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Whiteside County has been live with E911 since December 1992. Prior to 911 going online, there were 38 different telephone numbers for emergency services in Whiteside County.
E911or Enhanced 911 provides the dispatcher with the caller's telephone number, address, and the Police, Fire, and EMS Agencies responsible for that location.
Whiteside County has two PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points)
911 should be used to report emergencies like a shooting, a fire, a traffic accident, a person choking, a fight, or a display of weapons.
911 should not be used to report problems with telephones, power, or cable television outages. 911 should also not be used to request legal advice or in place of directory assistance.
If you accidentally dial 911, do not hang up. The call will complete to the Dispatch Center even though you hang up. The dispatcher will attempt to call you back to see if there is an emergency or possibly send an officer to your address to check on you. Stay on the line and advise the dispatcher that you misdialed. They will verify your address and telephone number before releasing your call.
Yes, cell phones that no longer have service can be used to dial 911, however, the dispatcher will receive no information about the caller - no name, number or address information as the phone is “not activated”. Be prepared to provide your name and location of the emergency.
The court has placed you on probation and ordered you to report within 5 days. You can check in between 8 am to 4:30 pm at the court services office in Sterling or Morrison. At the first contact basic information will be obtained and an intake appointment will be scheduled with the department’s intake officer. You will be given an intake worksheet to complete and bring to your initial appointment.
The intake appointment will last approximately one hour. It is best if you do not bring children to your intake appointment or probation appointments. You must bring a completed intake worksheet, a copy of a recent pay stub and/or proof of employment, and proof of address (an envelope with your name/address or rent receipt). Also, be prepared to take a drug test.
No, except with the prior consent of the probation office or the court. To temporarily leave the state while on probation you must contact your probation officer for a travel permit. To move out of state contact your probation officer about the rules for interstate transfer. There are very specific guidelines that must be followed.
A travel permit is a document that is issued to a defendant by the probation department allowing the defendant to travel outside the state of Illinois. A defendant must provide the address of the destination, with whom they will be residing, and a contact phone number if possible. The travel permit is signed by both the defendant and the probation officer with an agreement to return to the state of Illinois.
All monies are paid to the Whiteside County circuit clerk’s office in the form of cash or money order.
To reschedule an appointment you must speak with your probation officer. Leaving a voice mail message will not reset your appointment. If you need immediate attention or have a question, please contact the front desk at 815-772-5190.
Even in a down market, assessments can rise for the following reasons: By state law, assessments reflect the past three year’s sales and are based on a valuation day of January 1st of the current year. Therefore, they would not reflect the current market conditions.
If you had a recent addition or improvement to your property, the assessment will change accordingly. On homestead property, a home improvement exemption will be granted for 4 years, this reduction will be reflected on your tax bill.
State of Illinois requires that all property be assessed at one-third (33.3%) of market value for property tax purposes. To determine your home’s market value, based on the assessment, simply multiply your equalized assessed value by three.
The state property tax code requires that the Supervisor of Assessments apply an equalization factor to all property within a township (except for farmland or farm buildings) to make assessment levels uniform among Whiteside County’s 22 townships. This factor can increase the valuation, decrease the valuation, or leave it unchanged. The “Supervisor of Assessments Equalized Assessed Value” is your property’s valuation after equalization is applied. Your tax bill is calculated by applying a tax rate to this equalized value.
Your property tax bill is calculated as follows: Final Equalized Assessed Value minus Exemptions X Current Tax Rate = Total Tax Bill.
The first step is to determine if your assessment is out of line with the market by using an appraisal, or reviewing sales of comparable homes. Remember that these sales should have occurred within the prior three years. If your assessment reflects a value higher than the market, contact the Whiteside County Supervisor of Assessments office.
All appeals to the Board of Review must be submitted in writing within 30 days of township publication.
How to File an Assessment Appeal
Typically, your assessment will not be increased simply based on a recent sale. Assessments generated for taxation purposes are to be valued using mass appraisal techniques, not on an individual property basis. This means we are required to look at trends in the market of similar homes. An individual sale may have unique influences that do not apply to other homes.
