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Preparing for a Driver's License Reinstatement HearingYour license has been suspended due to your conviction for a traffic-related offense. You adhere to the terms of your punishment, including serving jail time and paying fines. You take required classes to show that you have learned from your mistakes. Now, your suspension period has ended, and you are eligible for reinstatement of your driver’s license. You are confident because you have done everything asked of you. However, it would be a mistake to treat your driver’s license reinstatement hearing as a formality. The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office will subject you to great scrutiny during the hearing to ensure that it is safe to reinstate your driving privileges. Going into the hearing unprepared can result in disaster and disappointment.

Reinstatement Requirements

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office can restrict driving privileges by suspending or revoking a person’s driver’s license. Courts use suspension as a punishment for people who:

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A Detailed Look at Aggravated AssaultThe difference between an assault conviction and an aggravated assault conviction can be years of prison time and thousands of dollars in fines. Assault is an action towards a person that causes that person to reasonably feel that he or she is in danger. The severity of the suspect’s actions and the identity of the victim elevate the charge to aggravated assault. Simple assault in Illinois is a class C misdemeanor, which includes as many as 30 days in jail and as much as $1,500 in fines. Aggravated assault can be a class A misdemeanor or a class 4 or class 3 felony.

Class A Misdemeanor

Most aggravated assault charges are class A misdemeanors, which are punishable by as long as a year in prison and as much as $2,500 in fines. Aggravated assault qualifies as a class A misdemeanor in several ways. An assault that occurs on a public way or at a public venue is an aggravated assault. The suspect’s alleged actions can aggravate the charge, such as if he or she was brandishing a deadly weapon or wearing a hood or mask to conceal his or her identity. There are also several classifications of victims that result in aggravated charges, including:

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All Forms of Synthetic Cannabis May Soon Be Illegal in IllinoisFour people in Illinois have died and several others have been hospitalized in recent weeks due to adverse reactions after consuming synthetic cannabis. The substance, branded with names such as Spice and K2, caused internal bleeding in some of the people who used it, which police suspect was because it contained rat poison. In response, the Illinois Senate quickly approved a bill that would make all forms of synthetic cannabis illegal. The Illinois House of Representatives will now take up the bill. Lawmakers hope the legislation will close a loophole that has allowed synthetic cannabis to be sold in convenience stores.

What Is Synthetic Cannabis?

Synthetic cannabis is a plant that has been sprayed with an artificial cannabinoid meant to reproduce the effect of THC in cannabis. The product can come in solid or liquid form for the purpose of being smoked. Marijuana users are attracted to the product because it:

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Proposed Illinois Law Would Strengthen Driver's License Suspension After DUI ArrestThe Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill that would create an additional requirement for rescinding a statutory summary suspension following an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law would require a court to provide the Illinois Secretary of State’s office with a factual reason for the decision before the office will comply with an order to rescind the driver’s license suspension. The bill still must receive approval from the Illinois Senate and governor before it becomes a law.

Statutory Summary Suspension

The Secretary of State can take civil action against a DUI suspect before a criminal trial by issuing a statutory summary suspension or revocation of the suspect’s driver’s license. The suspension applies to people arrested for DUI who either refused the blood alcohol concentration test or had test results that showed that their BAC was over the legal limit. The suspension begins 46 days after the suspect receives a notice of summary suspension. The duration varies, depending on the circumstances:

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Law Would Give Criminal Defense for Breaking into Vehicles to Save AnimalsWhen civilians respond to emergency situations, they often do not have the time to think about the criminal or civil consequences of their actions. For instance, you can be arrested and sued for breaking into someone’s vehicle for the purpose of saving an animal that was suffering from heat exhaustion. The animal may have been at risk of dying, but your actions qualified as criminal trespass to a vehicle and criminal damage to property. The owner of the vehicle could also file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the vehicle damage, even though he or she was negligent in leaving the animal locked in the car. Illinois lawmakers have proposed a bill that would give people an affirmative defense against criminal charges in this scenario, as well as immunity from civil liability.

The Legislation

Illinois law allows law enforcement and emergency services personnel to forcibly enter a vehicle in order to save a trapped animal from heat exhaustion. The proposed legislation would extend a similar permission to civilians. However, there would be several requirements that you would need to follow in order to avoid criminal or civil liability:

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