McMahon: Felony cases up 7 percent in Kane County from last year's first half

Felony cases charged in Kane County are about 7.6 percent higher at the midway point of 2018 than they were at this time last year.

State's Attorney Joe McMahon, during his monthly media meeting Monday, said there are several factors for the increase: more state police arrests from patrols on Interstate 90, his office upgrading charges on repeat offenders and the cyclical nature of crime.

"Neither Elgin nor Aurora are seeing really significant increases, but some of the smaller departments are," McMahon said. "What I am seeing, and I am grateful for this, is a very strong presence from the Illinois State Police along the I-90 corridor. We're certainly seeing an increase is cases that have come out of that area."

When a defendant has previous misdemeanor arrests and convictions, McMahon said a new misdemeanor offense could trigger a felony charge. Some examples are repeat arrests for DUI, domestic battery, shoplifting and even driving with a suspended or revoked license.

"That's a factor in the increase. Not only this year, but in 2016 and 2017," McMahon said.

McMahon said it's sometimes difficult for an arresting officer to determine a motorist's driving history from a Secretary of State abstract, so his office might take a closer look.

"We'll review that history after a case comes into the court system. When we see four-, five- six-time repeat offenders, when we can, we are enhancing those to felony arrests," he said.

As of June 30, 1,315 felony cases had been charged in Kane, McMahon said.

That's a 7.6 percent increase from the 1,222 that were filed from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2017, and a 23 percent increase from the 1,068 felony cases filed through the first half of 2016.

Overall, Kane County is on pace for about 2,651 total felony cases this year, which would be a 9.8 percent increase over the 2,413 felony cases charged in 2017.

The projected total of felonies also would be a 17.5 percent increase over the 2,255 felony cases filed in 2016, which marked the first time in a decade felony cases were up in a given year.

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