FAQ

As a general rule, law enforcement agencies investigate crime and the State’s Attorney’s Office prosecutes cases presented to us by law enforcement.  All crimes should be reported to the law enforcement agency for the area where the crime occurred.  If there is reason to believe that the law enforcement agency has conducted an improper investigation or acted in bad faith, then it may be brought to the attention of the State’s Attorney’s Office to follow up on those matters.

If our office has charged the case, then the ASA assigned to your case should contact you prior to the first court date to discuss it.  Even prior to that call, you can contact us at 618-277-3892 and a Support Staff member can refer you to the correct ASA.

The employer of the officer should be notified immediately so that they can start an internal investigation.  If you believe that a crime has been committed by an officer, you should contact the law enforcement agency for the area where the crime occurred.  If it is the same agency that employs the officer, then contact the Illinois State Police or St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department as well as the officer’s agency so that an investigation can be conducted.

When a charge is brought in a criminal court, it is brought by the State’s Attorneys Office on behalf of all of the People of Illinois, not just the victim in a given case.  The decision to dismiss a case is not taken lightly and cases will not be dismissed solely on the basis that it is the wish of the victim that we do so.  While we appreciate the wishes of victims and will consider their wishes, the State’s Attorney’s Office has a “No-Drop” Policy whereby we proceed even in the absence of cooperative victims where justice so requires.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 415 forbids attorneys from handing over discovery.  Furthermore, the police reports are property of the law enforcement agency that created them, and therefore, even in the absence of Rule 415 forbidding their release, our office still could not release them since they do not belong to us.

The State’s Attorney’s Office represents St. Clair County in civil cases, but we cannot represent private citizens in their own civil cases.  We are also not able to refer individuals to other attorneys for representation due to the fact that it could create a conflict of interest in our dealings with those attorneys.

Assistant State’s Attorneys cannot talk to individuals who are represented by counsel based upon the ethical rules for attorneys in Illinois.  Our ASAs also cannot talk to individuals who do not have an attorney other than during scheduled court appearances.

The State’s Attorney’s Office cannot change your court date or excuse you from appearing in court.  Only the Court can excuse you from appearing and change the court date. Therefore, you must file a motion for continuance with the Circuit Clerk’s Office to have your court date moved.

You should contact the Circuit Clerk’s office to determine what happened at the court date in your absence.  Potential possibilities include a “show cause” (court date reset with a warning), a bench warrant, or an “ex parte conviction” (conviction in your absence).

Yes.  Our attorneys greatly value input from those whom have completed jury service on cases we have tried.  Please feel free to call our office at 618-277-3892 and ask to speak with the ASA on the case.  The odds are the ASA will be glad to hear from you and more than willing to discuss the case.