What is the definition of a criminal case?
In a criminal case, the State of Illinois charges the defendant with a violation of a criminal law. The defendant can deny the charge by pleading not guilty. The jury will then decide whether the defendant has been proven guilty as charged.

The State's Attorney or his assistants prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the People of the State of Illinois. The State has the burden of proving the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt and this burden remains on the State throughout the case. The defendant is not required to prove his or her innocence.

The defendant in a criminal case has the right to be represented by an attorney. The Defense Attorney has the duty to advance and protect the defendant's rights and interest at all stages of the trial. A defendant is presumed to be innocent of the charge against him or her. This presumption remains with jurors throughout every stage of the trial and during their deliberations on the verdict, and is not overcome unless, from all the evidence in the case, they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Show All Answers

1. Who may serve?
2. How was I selected?
3. Why is jury service important?
4. Who is entitled to a jury trial?
5. What are my duties as a juror?
6. How long does jury service usually last if I am selected?
7. Will I be paid for Jury Duty?
8. What if I have an emergency during Jury Duty?
9. How are trial juries selected?
10. Why are there delays in the jury process?
11. Will I have to stay overnight?
12. What is the difference between a Grand Jury and a Petit Jury?
13. I do not know the law, how can I be a juror?
14. What is the definition of a civil case?
15. What is the definition of a criminal case?
16. How is a jury chosen?
17. I recently moved out of the County, but I haven’t had a chance to turn in my driver’s license or voter registration card. Can I still serve?
18. What is the difference between deferred, disqualified and excused?
19. I have a prior felony conviction. Can I still serve?
20. Is there a quiet room without televisions where I can get some work done?
21. What should I wear?
22. Does the Court provide child care?
23. Can I use my cellular phone? How about a laptop computer?
24. I may have trouble hearing the proceedings in the courtroom. What should I do?
25. Where can I store my personal belongings?
26. Where can I get proof of my service to take to my employer?
27. How will I get paid during my service?
28. What if I am selected for a trial and then experience an emergency that prevents me from coming to the courthouse?
29. What time is lunch?
30. What normally happens the day my Jury Service begins?
31. How can I be excused from jury service?
32. What is the Juror Information Systems?
33. What laws govern the Jury System in Illinois?