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Enhanced Sentences Can Occur for Certain Subsequent Sentences

Effective January 1, 2017, Illinois requires judges to provide expanded admonishments with respect to guilty pleas. Admonishments are warnings of certain consequences read by the judge to a defendant prior to the judge accepting a plea bargain. The new admonishments includes a warning that in addition to any penalties imposed by the court, there may be certain collateral consequences. See 725 ILCS 5/113-4. In theory, the enhanced admonishments are intended to allow an accused to make a better, more informed decision. In practice, the enhanced admonishments will limit appeals based on claims of “I-did-not-know” and claims based of “my-lawyer-did-not-tell-me.”

The new law requires that, before a guilty plea can be accepted, the judge must explain to the defendant the following:

  • The maximum and minimum penalty that the judge is allowed to impose
  • That, as a consequence of the plea of guilty, a future sentence for a future criminal conviction may be increased
  • That, as a consequence of the plea of guilty, if there is a future criminal conviction, consecutive sentences are more likely to be imposed
  • That, as a consequence the plea of guilty, there may be registration requirements that restrict where the defendant may work, live, or be present
  • That, as a consequence of a conviction or a plea of guilty, there may be an impact upon the defendant’s ability to, among other things, retain or obtain housing in the public or private market, retain or obtain employment, and retain or obtain a firearm, an occupational license, or a driver’s license.
Brian L. Polinske
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