Articles Posted in Bond Hearings/Preliminary Hearings

Most people are surprised to learn that an “administrative court” system exists in Illinois that functions primarily independent of our traditional court system.   These “administrative courts” are created by cities and villages. Fines can be up to $750.00 per offense, and a person can be jailed for up to 6 months if the municipal offense in a misdemeanor. Many of the traditional criminal cases such as theft,  possession of a controlled substance, battery, assault, etc. are now being decided by appointed “hearing officers” under the label of “quasi-criminal criminal cases.”  The “story” goes that these proceedings are civil, and thus, are not “real” criminal cases. Although administrative rulings by appointed hearing officers/judges that deal with quasi-criminal cases can be appealed to Judicial Court, they rarely ar...

Kim Foxx was sworn in as the new Cook County State’s Attorney last week. Yesterday, she made her first major announcement.  She announced that her office will not be charging Retail Theft cases as felonies unless the amount that is involved is more than $1,000 or if the defendant does not have anything less than 10 prior Felony Retail Theft convictions.   This announcement represents a dramatic shift in policy at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.  Under current state law, you can be charged with a Class 4 Felony Retail Theft if the amount of the goods involved is more than $300 or if you have one prior felony retail theft conviction.  If you have one prior felony conviction you can be charged with a felony even if the amount is under $300.  If the amount is over $500, you can ...

When somebody is arrested and charged with a felony, they have a right to a bond hearing.  At the bond hearing, the judge determines how much money needs to be posted in order for someone charged with a felony to be released from jail.  The statute that lays out the various factors that must be taken into consideration when setting the amount of the bond provides that the court should take into consideration the background, character, and criminal record of the defendant.  The court should also take into consideration the nature of the offense that a defendant is charged with and their criminal record and criminal background.  The purpose of the bond is to ensure that the defendant appears in court and that the public be protected from any potential harm that the defendant could cause.  The bond amount set by the court can have enormous...

My client’s felony drug case was dismissed after a finding of no probable cause at the preliminary hearing at the Cook County Court Brach 50 (Grand & Central). My client is an armed security guard and a criminal conviction would have had serious consequences on his life, his FOID card and his Conceal and Carry License. He was pulled over for a traffic violation but was driving on a suspended driver’s license. He was arrested and the police found two zip lock baggies of marijuana and one pill of Ecstacy on him. The Cook County States Attorney dismissed the marijuana charges per the recent change in policy of not prosecuting  marijuana possession cases for under 30 grams in most cases. However, the police officer was present and the State proceeded to preliminary hearing on t...