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In Illinois, can a jury trial be demanded for a vehicle

In Illinois, can a...

In Illinois, can a jury trial be demanded for a vehicle forfeiture proceeding which is related to a commission of a crime while using the vehicle? e.g. driving while revoked while driving a vehicle.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

Illinois and it is not a car but a tractor, backhoe it age is 17 years old.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Filed or reported, in what context? the state has filed the complaint in forfeiture in circuit not federal court.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not really, can the owner or the forfeiture proceeding be moved to Jury trial as opposed to a bench trial. not the criminal prosecution, but the forfeiture proceeding.

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
8/14/2017
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

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No Illinois law specifies that this is a bench trial in front of a judge.Please don't shoot the messenger here but the judge hears it and rules on it under Illinois law.

Reference

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1977&ChapterID=54

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/reports/asset-forfeiture-in-illinois/

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he government must follow strict guidelines in order to initiate and prevail at seizure and forfeiture proceedings. The police cannot just take a person’s property without due process being afforded to the property owner. Once law enforcement seizes a certain property, the state must quickly seek a ruling from a circuit court that there is probable cause that the property is subject to forfeiture. Once the court finds probable cause at a hearing, the court can order the property be held until the end of the forfeiture proceedings.

A property owner must respond in writing to the government’s petition for forfeiture within a given time period, and he or she has a right to appear at the hearing. A true property owner, an individual with a secured interest, or a lienholder can argue for the release of the property during proceedings. They need to convince the court that a substantial hardship will result without the access or use of said property. If the court orders the release of a property while forfeiture proceedings are pending, then the property owner must post a cash bond or security as determined by the court.

At a forfeiture hearing, the government must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was used in the commission of the crime in order to prevail. Likewise, the property owner or lienholder must show by a preponderance of the evidence that he, the owner, did not know or have reason to know that the property was used in the commission of a crime, or that some other exception in the statute applies. This used to be called the "innocent owner" exception.

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