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Chicago criminal defense lawyerLast month, Illinois lawmakers passed legislation that would eliminate the use of cash bail in criminal courts throughout the state. The measure, which is now awaiting the expected signature of Governor J.B. Pritzker, is being touted by supporters as a strong step toward creating a more equitable justice system for Illinois residents of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Understanding How Bail Works in Illinois

When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, he or she is generally required to make an appearance in front of a judge in a preliminary hearing. This usually happens within 48 hours of the arrest. At this hearing, the judge will consider the details of the alleged crime and determine if the probable cause presented by law enforcement was sufficient to justify the arrest. If the offense in question is a misdemeanor, the suspect is likely to be given a date for the next required court appearance and released on his or her own recognizance. If the offense is a felony, the next appearance will be scheduled, and the judge must then determine the bond conditions on which the suspect may be released.

A bond is an agreement between the suspect and the court in which the suspect promises to appear as ordered in all future proceedings related to his or her case. In most jurisdictions, a bond agreement usually requires some type of collateral—most often in the form of cash—commonly referred to as bail. The amount of required bail typically depends on the severity of the alleged crime, the danger that the suspect poses to the community, and whether the suspect is a flight risk.


Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Ilinois criminal statutesIllinois lawmakers and advocates are hoping that new, recently proposed legislation will encourage more victims of sex crimes to come forward and seek justice. Historically, victims of sex crimes, such as rape, are hesitant to come forward for a number of reasons. Many fear not being believed. Others fear retaliation from their abuser. Studies show how significant the problem is. Recent studies and surveys say that only a small number of rapes, somewhere between five and 20 percent of incidents, are actually reported, meaning many perpetrators walk free and are able to commit further crimes.

Additionally, sex crime advocates say that many of the cases that are reported are mishandled by authorities or are not investigated thoroughly enough. If passed into law, Senate Bill 3096, would help victims come forward and report their crimes, and ensure that police departments across the state handled each case appropriately.

Helping Victims Come Forward

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