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Timothy D. Smith
Timothy D. Smith, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2020
Experience:  In House Counsel for Law Enforcement Agency
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I am a victim of a violent crime. The perpetrator is in prison

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I am a victim of a violent crime. The perpetrator is in prison for these crimes. The Illinois states atty called me to ask me if I was okay with the perpetrator getting his belongings back. The belongings they are speaking of are guns used in the crime as well as a lap top and $2,000 in cash that he had on his person when the crime was committed. I am not comfortable with him getting back any of these belongings. I was told by the states atty simply that they are his things and he has the right to get them back. What about my rights as the victim? I dont' understand why they would call and ask me and then let it be okay for him to have these things. What is the law in Illinois on this? Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Timothy D. Smith replied 11 months ago.

I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. The reason the authorities called you about this situation is because they are required to under Illinois law. The law is called the "Rights Of Crime Victims & Witnesses Act". Here is a link to the law...which is quite long: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1970&ChapAct=725%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B120%2F&ChapterID=54&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+PROCEDURE&ActName=Rights+of+Crime+Victims+and+Witnesses+Act%2E

 

The Attorney General's Office is also obligated to contact you when the person is up for parole and when they are about to be released from prison under this law.

 

As to why they would contact you and then seem to side with the perpetrator, I have no idea. That is very counterintuitive. Moreover, it sounds like he was convicted of a felony based on the information you provided with him being in prison. As such, and as a convicted felon, he cannot possess or be around a firearm of any type.

 

To that point, guns used to commit a crime and later confiscated by the state are supposed to be destroyed by the state.

 

You need to write a letter to the Attorney General's office particularly pointing these facts out. You also need to send a copy of that letter to your State Representative and Senator and request assistance in making sure that this individual does not receive that which he has requested.

 

Make sure that you keep copies of all letters sent to these people for your own records. If it appears that they are going to give this property back, you could petition the court that convicted this person to issue an injunction that would prevent the person from receiving this property.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

 

Best wishes going forward!

Timothy D. Smith, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2020
Experience: In House Counsel for Law Enforcement Agency
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