It is important that you compare assessed values instead of tax bills, because:
Any new construction to your property that increases its market value must be reflected in your assessed value. This may include decks, patios, sun rooms, finished basements, expanding living space, etc. Our office receives copies of building permits which initiates a field inspection to verify the details of the new construction. The State of Illinois allows for an exemption on these improvements for a term of 4 years. The adjustment for this exemption will be applied on your tax bill. There is a $25,000 cap in assessed value (or $75,000 if full value) on the amount of value to be exempted.
If property pins (generally made of iron or steel and long enough to extend below the frost line) were set, your property lines may be found utilizing a metal detector to locate the pins of your property. If you can locate one pin, you may utilize the recorded plat or deed or the County Parcel Viewer map to help with dimensions to establish the general locations of the remaining pins or the general location of the boundaries of your property.
The only guaranteed way to determine the exact location of your property lines is to hire an Illinois Licensed Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) to survey/resurvey the property.
Civil disputes over the location of property lines with adjoining private properties is not within the enforcement authority of Whiteside County.
Real estate tax bills are mailed normally mid May and are payable in two installments, due June and September. Due dates can change. You can pay both installments on or before the June due date if you desire.
No, state law has no provision for partial payments.
You will still receive a real estate tax bill to keep for your records. You may contact our office to make sure payment has been made or you may go to our Property Tax Inquiry to view your tax information.
One bill is mailed to the property owner. There are other notices that are sent to property owners regarding your real estate taxes. These include assessment changes, exemption renewals, notice of unpaid taxes and tax sale, as well as the bill itself.
We apply the first payment we receive. We have no way to know if your mortgage company is to pay your taxes. If we have already applied your payment and we receive your mortgage company’s payment, their payment will be applied to second installment or if both installments are paid, it will be returned. Please contact our office if this does happen as we will need a written request to back off any payments.
Yes. We ask you return your stubs with your payment so we know what parcels are being paid.
If you do not receive a tax bill in May or June, or if you lost your tax bill, you may contact our office and we can assist you with another tax bill. You may also print a tax bill online on our Property Tax Inquiry with no charge. NOTE: Failure to receive a tax bill does not void the tax or prevent the addition of penalties and costs.
The proper account can be credited if the property identification number or parcel ID is written on the payment check. The property identification number (PIN) can be found in the upper right of the tax bill.
Please print out an Address Change Form (PDF). Please mail to the Supervisor of Assessment’s office which is indicated on the bottom of the form
The exemptions will be indicated on your tax bill. Please review your bill and if you have any questions about if you qualify for an exemption, please contact the Supervisor of Assessment’s office at 815-772-5195.
The usual procedure is for the seller of real estate to pay a credit to the buyer for accrued taxes at closing, in which case the buyer is responsible. Review your closing documents and/or contact your real estate attorney to be sure. Contact our office at 815-772-5196 if you have any questions if taxes are paid or not. Unpaid real estate taxes will be offered at the annual tax sale
State law requires that a tax lien sale be held each year, where investors pay taxes on delinquent properties and receive a tax lien certificate in return. Those investors have the right to petition the court for a tax deed and take possession of the property after 2 ½ years if the lien is not redeemed. Payment of taxes is an important responsibility that comes with the privilege of owning real estate.
There are approximately 140 taxing districts in Whiteside County. The districts that affect your property are listed on your tax bill. Each district is run by a board of elected officials or a board appointed by elected officials. These boards adopt annual budgets and enact levy ordinances that determine how much property tax they will collect in the coming year. Law requires that these actions be taken at public meetings that are published in advance.
There are multiple factors that affect your taxes. The assessed value, tax rate, and exemptions. You may contact the Supervisor of Assessment’s office at 815-772-5195 with questions regarding your assessed value and exemptions. The tax rate is determined through the actions of the many taxing bodies. (See previous question).
Please contact the County Clerk’s office for redemption of your real estate taxes at 815-772-5189.
If taxes are not paid by the publication date, it is state law we publish delinquent real estate taxes. Publication of delinquent real estate taxes typically is in October. You will receive a delinquent notice prior to publication. Please note, the publication of delinquent taxes is a reminder to alert property owners to pay taxes before the tax sale.
