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Driving on Revoked License Motion Granted Dismissed

In Criminal Law Case People v. J.M. on April 4, 2012 there was a finding of No Probable Cause during the Preliminary Hearing at the courthouse located in Chicago commonly referred to as 51st and Wentworth, Branch 48. The defendant was charged with a felony count of retail theft outside of J.C. Penny’s for his alleged taking of a $30 dollar belt from a store located at the Ford City shopping mall. Usually retail thefts of under $300 are charged as Class A Misdemeanors punishable by up to 364 days in the County jail and a fine up to $2,500, however, based on the Illinois Retail Theft Statute 720 ILCS 16-25 the law allows for the offense to be upgraded to a felony if the accused has a qualifying previous conviction. J.M. did have a qualifying previous conviction and was therefore charged with a Class 4 Felony, punishable by 1 to 3 years in the State penitentiary. Significantly, the defendant was on felony probation at the time he committed the offense and was being held without bond until the outcome of the preliminary hearing.

Under Illinois Criminal Law, Preliminary hearings are intended to establish whether it is more likely than not that a crime occurred and whether it is more likely or not that the accused was involved in the commission of that offense. During these preliminary hearing the State’s Attorney calls witnesses to establish their case. After these witnesses testify for the prosecution they are then subject to questions, called “cross examination” by the defendant’s attorney.

In the case of the People v. J.M. attorney Stefan Fenner, from David S. Olshansky & Associates, represented the defendant during the hearing. The prosecution presented two witnesses; the first was a clerk from the store of the alleged violation and the second was a State’s Attorney to provide information about the defendant’s previous conviction which allowed for the upgrade from a misdemeanor to a felony.

After Mr. Fenner’s cross examination of the witnesses the Judge agreed that there was insufficient evidence for probable cause and dismissed all of the allegations against the defendant. One day later, April 5, 2012, attorney David Olshansky appeared before the judge who put the no-bond order on J.M. and had the hold lifted and our client will sleep at home for the first time in several weeks.

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