Tag Archives: new laws

St. Charles drug charges defense attorney

State and federal laws are always changing. In fact, over 250 new laws are planned to take effect in Illinois at the beginning of the new year. It is crucial to stay up-to-date with these law changes so that you know exactly what your rights are in the event you are charged with a criminal offense. Read on to learn about some of the most important changes taking place in Illinois law this January.

Recreational Marijuana Is Legal for Illinois Residents Over Age 21

The most newsworthy new law taking effect this January is the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. Illinois residents aged 21 and over will be legally allowed to purchase marijuana products from licensed retailers in the state starting January 1, 2020. Illinois residents can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and up to 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products.

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Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois lineup amendments,A new law amending the procedures for investigative police lineups went into effect in Illinois this year. Mistaken identifications in police lineups are common contributors to wrongful convictions, and it is hoped that the recent amendments will significantly cut down on instances of prejudiced identifications.

Elements of a Lineup

In a typical police lineup, a suspect is placed among other people, acting as fillers, who are not suspected of committing the crime. The eyewitness is then asked to identify the offender. Live lineups most often use five or six people, while photo lineups are usually made up of six or more photos.

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Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,Young people are notorious for making foolish youthful mistakes, which sometimes result in legal troubles and criminal prosecution. Sometimes these crimes are very serious, and lives may even be taken. But an important consideration in sentencing youth is that their brains and reasoning are not yet fully developed. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a court cannot impose a mandatory sentence of life without parole on juveniles under the age of 18. Recent legislation in Illinois would codify this rule and introduce additional protections in juvenile sentencing.

Miller v. Alabama

In the 2012 Supreme Court case Miller v. Alabama, a 14-year-old boy received a mandatory life sentence after setting a trailer fire that killed someone. State law did not allow the possibility of parole in the case.

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Ilinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois bills, Two new bills are progressing through Illinois’s state legislature that are designed to encourage inmates get education while incarcerated. One bill rewards educational achievements with sentence credit, while another makes it easier to get a criminal record sealed.

Sentence Credit Bill

Under House Bill 3884, an inmate who passed the GED test would be rewarded with 90 days of sentence credit, or time deducted from the prison sentence. The educational requirement must be completed while the inmate is incarcerated or while in pretrial detention. The bill would increase the days of credit from the 60 days allowed under the current law, and the credit could be added to any other credit earned from the other programs listed in the statute. It only applies to inmates who have not previously graduated from high school or gotten their GEDs.

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Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois drug crimes lawyer, drug possession,Two bills have been introduced to the Illinois General Assembly, one filed in each chamber, that would that would legalize small amounts of recreational marijuana. Senate Bill 783, sponsored by state Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin), and House Bill 218, filed by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), would eliminate the possibility of incarceration for the possession of up to thirty grams (just over an ounce) of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. There are, however, some differences between the two bills.

The House Bill

The proposed legislation in the House decriminalizes the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis, even by those under age 21. Instead of charges of up to a Class A misdemeanor, possession is a petty offense, punishable by a Uniform Cannabis Ticket and fine of $100. The bill lowers the charges for the possession of other amounts of marijuana as well. The possession of over 30 grams but no more than 500 grams would be a Class A misdemeanor instead of a Class 4 felony for a first offense. Subsequent offenses would be charged as Class 4 felonies instead of Class 3 felonies.

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