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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-23_20171215-045512_1.jpgHaving a conviction or even an arrest on your record can make it difficult to get a good job, obtain a loan or rent an apartment. However, under the right circumstances and with the right help, it is possible to have your record expunged, which allows a person to live life without having past mistakes hold them back.

Do You Qualify?   

The first thing a person should know is that the state of Illinois does not offer record expungement of all offenses or convictions. Unfortunately, there are some things that will follow you throughout life regardless of how long ago they occurred. So what are some of the details that might impact one’s ability to seek and obtain destruction of past criminal records?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-18.jpgIn the weeks leading up to the new year, counties throughout Illinois are preparing to implement the facets of a new law that should reduce jail overcrowding. Signed into law earlier this year, the Illinois Bail Reform Act was created with a goal of making it easier for those charged with minor criminal offenses to remain free until they are required to appear in court. 

Defendants Now Have Options to Gain Release

Proponents of the new legislation indicated that the previous bail system unfairly detained the poor and indigent for relatively minor offenses. The new law is said to restore a defendant’s constitutional rights, and avoid serving time in jail prior to actually receiving a trial. 

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Posted on in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-9.jpgWhile reports of gun violence, the opioid epidemic, and cyber crimes seem to dominate the news these days, occurrences of carjackings are on the rise in northeast Illinois. A violent crime that seems to have evolved from car theft now resembles more of an armed robbery or strongarm robbery.

By The Numbers

Once thought to be confined to high-crime neighborhoods, reports of carjackings are on the uptick in areas throughout Chicago. Since nearly 900 carjacking reports were made in 2007, carjacking reports slowly decreased to about 300 incidents in 2014. However, this type of crime has steadily increased to the point that the number reported through October of this year is nearly equal to all of 2016.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_513221947.jpgThe justice system allows for a number of alternatives for offenders who, rather than serving jail time, can make amends for illegal behavior by taking part in a diversion program. One specific type of program is the Veterans Treatment Court, which was created to for those who served in a branch of the military who find themselves facing drug charges or a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest.

An Alternative to Incarceration

Set up similar to that of a drug treatment or mental health treatment court, the very first veterans court began hearing cases in 2008 in Buffalo, New York. These veterans courts have since been established throughout the country, including Illinois. These courts were designed specifically to hear cases involving United States veterans after it was determined that many offenses were the result of battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_633967292.jpgExcept in cases of murder, treason, arson and forgery, among others, the prosecution of crimes is restricted by a statute of limitations. This law sets a time limit under which law enforcement and prosecutors have to charge a suspect with a crime. Illinois made a change earlier this year when legislation was passed and signed that eliminated the statute of limitations for sexual assault and abuse committed against children. 

Reaction to Decades-Old Case Prompted Change

A once-prominent elected official  from the state of Illinois had sexually abused high school students during his time as a teacher and coach in the 1960s and 1970s. When it was learned that he would only face sentencing for financial-related crimes, citizens urged their legislators to make changes to state law. 

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