When may search warrants be legally executed?

On behalf of Law Office of Steven Haney posted in Criminal Defense on Friday, February 28, 2014 A major aim of the criminal justice system is to balance public safety with the privacy rights of anyone who may be accused of criminal wrongdoing. The two priorities within this greater aim tend to bump up against each other in potentially frustrating ways when law enforcement officers wish to search the body, car, home or other property of a person they suspect of engagingContinue reading

Seventh Circuit rules on critical drug sentencing issue

On behalf of Law Office of Steven Haney posted in Drug Crimes on Monday, July 15, 2013 A foundational principle of the criminal justice system is predictability. It is critically important that criminal law functions predictably on two levels. First, members of society must be able to predict and understand what actions will be considered criminally illegal when committed. Second, those who do commit criminal acts must be treated similarly under the law. If individuals are dissimilarly accused, convicted or sentenced, theContinue reading

Wrongful Convictions: Is Any Number Acceptable?

On behalf of Law Office of Steven Haney posted in Expunging a Criminal History on Thursday, June 14, 2012 The justice system in Illinois and throughout the nation is designed to punish those who have broken the law. Unfortunately, the system does not always work perfectly. Too many people end up falsely convicted of crimes – such as sex crimes – they never committed, dealing with a penalty they do not deserve. Since 1989, almost 900 overturned convictions have been registered with the NationalContinue reading

Gang members could soon benefit from retaliation protection

On behalf of Law Office of Steven Haney posted in Felonies on Friday, May 31, 2013 Becoming a member of a gang is an unquestionably hazardous choice. Membership may inspire certain perks, but it also tends to accompany illegal activity and potentially deadly consequences resulting from that activity. Gang-related crime activity is spiking sharply in Illinois. In an effort to quell this tide, the state legislature may soon afford gang members protection from retaliation in exchange for witness testimony related to certain felonies committedContinue reading

Avoiding underage DUI charges during prom season

On behalf of Law Office of Steven Haney posted in DUI on Saturday, May 11, 2013 May and June are traditionally months during which teens all across America are cited for various criminal infractions involving alcohol. Prom night and graduation night are key dates during which local law enforcement are especially vigilant about policing teen gatherings for underage drinking and teen drivers for signs of driving under the influence (DUI). The commonsense answer to this problem is simply abstaining from drinking altogether. However, teensContinue reading

Cold Fact – Law is Local

By Steve Haney posted in Hiring Competent Counsel on Friday, April 19, 2013 “Its not what you know, its who you know” is a saying all have heard.  I am sure it applies to many aspects of life, but none more critical than for someone entering the  justice system charged with a criminal offense.  The vast majority of “criminal defendants” are not the perceived hardened criminal.  Most are regular people who have never been in trouble before, and will, likely, never beContinue reading

Offender Initiative Program – Sentence and Punishment

By Steve Haney posted in Sentence and Punishment on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 A new law entitled the “Offender Initiative Program” has recently taken effect in the State of Illinois regarding sentence and punishment.  In essence, it is a program designed to allow certain first time felony defendants to avoid a felony conviction.  The goal of this program is to reduce recidivism by defendants who can lead productive lives without burdening them with the lifetime label of “convicted felon”. The Offender InitiativeContinue reading

Marijuana drug crimes – Ooh that smell

By Steve Haney posted in Drug Crimes on Saturday, March 16, 2013 The band Lynard Skynard years ago wrote a popular song about the very unique odor of marijuana.  It is an odor unlike any other and can be difficult to disquise.  The odor of marijuana has become a powerful tool for law enforcement for executing car searches for drug crimes in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. Once a police officer makes a traffic stop on a car, his ability to conduct a search of the vehicleContinue reading

Criminal justice matters to be explored by Illinois House committee

On behalf of Law Office of Steven Haney posted in Sentence and Punishment on Thursday, February 28, 2013 In a both just and necessary move, the Illinois House of Representatives has committed to exploring criminal justice inequalities within the state. Specifically, the House has created a committee tasked with addressing these inequalities. Given that the foundations of criminal defense law mandate that the system itself is just, transparent and treats similarly situated individuals equally, the responsibilities of this committee are truly important. The committeeContinue reading

Are hair-trigger parole systems being reformed effectively?

On behalf of Law Office of Steven Haney posted in Sentence and Punishment on Monday, January 7, 2013 When it comes to holding individuals accountable for illegal behavior, the criminal justice system tends to dig its heels in too far and for too long. In addition to requiring any accused individual to mount an extensive criminal defense, those who are convicted may be fined, incarcerated and/or required to submit to alternative sentences. Finally, many individuals are also placed on parole or probation duringContinue reading