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State’s Attorney: Felonies down, abuse numbers up in county

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Kane County saw a decrease in felonies in 2013, but also an uptick in abuse and neglect petitions, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said Tuesday.

Felony, misdemeanor and DUI filings in the county are lower for 2013 compared to 2012, according to initial data from the State’s Attorney’s Office. There has been an increase over the same period in abuse and neglect petitions. McMahon previewed the findings of the State’s Attorney’s Office annual report during his monthly media meeting.

McMahon said there have been more referrals to the Kane County Child Advocacy Center in 2013 compared to 2012.

The office prosecutes allegations of sexual abuse involving those under age 16, abuse by a family member or anyone who is more than five years older than the accuser.

McMahon did not discuss the specific numbers for 2013 because he had only preliminary data at this time. His office plans to release the 2013 year-end report with the final numbers by early next month.

In 2012, the State’s Attorney’s Office authorized 2,602 felony cases. The office also filed 1,373 misdemeanor DUI cases, according to its 2012 annual report. The Child Advocacy Center in 2012 conducted 285 investigations and closed 271 investigations, including those initiated in prior years, the report said.

McMahon also discussed laws that would have some impact on the State’s Attorney’s Office, including the introduction of medicinal marijuana in the state. The law will change DUI prosecutions if the offender charged has a medical marijuana registration card that allows them to consume marijuana, McMahon said.

Before this year, prosecutors had to prove only that an offender had any amount of cannabis in his or her system beyond a reasonable doubt for a driving under the influence of drugs charge. If the offender is in possession of a valid medical marijuana card, that state has to prove actual impairment, McMahon said.

“Just because someone has a registration card doesn’t mean they can drive under the influence of cannabis,” McMahon said at the meeting. “It’s still illegal for them to drive if they’re impaired by the presence of cannabis in their system.”

If the offender doesn’t have a medical marijuana card, then the existing law applies, McMahon said.

As for concealed carry, the State’s Attorney’s Office received access this week to completed applications. The office will work with Illinois State Police to check local applicants and pass along any objections when they are identified, McMahon said.

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