others. They provide legal advice, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, file lawsuits and represent their clients in court. Having a skilled personal injury lawyer can significantly increase the chances of obtaining fair compensation.

It’s worth noting that personal injury laws can vary between jurisdictions, so it’s important to consult with a legal professional or research the specific laws in your area if you have a personal injury case or need legal advice.

A general outline of the American legal system

A general outline of the American legal system: The American legal system is based on the common law system, which means that it is based on precedents set by previous court cases. The system is divided into two levels: the federal court system and the state court system.
The federal court system has three main levels: district courts, circuit courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States. District courts are the trial courts of the federal system, and they have jurisdiction over a variety of cases involving federal law. Circuit courts are the appeals courts of the federal system, and they review decisions made by district courts. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal system, and it has the power to decide cases that involve important issues of federal law.
The state court system is divided into two main levels: trial courts and appellate courts. Trial courts are the courts where cases are first heard, and they have jurisdiction over a variety of cases involving state law. Appellate courts review decisions made by trial courts, and they have the power to overturn decisions that they find to be incorrect.
The American legal system is a complex system, but it is designed to ensure that justice is served. The system is based on the principle of due process, which means that everyone has the right to a fair trial. The system is also based on the principle of equal protection, which means that everyone is treated equally under the law.

One of the most important documents in legal history.

One of the most important documents in history.
The Magna Carta, also known as the Great Charter, is a historic document that was signed in 1215 by King John of England. The Magna Carta is one of the most significant legal documents in history, and it has been a source of inspiration for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.
At the time of its signing, the Magna Carta was primarily a document that established limits on the powers of the King. It was written by a group of powerful barons who were frustrated with the King’s authoritarian rule and sought to protect their rights and privileges. The Magna Carta contained provisions that addressed various issues, including the rights of free men, the limits on the power of the King, and the administration of justice.
One of the most significant provisions in the Magna Carta was the right to due process. This provision ensured that no one could be deprived of their life, liberty, or property without being given a fair trial. The Magna Carta also established the principle that the law applies to everyone, including the King, and that no one is above the law.
The Magna Carta also established the principle of taxation with representation. This meant that the King could not levy taxes without the consent of the barons, which was an important step towards establishing a representative government.
While the Magna Carta was primarily a document that addressed the rights of the barons, its impact went far beyond this group. Over time, the Magna Carta became a symbol of freedom and justice, and it inspired many people to fight for their rights and freedoms.
One of the most significant examples of the influence of the Magna Carta was in the development of the United States Constitution. Many of the principles and provisions in the Magna Carta, such as the right to due process, the rule of law, and the principle of taxation with representation, were incorporated into the US Constitution.
The Magna Carta also influenced the development of human rights law around the world. It inspired the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948. The principles of the Magna Carta continue to be relevant today, and they are a reminder of the importance of protecting human rights, the rule of law, and democratic values.
In conclusion, the Magna Carta is a historic document that played a significant role in the development of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Its provisions addressed issues that were relevant at the time of its signing, and its influence has continued to shape legal and political systems around the world. The Magna Carta serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting individual rights and freedoms and the rule of law, and its principles continue to be relevant today.

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.

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