Please send a written letter of request that includes the name of the deceased, date of death, address that the request is to be sent to, the phone number that the requestor may be reached at, the reports required, and the appropriate fees to:
Whiteside County Coroner400 N CherryMorrison, IL 61270
If you are summoned for a coroner's inquest, you need to attend. If you have received a notice and are unable to attend for some reason, please contact our office.
If you are sentenced to Court Supervision or Conditional Discharge you are required to report in person to Court Services within 5 days. After that, you can report by telephone. This office monitors the treatment conditions in a court order and the Court Services Fees so regular updates on the status of treatment are required.
To obtain a judicial driving permit contact your attorney or the Whiteside County circuit clerk’s office at 815-535-4530 or 815-772-5188.
Yes, for Court Supervision cases. Please refer to the following link to find a treatment provider near your residence. Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator
No, a court supervision fee is assessed on court supervision/conditional discharge cases and is only in effect while the special conditions of an order are being completed (i.e. treatment, public service work). Once all special conditions are complete the court supervision fee ends. That is why it is important to keep in contact with your probation officer. A probation services fee is assessed in probation cases and is to be paid monthly during the entire term of probation.
No, the court supervision fees are separate from costs and fines. You can obtain the balance of court supervision fees by contacting your probation officer. You can obtain the balance of costs and fines by contacting the Whiteside County circuit clerk’s office. However, all monies are paid to the Whiteside County circuit clerk’s office. You may pay fees at either the Sterling or Morrison office in the form of cash or money order.
All monies are paid to the Whiteside County circuit clerk’s office in the form of cash or money order except for electronic monitor fees.
The electronics recycling program was established to provide a location where residents can recycle old or non-functioning electronics. View the list of the types of items that can be recycled. The County also accepts tube TV’s that are still intact (glass tube not broken). Appliances are not accepted.
The drop-off facility is open 24/7. However, if there are a lot of items or large items that you need assistance with, we encourage you to come during office hours and ask for assistance. Office hours are Monday through Friday 7:00-3:30. A video camera is used to monitor the activity at the drop-off facility.
The facility is available for all residents of Whiteside County based on the honor system.
The drop-off facility is located behind the office of the Whiteside County Highway Department at 18819 Lincoln Rd. (U.S. 30), Morrison, IL. The drop-off facility consists of a modified cargo container that is tan in color and has a window on the east side, with a sliding door, which provides access to a table on the inside of the container to place items. If the table is full or you have larger items that won’t fit in the door items may be dropped off on the concrete ramp alongside the facility.
The County has had Household Hazardous Waste collection events in the past. Typically these are coordinated with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, who covers the cost for the collection event which tend to be very expensive. Typically these State-sponsored events allow residents who are outside of the jurisdiction to drop off waste at these events. The County is in the process of working with agencies to establish the next event. Until that time you can visit the IEPA website for event locations and permanent drop-off sites.
To be placed on the EMHD, generally, an offender is charged a $25 set-up fee plus $12 per day. All payments are due by 4 pm each Friday. Payments must be made in cash or money order at the Sterling or Morrison Whiteside County court services office.
You must serve 10% of your required jail sentence unless otherwise ordered by the court, however, it still requires an application process.
The EMHD system is connected through the phone line (no cordless phones). Therefore, a person must have a land-based phone line. The phone line cannot have any blocks (900 number), call waiting, call forwarding, internet service, or answering machines. All of these services must be canceled before you can be hooked up to the EMHD.
You must either be court-ordered to the EMHD or you can request an application for EMHD from the jail staff.
Ask them. Your son or daughter may come right out and admit to being in a gang. If not, look for a number of identifiers that you can use to determine possible gang involvement. A few identifiers include:
Tell them that under no certain terms will you tolerate any gang language, gang clothing, gang friends, and so forth, in your home. Adopt a zero-tolerance approach. Stand Firm. Tell them you love them but that you do not approve. Voice the dangers of what gang life can bring; getting hurt or killed, or arrested and sent to prison. Ask them if they want to leave the gang. Keep asking. Leave the lines of communication open. Be supportive, but again, stand firm.
