Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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May 2015 Archives

DUI bill will change some penalties

A bill pending in the Illinois state legislature would increase the penalties for a second DUI conviction by imposing a mandatory requirement for a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) to be installed on their vehicle. The bill would also require a BAIID for first time DUI offenders involved in accidents that result in severe injuries. And the bill would reduce some of the requirements for jail time for some DUI convictions where an ignition interlock is installed.

Will Illinois see decriminalization of marijuana next year?

It could happen. A bill has cleared the Illinois legislature that would change the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana from their current level, which includes jail time and substantial fines to something more like a speeding violation.

Reasonable Suspicion (Cont.)

As the judge in Kim notes, another question is what is it that the officer must suspect? Because a warrantless search is an exception to the Fourth Amendment, which otherwise demands a judge to issue a search warrant upon a showing of probable cause, the officer must suspect an imminent or ongoing crime. Otherwise, they should visit a judge, show their probable cause and obtain a valid search warrant.

Reasonable Suspicion

Last week, in discussing the case involving the search of a man's laptop as he left the country last time, we noted that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from "unreasonable searches." This means to varying degrees, any discussion involving the Fourth Amendment and search and seizure will involve questions of reasonableness.

A border search should involve a border (continued)

The government maintained that seizing of the laptop in the jetway, imaging the hard drive and then subjecting that hard drive, looking for evidence of its owner selling of technology to Iran, was not subject to Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches because this was a routine "border search," akin to searching a piece of luggage for contraband.

A border search should involve a border

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches, i.e. the police randomly kicking in doors and rifling through the contents of homes and businesses. In order to search a person's home, car, briefcase or other possession, such as a laptop, the police need to obtain a search warrant, issued by a judge after a showing of probable cause of some crime.

Yes, they still arrest people with marijuana in Illinois

With much of the discussion of marijuana involving the greater acceptance of the use of medical marijuana and the outright legalization of the substance in some states, may lead some to conclude that purchasing, using, and even selling marijuana is no big deal, and that they are unlikely to be subject to prosecution.

FBI hair analysis described as "complete disaster" Pt.2

Most people, most attorneys and most judges are not trained scientific researchers and therefore do not have the technical knowledge to determine the validity of many elements of scientific testimony. This is why experts are important, and it is vitally important that those experts are trustworthy and that the process is handled with scrupulous integrity.