New Illinois Laws for 2017

Once again, with the New Year, a bevy a new laws become effective. This year there are quite a few changes to criminal law. Expungement opportunities have expanded, allowing people with previous convictions to get expungements for offenses that didn’t result in conviction, and you better return rental equipment unless you want to get charged with a felony. The following are several (but not all) of the new law changes.

Changes to Felonies and Other Offenses

  • Return Rental Equipment. It is now a felony if you don’t return rental equipment valued at more than $500 within three days of your rental period. (SB 1120)
  • Money Laundering Included. Money laundering can now be included in one count on an indictment and doesn’t need to be prosecuted separate. (SB 2876)
    Property Damage Threshold Increased. Property damage of $500 is a felony, rather than $300. (SB 29070)
  • Vehicular Endangerment by Falling Object. It is now considered vehicular endangerment if an object is intentionally dropped from an overpass onto a moving vehicle. (HB 6010)
  • Increased Fines for Violating Railroad Crossing. Don’t violate railroad crossing laws because the fine has been increased. (SB 2806)
  • Expanded Definition for Intellectual Disabilities. The definition of people with disabilities is expanded in the criminal code for hearsay exceptions. (SB 3106)

Changes to Substance Abuse Laws

  • Substance Abuse Programs. Licensed substance abuse programs must provide information about opioid treatment. (HB 5593)
  • Court Ordered Drug Treatment. Defendants with opioid abuse must participate in drug treatment under the care of a licensed physician. (HB 5594)
  • Disposal of Meds at Crime Scene. Police officers and coroners can dispose of unused meds at a crime scene after consulting with law enforcement about the death. Medication must be retained if an autopsy is needed for the purposes of toxicological analysis. (HB 5781)

Changes to Illinois Bail Law

  • Cash Bail Accepted. Police must accept cash for bail. (SB 2252)

Changes for Police

  • Domestic Violence Procedures and Extensions. Law enforcement must develop arrest procedures and training for domestic violence situations. Time frame for filing extended for situations where drug/alcohol treatment is required for probation. (SB 2601, HB 5538)
  • Limit to Police Tracking of Cell Phones. Police can only use stingray devices to track cell phones for determining location not for listening in. Must have a detailed court order and delete non-target info within 24 hours. (SB 2343)
  • FOID Card Revocation Notification. State Police will notify local law enforcement if a FOID card is revoked ue to an order of protection. (HB 6331)

Changes to Juvenile Law

  • DJJ Facilities Prohibitions. Minors cannot be committed to DJJ facilities for certain non-violent crimes or crimes that are not felonies. (SB 2777)
    Remote CCTV Testimony is Sex Assault Cases. Minors and persons with disability can testify remotely using CCTV testimony in sex assault cases. (SB 2880)
  • Juvenile Record Expungement. People with juvenile records can petition for expungement at any time, and the court must automatically grant the request if the person was never charged, if the charges were dismissed, if the person was not found delinquent and if the supervision was completed successfully. (HB 5017)
  • No DJJ Committed for Some Controlled Substance Violations. Minors cannot be committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for certain controlled substance violations unless it is the third or subsequent probation violation. (HB 6291)
  • Representation During Interrogation. Minors under the age of 15 must have the representation of counsel during an interrogation when charged with murder or sexual assault. (SB 2370)

Changes to Reporting of Arrests

  • Report Arrested Without Charges. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority must report how many people are arrested and released without being charged. (HB 1437)

Changes to Traffic Laws

  • Slow Down or Change Lanes. Cars must slow down or change lanes when coming upon any car with hazard lights on. (HB 6006)
  • Traffic Offense Added to Accelerated Resolution Program. Traffic offenses and class 4 felony violations of the Controlled Substances act are added to the Accelerated Resolution Program. (HB 6190)
  • Stop Before Passing School Bus. Vehicles must stop before passing a stopped school bus on a public school highway. (SB 2835)

Changes to Court Evidence

  • Photocopy of Currency as Evidence. Photocopies of currency used in an undercover investigation can be used as evidence in court. (SB 0211)

Changes to Sentencing

  • Guilty Pleas. Guilty pleas will not be accepted until the court explains the penalties, possibilities for increased sentences, consecutive sentences, registration requirements and possible consequences in ability to apply for housing, jobs, driver’s license and a firearm. (HB 2569)
  • Mandatory Sentences for Sex Crimes. Life sentencing for certain sexual assault offenses apply only to people age 18 or older at the time of the offense. (HB 5771)

Changes to Requirements for Professional Licenses

  • May Not Deny License for All Crimes. Professional licenses cannot be denied for a criminal conviction unless the crime is directly related to the occupation for which the license is needed. (HB 5973)
  • Reinstatement for Health Care Workers. Health care workers can petition to have their licenses reinstated for certain non-sexual non-violent felonies that occurred 5 years ago. (SB 0042)

Changes to Telephone Use in Prison

  • Limit of Fees for Telephone Use. Rates and fees for prison inmates is limited. (HB 6200)

Changes to Expungement Law

  • Increased Opportunity for Expungement. People that have previous convictions can get arrest records that didn’t result in conviction expunged. (HB 6328)

Criminal Attorney Up to Date with New Laws

As a criminal attorney, Dennis F. Dwyer keeps up to date with any changes to the law so that he can provide current legal advice. If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, contact Dennis immediately.

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