Gangs cut across all ethnic and racial lines. It's true that the majority of gangs are made up of these two groups; however, there is a growing number of white adolescents who are either joining minority gangs or forming their own. These white adolescent gangs copy many of the same characteristics as minority gangs, such as clothing styles, hand signs, colors, symbols, and graffiti. Unfortunately, they have also adopted the same types of crimes: selling drugs, extortion, and drive-by shootings, to name a few. Larger city gangs migrate to smaller suburban towns to spread their drug trade and look for prospective members. Many people think that the trenchcoat mafia was a group of social outcasts when in reality they were a gang.
Yes, experts say of the 600,000 to 950,000 gang members in the United States, female gangs make up between 10 and 15 percent. Although many female gangs serve as auxiliaries to male gangs, there has been a surge of female gangs that operate on their own. Because female gang members believe they must prove themselves to their male counterparts, they will use extreme violence against other female gangs or, in some rare instances, against male gangs. So they are just as dangerous.
If there is not a neighborhood watch in your area, consider establishing one. Neighbors who organize themselves to rid their streets of gang houses do much better than individuals who try to go it alone. There is safety in numbers--gangs use this concept constantly. Neighbors, with the assistance and directions of the police, can begin to address neighborhood gang activity in effective ways if they work together.
Surprisingly, juveniles under the age of 18 make up only a small percentage of a gang's membership. Many hard-core and associate gang members are individuals in their twenties who may have been incarcerated either in the local jail, state prison, or both. Older members recruit children to do many of the gang's illegal activities, knowing that if kids get caught, they will usually receive a much lighter sentence than adults will. It should also be noted that in some areas of the country, particularly in economically depressed areas and where jobs are scarce, gang members are joining up for the first time while in their 20s. This is done for financial reasons.
The latest statistics provided by the National Youth Gang Center reveal that there are over 25,000 gangs nationwide, with a total membership of over 600,000. It's also suggested that these figures may be conservative estimates. Police departments and communities tend to under-report their gang problem. The total gang population of the United States may actually be between 850,000 to 950,000.
Many gangs are run by incarcerated adult gang leaders. For example, the notorious Chicago-based Gangster Disciples number over 25,000, yet they are governed by one man from his jail cell, Larry Hoover, who is currently serving a 150-200 year prison term. Many of these leaders give orders to local area coordinators, or generals, as they are sometimes called. Smaller gangs are more loosely knit, and leadership can take the form of several individuals who are best in certain areas such as fighting, drug sales, or weapons procurement.
Meet the problem head-on. Adopt a zero-tolerance approach. Principals, administrators, and teachers should determine how much gang activity their school has and then take steps toward abatement. Many schools have policies, which address gang problems. These policies include some of the following: banning starter jackets and other professional and collegiate sports team apparel, banning pagers and portable phones, or having a closed campus. Schools must work in conjunction with parents and local law enforcement officials to find as many resources as they can to battle the problem and help save these kids.
Try and get your children involved in activities outside of school. Children that have a lot of unstructured time on their hands are prime recruitment material for gangs. Look to your extended family for assistance. Grandparents, uncles, aunts (yours and your child's) older cousins, all of these can help provide structured time for your child. Remember though, the extended family's activities can never replace the valuable time that you spend with your child.
The single parent who does not have an extended family can try and obtain help from co-workers, parishioners, neighbors, and local organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Scouting, gang outreach centers, Y.M.C.A.'s and Y.W.C.A's, Park District programs, youth centers, and so forth. Get on the phone or visit these places with your child as soon as possible.
It's neither. While some graffiti has elements of artistic flair, it serves as a gang advertisement or newspaper. Graffiti not only marks a territory a gang has claimed; it also serves as a warning and challenge to other gangs. Graffiti, depending on how it is written, can also honor a fallen comrade (usually with a tombstone or RIP), list the street names of gang members, and show opposition and disrespect for another gang. Also, gang graffiti should be reported to the police. The police may wish to photograph the graffiti so that they know which gang is operating in which area. Also, graffiti removal should never be done by one individual. Gangs have been known to retaliate against individuals painting over their graffiti. Again, there is safety in numbers.
