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Notable New Illinois Criminal Laws Starting in 2020

Posted on in Traffic Offenses

Notable New Illinois Criminal Laws Starting in 2020When Illinois passes new state laws, many are scheduled to go into effect at the start of the next calendar year. The legalization of recreational marijuana has rightfully garnered most of the attention among the state’s new laws for 2020. Not only will it make it legal to possess as much as 30 grams of cannabis, but many people have already been able to expunge previous marijuana possession convictions. There are other laws going into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, that relate to traffic violations in the state, as well as a law that helps protect the civil rights of people who have been arrested.

Traffic Laws

Driving offenses are among the most common reasons for interaction between police officers and civilians. Illinois often revises its driving laws to address new threats and discourage dangerous behavior by drivers. There are three such laws that will start in 2020:

  1. Watching Video: Illinois is already combating distracted driving by making it illegal to use handheld electronic devices while driving. An update to the law expands the definition to include using devices to watch or stream video. A distracted driving violation will result in a fine and count towards the three traffic tickets in 12 months that it takes to suspend your driver's license. However, distracted driving becomes a Class A misdemeanor if someone is injured and a Class 4 felony if someone dies.
  2. Fine for Passing a School Bus: It is illegal for vehicles in either direction to overtake and pass a school bus that has stopped for the purpose of picking up or dropping off passengers. Illinois has doubled the fines for these violations. A first offense is a $300 fine. A second or subsequent offense is a $1,000 fine.
  3. Scott’s Law: Scott’s Law is Illinois’ new name for the law requiring drivers to yield to emergency vehicles and use caution when approaching a stopped vehicle. Whereas a violation previously required a minimum $100 fine, the minimum fine is now $250 for a first offense and $750 for a second or subsequent offense. A violation that damages another vehicle is a Class A misdemeanor, and a violation that results in injury or death is a Class 4 felony.

Arrest Records

Illinois law has new protections for people who were arrested on suspicion of a crime but were never charged or convicted. The law states that it is a civil rights violation to use someone’s arrest record, juvenile record or criminal record that has been sealed as a reason to deny them:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Real estate transactions

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal laws frequently change, which can make it difficult for civilians to keep track of what qualifies as a criminal offense. A McHenry County criminal defense lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will help defend you against any criminal charges that the state brings. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=86&GAID=15&GA=101&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=115077&SessionID=108

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=1873&GAID=15&SessionID=108&LegID=117317

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1862&GAID=15&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=119532&SessionID=108&SpecSess=&Session=&GA=101

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1780&GAID=15&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=119222&SessionID=108&GA=101

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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