Pumpkin Pie Not the Only Official Change to Illinois Law in 2016

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Every year a new host of changes are made to standing Illinois law. In 2016, not only is Pumpkin Pie the new state pie, but around 200 more laws are changing. Among these are criminal and DUI law changes that may affect you. Every Illinois citizen should be aware of new police camera laws and BAIID requirements after a DUI conviction.

New DUI Laws

Sign Chemical Testing Warning.

  • When given a chemical test for DUI you must sign in writing that you were warned that refusing to take the test or failing the chemical test may result in loss of driving privileges.
  • If you refuse to sign, the officer will make a notation that you refused to sign.
  • Not signing cannot be used as proof that you were not warned.

Elimination of “Hard Time” waiting periods

  • First time DUI offenders can now get driving relief with the installation of a BAIID at the beginning of the Summary Suspension (before they had to wait 30 days of “hard time”).
  • 36 Month refusal wait eliminated. Can immediately seek a restricted driving permit.
  • Must comply with all evaluation and counseling requirements.
  • Must install a BAIID.
  • Must show hardship.
  • Hard times still apply for prison release dates for Reckless Homicide, Aggravated DUI and persons under 21 convicted of DUI.

RDPs for 4 or More DUIs

  • Can now get a restricted driving permit even after being convicted of four or more DUIs.
  • Must do 5 years hard time.
  • Show 3 years abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
  • Must install a BAIID.

Immunity for Teens

  • Teens who call for medical help for a friend will have immunity from criminal charges for alcohol consumption and possession.

What is a BAIID?

BAIID stands for breath alcohol ignition interlock device. This is a device that is installed on your car. Before you can start your car, you will need to breath into the device. The device will determine if you have any alcohol in your system and will only allow you to drive if you are not impaired by alcohol.
How do these laws affect you?

These laws regarding the restricted driver’s permit and the BAIID are good news for many people with DUI convictions. Previous law did not allow driving relief for many of these convictions or had hard time waiting periods before relief could be given. The new law removes many of the hard time waiting periods and allows driving relief for many that were unable to drive in the past. If you are unable to drive because of a DUI conviction, now is the time to contact your Chicago DUI attorney to see if you qualify for driving relief under the new laws.

New Drug Laws

Synthetic marijuana (K2) is illegal.

  • May not possess, manufacture or distribute synthetic drugs or chemical analogs.

New Traffic Laws

Aggravated Speeding Changes.

  • Aggravated speeding charges (over 26 miles over the speed limit) now eligible for supervision.
  • Cannot have previous similar convictions or supervisions.

How does this new law affect me?

This law is also good news for Illinois drivers. Since aggravated speeding is at the very least a class B misdemeanor, a conviction remains part of a permanent criminal record. A supervision disposition prevents a conviction from becoming part of the permanent criminal record. As part of supervision, the offender must meet all court requirements and at the end of the supervision period the charges will be dismissed.

New Laws Regarding Law Enforcement

Cameras on Police Officers.

  • Police officers do not have to use cameras.
  • If they choose to use cameras, they must keep them on when doing law enforcement activities.
  • Can turn off the camera at the request of a victim or witness.
  • Can turn off camera when speaking to a confidential informant.
  • Must let people know about camera if they go into a home.
  • Videos will be kept for 90 days unless flagged for a specific reason.

Police Reforms.

  • Chokeholds prohibited except when deadly force is justified.
  • Requires independent review for police officers involved in a death.
  • Makes reports public when the officer is not charged for involvement in a death.
  • Training expanded to include training about use of force.
  • Database created of officers dismissed for misconduct.

How do these changes affect you?

It is always important to know your rights. Cameras on police officers should ultimately protect you as well as the police. However, it is important to know that police officers may have cameras and will be recording their interactions with you. You should be aware that you do have the right to ask them to stop recording and that they should let you know if they have a camera on when entering your home.

New Laws Regarding Sealing Records

Early Sealing of Records.

  • If a person earns a high school diploma, associate’s degree, vocational technical certification, bachelor’s degree or GED during his or her sentence or mandatory supervised release, he or she may be eligible for sealing of the criminal record before the waiting period.
  • Makes it so some criminal records can be sealed in two years instead of 3 or 4 and allows some felonies to be sealed in 3 years instead of 4 after the end of the case.

How do these changes affect you?

Talk to your Chicago defense attorney to see if you qualify for the reduced waiting periods. If you are currently serving a sentence or are on mandatory supervised release, check into whether you can complete a qualifying program so that you can qualify for a shorter waiting period.

Criminal Defense Attorney Needed

Illinois laws are constantly changing as lawmakers continue to make large and small adjustments. This year over 200 new laws are going into effect on January 1st, 2016. You will want to take advantage of any changes that may benefit you. If you are currently unable to drive because of a DUI conviction, now is the time to contact a Illinois DUI attorney to learn about the new laws that allow for driving relief with a restricted driver’s permit and the installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) on your vehicle. Dennis Dwyer, Chicago criminal defense attorney, makes it a priority to stay up-to-date with changes to the law so that he can provide you with the best advice and defense possible. Call his office today to discuss your criminal charges or DUI case.

Stay Safe This New Year—Don’t Drink and Drive
Innocent Until Proven Guilty

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