Absolutely! You own the house! You pay the rent! My colleague at the probation department I work for told me of a woman she knew, who asked for her help some time ago. She suspected her son was involved with gangs, but felt uneasy going into his room. My colleague and she went into the son's room and there they found a new 25-inch color TV, (bigger than the 19" TV the family used in the living room) a new VCR, and money, lots of money. Mostly in small denominations of 10's and 20's. Stuffed between the mattress and box springs and found in a dresser drawer, the amount was staggering. This young man was not employed, so he certainly had some explaining to do. The woman wisely asked for the help of her extended family using her son's rather sizeable uncles and cousins. All were waiting for the young man when he got home, and the dialogue began. If you suspect your son or daughter is involved with gangs or drugs, search their bedroom. If you don't have an extended family to confront your son or daughter, look to your co-workers, neighbors, parishioners, gang outreach personnel, etc. You must become resourceful. Drastic times call for drastic measures!
Now. Some parents, either through ignorance or denial, find out their son or daughter is in a gang when they get a phone call from a police department, hospital, or morgue. A child's getting into a gang is not an overnight decision. Parents should look, listen, and turn their awareness up a notch. Look at what your child is wearing, whom he or she is associating with, and whether there is an overall change in attitude towards you or life in general. Listen to what your child says, and especially to what others say. Many parents turn a deaf ear or bristle when they hear from neighbors, other parents, and school personnel that their child may be in a gang. Your child may present himself or herself one way in your presence, and have a totally hidden gang life outside the home. Ignorance is no excuse. Look for the signs and then address the issue. Solicit help from others, then take control. It can be done.
A GIS is a Geographic Information System. GIS software represents features on the earth, such as cities, roads, addresses, etc. in a digital map and database. People use GIS to visualize, question, analyze, and understand this data. GIS makes map data interactive and therefore, much more useful.
Whiteside County established a GIS in 2004 with the original purpose of providing a base map of all the properties in the county for use by the Assessor’s office. However, the GIS has expanded to include many other forms of data used by several county offices. Parcel map maintenance and supporting the tax assessment process are the main focus of the GIS office. However, we also have layers that support E911 and public safety, election, and voting information, data that help in decision-making by the Building and Zoning and Economic Development offices, along with many other forms of data and maps.
Whiteside County GIS can provide custom map prints in-house. In addition, the GIS parcel maps are viewable online through our Parcel Viewer.
Inquiries about a particular section of road need to be made to the highway authority that has jurisdiction of that section of road. You can use the County’s interactive Roadway Jurisdiction map to obtain contact information for the applicable highway authority for a specific section of road. You can contact the Highway Department for additional information at 815-772-7651.
Please view the County's snow plowing policy.
While the County regularly works on smaller maintenance projects throughout the County such as installing new entrances, graveling shoulders, replacing culverts, etc., the County also has a schedule of more major projects such as bridge replacement or repairs, road resurfacing projects, etc. that are included in the Highway Department Five Year Plan interactive map.
Regardless of who has jurisdiction of the road, a request must be made to the highway authority for approval to install anything on the right-of-way, including entrances. To request an entrance on a County road please complete the Driveway Access Permit application. For all other roads, contact the appropriate highway authority.
The State of Illinois establishes the following highway authorities along with what roads they have jurisdiction:
County, township, and municipal roads all fall under the category of “Local Roads”. There are a few other jurisdictional systems in the state, although not as common.
Sometimes referred to as “frost laws”, “Spring Postings” refer to the temporary reduction of weight limits on some roads due to the condition of the road. In the spring when temperatures begin to rise to the point that the frozen ground begins to thaw, the ground thaws from the surface downward. As the top thaws, and in particular the ground supporting the road, the road becomes susceptible to damage because there is a soft layer between the road and the frozen ground farther down. Often times the softer layer will “boil” up through the road surface, damaging the road. Heavier loads can cause significant damage to the road surface. The reduced weight limit helps to limit the damage. Once the frost is gone the road returns to its stable condition. When the County staff has determined that roads are getting too soft the County will install the reduced weight limit signs at the ends of the sections of road that are affected. Public Notices are issued to let the public know of the Spring Posting limits and will issue a Public Notice once the season has ended. Local agencies are limited to posting roads to no more than 90 consecutive days.
