November 20, 2004, 04:51 PM
Ok, I'm curious to know what agency is providing the $220K grant. It is also obvious that our incoming states attorney doesn't understand Lautenberg. Domestic Battery doesn't have to be a felony case for those convicted of it to lose their RKBA.
The county is over run with meth labs and the new guy wants to take peoples FOID cards away. It's going to be an interesting 3 years...
A new program that will soon be implemented to 'get-tough' on those committing domestic battery is raising concerns about the impact on the rest of the court system.
Incoming State's Attorney Matt Wilzbach says the office has received a two year $220,000 pilot grant to try and reduce the problem with domestic battery. He says under the program, the practice of filing what should be felony domestic battery cases as simple battery will stop.
The concern is if the cases are felonies, will those charged be more likely to seek jury trials to avoid a felony conviction and loss of their firearm owners identification card.
Wilzbach says he realizes hunting is popular in the county, but people will also have to understand that those who are convicted of felony domestic violence will likely loss their FOID card. He admits there might be an increase in defendants requesting jury trials, but says his office will deal with it.
The grant will allow the state's attorney's office to hire an additional assistant who will solely handle domestic violence cases, an investigator for the state's attorney's office and a victim advocate for the People Against Violent Environments organization.
Judge David Sauer has warned the county board the crackdown on domestic violence could have the side effect of increasing the workload on the already stressed public defenders and more people being housed in the county jail.
November 20, 2004, 04:57 PM
He may not be so stupid. Lautenburg only applies to misdemeanor battery. therefor, if you have a felony against you - it doesn't qualify and therefor you may have a shot at retaining your weapons (albeit the felony statutes against gun ownership). But, if filed as a felony - it looks like you automatically lose your FOID and therefor he gets you coming and going.
November 20, 2004, 04:58 PM
...those who are convicted of felony domestic violence will likely loss their FOID card.
People who can't tell "loss" from "lose" and singulars from plurals shouldn't try to masquerade as journalists.
November 20, 2004, 05:35 PM
Domestic Battery is a misdemeanor unless it has certain additional comonents:
(720 ILCS 5/12‑3.2) (from Ch. 38, par. 12‑3.2)
Sec. 12‑3.2. Domestic Battery.
(a) A person commits domestic battery if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification by any means:
(1) Causes bodily harm to any family or household
member as defined in subsection (3) of Section 112A‑3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, as amended;
(2) Makes physical contact of an insulting or
provoking nature with any family or household member as defined in subsection (3) of Section 112A‑3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, as amended.
(b) Sentence. Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor. Domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if the defendant has any prior conviction under this Code for domestic battery (Section 12‑3.2) or violation of an order of protection (Section 12‑30), or any prior conviction under the law of another jurisdiction for an offense which is substantially similar. Domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if the defendant has any prior conviction under this Code for first degree murder (Section 9‑1), attempt to commit first degree murder (Section 8‑4), aggravated domestic battery (Section 12‑3.3), aggravated battery (Section 12‑4), heinous battery (Section 12‑4.1), aggravated battery with a firearm (Section 12‑4.2), aggravated battery of a child (Section 12‑4.3), aggravated battery of an unborn child (Section 12‑4.4), aggravated battery of a senior citizen (Section 12‑4.6), stalking (Section 12‑7.3), aggravated stalking (Section 12‑7.4), criminal sexual assault (Section 12‑13), aggravated criminal sexual assault (12‑14), kidnapping (Section 10‑1), aggravated kidnapping (Section 10‑2), predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (Section 12‑14.1), aggravated criminal sexual abuse (Section 12‑16), unlawful restraint (Section 10‑3), aggravated unlawful restraint (Section 10‑3.1), aggravated arson (Section 20‑1.1), or aggravated discharge of a firearm (Section 24‑1.2), or any prior conviction under the law of another jurisdiction for any offense that is substantially similar to the offenses listed in this Section, when any of these offenses have been committed against a family or household member as defined in Section 112A‑3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. In addition to any other sentencing alternatives, for any second or subsequent conviction of violating this Section, the offender shall be mandatorily sentenced to a minimum of 72 consecutive hours of imprisonment. The imprisonment shall not be subject to suspension, nor shall the person be eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence.
What was happening was that misdemeanor domestic battery charges were often being plead out to simple battery charges. Once people were informed they'd lose their RKBA after a domestic battery conviction, they were demanding jury trials. The county is flat broke. The circuirt court isn't in that good of shape. So we now have some agency giving a $220K grant to prosecute more of these cases. But there is no grant to offset the rest of the costs. Like Judge Sauer said, there isn't any more money for public defenders. There isn't any more money for the jail. We have a new jail now, but this will certainly contribute to filling it with locals (we're currently offsetting costs by housing federal prisoners and overflow from other counties) What this is boilling down to, is that the taxpayers are unable to afford all this justice. I guess in a perfect world there would be enough police, prosecutors, public defenders and jail space to accomodate all the crime that is out there. But the world we live in is far from perfect. I wonder if Senator Lautenberg thought about the strain his famous amendment would put on local jurisdictions? My question is, what crimes are going to be plead out or dismissed while we put all this emphisis on domestic violence for the next two years?
November 20, 2004, 08:00 PM
Come now, Jeff. You've been in law enforcement to know that's it's all about the money. :)
Grant is tied into a felony body count, just like the drug grants.
The money, the dinero, the geld, the denek--it's all about it. :D
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