Seal coating is a maintenance procedure that consists of applying a thin layer of oil to the road and then immediately applying a layer of rock chips. The purpose of seal coating (sometimes referred to as “chip and seal”) seals small cracks in the pavement, protects the existing pavement from exposure to the elements that will deteriorate the pavement over a long period of time, and will provide a rougher surface to help prevent skidding, particularly in the winter months. After the seal coating operations have been completed, dust that was on the chips will become loose and get picked up by the tires of the vehicles. There will also be some chips that did not get completely adhere to the oil. For a period of time after the work has been completed the road surface will behave similar to a gravel road; however, over time, especially after some rain events, the dust and loose chips will be gone and the road will return to a condition similar to what it was prior to the construction. Typically, the County reseals roads every 10-12 years.
No, after meeting with the public service coordinator you will be assigned to a work site.
In some cases people have been hired by the work site after they have completed their public service hours.
In some types of cases public service hours are mandatory. In other cases a person may appear in court and request that their public service hours be converted to a fine or jail time. A refusal to complete public service is a violation of the court order.
The Recorder’s Office is responsible for recording, archiving and retrieving documents submitted to be recorded. The Recorder’s primary responsibility is the managing of land records within Whiteside County. The Recorder's Office is a keeper of records with a main focus of accurately and timely recording and indexing various documents submitted for recording.
1) Copies can be obtained by picking them up at the Recorder's Office for $.50 per page.
2) Mailed to you by mailing us $.50 per page along with a self addressed stamped envelope. Emailed copies are $.75 per page and will be emailed when payment is received.
3) Obtained through landrecords.net.
To ensure that an individual or property is free of liens, a title company must be contacted. If someone wants to see what has been recorded, then searching the records at the Recorder's Office or online is a great place to start.
A new deed will need to be prepared. Therefore, we always advise to contact an attorney.
No. Deeds contain a legal description, not what is on the land.
Our records go back to approximately 1836.
You should report the crime as soon as possible to the law enforcement agency that serves the geographic area where the crime is committed.
If the criminal offender is apprehended or his whereabouts are determined, the police will make an arrest or submit a report to the State's Attorney's Office for review and consideration.
The State's Attorney's Office has complete and sole discretion in the charging process. The State's Attorney and the Assistant State's Attorneys review police reports to determine whether a criminal offense has been committed and whether the crime may be proved in court. There must be substantial evidence sufficient to convict the accused before the State's Attorney's Office will subject someone to a criminal prosecution. Many times there is no question that the law has been violated, but charges are not filed because the proof or evidence is lacking. The State's Attorney will work with the police and crime victim to assure that a complete investigation has been done. If there is still insufficient evidence or proof, the charge cannot be filed and the State's Attorney's Office will notify the victim and police that a decision not to prosecute has been made. This closes the case unless new information is received.
If the accused is arrested and charges are filed, he or she will soon appear in court for a first appearance. The judge will set a bond and advise the accused, known as the defendant, of the charge(s) against him or her. The defendant will be advised of his or her constitutional rights. In traffic and misdemeanor cases, the cause will be continued for trial or plea. In felony offenses, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled, usually for a date within thirty days after the first appearance.
Victims will be notified of the charges being filed and what has happened in court by the State's Attorney's Victim Assistant. Victims and witnesses need not be present at the first appearance.
Most defendants post bond and are released from custody pending further proceedings. Those who are unable to post bond, remain in custody.
In traffic and misdemeanor cases, the victims and witnesses normally need only appear in court at the trial. In felony cases, the victims sometimes will be called to testify at the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing is not a trial but is held in felony cases to determine whether probable cause that a crime has been committed exists and that there is reason to believe that the defendant committed the crime. The preliminary hearing is conducted before a judge sitting without a jury. If probable cause is established, the case proceeds to trial or plea. If no probable cause is found, the case is dismissed.
Victims and witnesses are sometimes called upon to testify in cases where pretrial motions are filed. These motions usually deal with technical legal issues.
No, in many cases the defendant decides to plead guilty and no trial is held. However, victims and witnesses may sometimes be called upon to testify about the crime at a sentencing hearing conducted before a judge sitting without a jury.
No, a defendant has a choice between having the case heard before a judge and by a jury, which is called a "jury trial", or a trial by a judge alone called a "bench trial". The choice is the defendant's and the State's Attorney has no choice in the type of trial.
Once convicted, the defendant is required to be sentenced. Sentencing the defendant is the responsibility of a judge. A judge has many alternatives in determining a just and proper sentence, according to statutory guidelines. The judge will ask the prosecutor and the defendant's attorney for recommendations, but the judge alone decides the final sentence. Many times in very serious cases, the judge will order the probation department to prepare a report known as a pre-sentence investigation report. This report is used to provide background about the defendant. The probation officer will contact the victim in the case to gather information for the report.
The State's Attorney's Office has a staff person called the Victim/Witness Assistant. This person's job is to notify victims and witnesses about the progress of the case in which they are involved. The Victim/Witness Assistant is also available to answer questions and assist victims and witnesses in understanding the many phases of a criminal case.
The State's Attorney and Assistant State's Attorneys are responsible for prosecuting criminal cases. They represent the People of the State of Illinois and the interests of individual crime victims because criminal offenses are committed not only against a particular individual, but also against society or the State. Sometimes, if a crime victim has suffered personal injuries or a large amount of property loss, the victim may wish to consult a private attorney concerning recovery in a civil suit separate from the criminal case.
Victims and witnesses are notified by telephone and mail about general details. When court appearances are required, victims and witnesses will receive a subpoena which may be delivered in person by a deputy sheriff. The subpoena is a formal document requiring the person named on its face to appear in court. Always advise the State's Attorney's Office if you move or change your phone number. Your case could be dismissed by the Court if we can't find you.
All trials are usually held between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. If you are employed during these periods, you will have to miss work to attend court. Your employer cannot legally discharge, punish, or threaten you for attending a criminal proceeding when you have been subpoenaed. Show your employer your subpoena prior to your absence from work.
You are expected to provide your own transportation. However, if you are unable to arrange for a ride, call the Victim/ Witness Assistant and arrangements can be made in most cases.
Anyone who seeks to threaten or attempt to coerce you about the case may be committing a criminal offense. Immediately report any threat, coercion, or bribe attempt to the police and request that an investigation be conducted and that a report be filed with the State's Attorney's Office.
The defense attorney or defendant has a right to ask to interview you and discuss the case. However, you do not have to talk to them if you choose not to do so. If you would feel more comfortable discussing the matter in the presence of the State's Attorney or Assistant handling the case, call the Victim/Witness Assistant before agreeing to an interview.
A representative of this office will be happy to attend with you at your request. You should not sign anything without speaking first with the prosecutor handling your case.
The State's Attorney's Office must authorize release before items held as evidence may be returned. Most evidence is held by the police department that handled the case and will be returned by that department. In all cases, the property will be returned as soon as possible. Unfortunately, some property must be held until after trial or until the defendant pleads guilty. Contact the Victim/Witness Assistant about the release of your property.
If the defendant is convicted, the judge may order, as part of the sentence, that the defendant pay restitution to the victim. Restitution, if ordered, will cover only expenses that the victim has sustained as a direct result of the crime. The problem in securing restitution is that many defendants have no ability to pay restitution or are sentenced to prison where there is no likelihood that they will send money to the victim.
The State's Attorney will always try to seek restitution if there is some hope of it being paid. However, it is up to the sentencing judge to determine the amount and to order payment.
When restitution is ordered, payment is generally spread out over several months and payments are made through the Circuit Clerk's Office.
Injuries suffered as a result of certain crimes are recoverable through the Victim's Compensation Act.
If you sustain a physical injury (no property loss is considered) that results in $200 or more of expenses and the injury was from certain violent crimes, you may file a claim with the Illinois Attorney General's Office under the Victim's Compensation Act.
The State's Attorney's Victim/Witness Assistant can assist you in processing a claim.
All victims will be notified of the final disposition or end result of a case in which they are involved. Please feel free to contact us.
Please call the State's Attorney's Office and ask for the Victim/Witness Assistant.
This is a panel comprised of individuals who have been personally affected by a drunk driver or have injured themselves as a result of drinking and driving.
Please contact probation at 815-772-5190.
The only person able to reschedule a Victim Impact Panel is the sentencing judge.
The panel lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Call your probation officer immediately at 815-772-5190.