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IL defense lawyerThe new decade brought over 250 new laws - or amended laws - to the state of Illinois. The changes affect a variety of law topics, but the majority are classified under criminal law. Of course, many people quickly became aware of the legalization of recreational marijuana, but a fortunate amendment to one bill affected domestic violence and sexual offenses. As of the first of the year, there is no longer a statute of limitations to prosecute major sex crimes in Illinois.

The Law: Then and Now

Illinois law previously had a limited amount of time in which a prosecutor could take an alleged sex offender into litigation. A typical sex crime case includes offenses such as:

  • Rape
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Statutory rape (adult has sexual contact with a minor even with consent)
  • Molestation

In order to have their attackers brought to justice, a victim would have to come forth and report the crime within three years of the crime. Then, the prosecuting attorney would have 10 years from the time of the report to convict the alleged sex offender.

As of 2020, though, Illinois removed all statute of limitations for major sex crimes regardless of the age of the victim. This gives the victim and prosecutor more time to get the facts of the case correct and bring the guilty party to justice.

Other Changes Related to Sexual Offenses

Illinois amended its law to fight against workplace sexual harassment in order to make women feel more comfortable working with their fellow employees. Under the new rules, government workplaces will be required to give employees annual sexual harassment training regardless of gender, age, or orientation. This includes:

  • State officials
  • Lobbyists
  • Other state government employees

Illinois also amended its Domestic Violence Act by decreeing that all court systems must process any emergency violations of a protection order. This includes during the evening or court holidays. Previously, emergency violations reported during these days/times were held until the following regular workday.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

These new laws are less well-known than the legalization of marijuana. However, the new laws come with punishments, just like before 2020 began. If you are struggling against accusations of domestic violence, the lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can look into your case and build a defense. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=101-0130

https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-liststory-illinois-new-laws-2020-20191218-k3sjxat7mvgonbbbvyr7anlbja-list.html

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Posted on in DUI

death, Elgin criminal defense attorneyBy now, virtually every motorist knows that the consequences for driving under the influence (DUI) can be severe. In addition to stiff criminal penalties, drinking and driving can result in injury or death to the driver, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. Tragically, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Accidents involving drunk driving account for nearly one-third (29%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

In most cases involving DUI, prosecutors only have a certain amount of time in which to file formal charges. This is known as the statute of limitations. For a misdemeanor DUI offense, the statute of limitations gives authorities 18 months to take action. If the charge is a felony, prosecutors usually have three years from the date of the incident.

A new law, however, recently eliminated the statute of limitations for a felony DUI that causes a fatality. This means that if a person drinks and drives and causes an accident that results in at least one death, he or she can be prosecuted at any time. The three-year limitation will still apply to other felony DUI charges. House Bill 3084 passed both the Illinois House and Senate and became law late last year. The measure went into effect on January 1, 2018.

Consequences for DUI in Illinois

If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content of over 0.08, you will most likely be charged with driving under the influence. Generally, a police officer uses a chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test, such as a breathalyzer, to determine how intoxicated a driver is. If the driver fails the test, meaning that he or she was found to have a BAC over the legal limit, he or she will have their driver’s license suspended for 6 months. If the driver refuses to submit to a BAC test, he or she will automatically have their license suspended for one year. These suspensions are in addition to any consequences that may result from a criminal conviction. Penalties for a first DUI offense may include:

  • Driver&s license revocation for one year if the driver is over 21 years old and two years if the driver is under 21;
  • Maximum imprisonment of 6 months;
  • Minimum fine of $1,000;
  • Community service;
  • Drug and alcohol program participation; and
  • Motor vehicle registration revocation.

Criminal and administrative penalties only increase for subsequent DUI charges. In addition to the penalties listed above, a driver convicted of a DUI may also be required to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed on his or her vehicle.

Are You Facing DUI charges?

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you need an attorney who will fight to protect your rights and help you understand your legal options. Contact an experienced Elgin DUI defense lawyer for help. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.republictimes.net/new-laws-for-illinois-in-2018/

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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Posted on in DUI

DUI, Kane County criminal defense attorneyWhen a person is pulled over on the suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the next step is being taken into police custody until officers feel the individual is sober enough to make it home safely. In most cases, a citation is issued upon release which includes a date for a mandatory court appearance. All too often, however, defendants appear on their required date in court only to discover that their case is not actually on the docket. How does this happen? The answer may be found in what occurs after the issuance of the citation.

Behind the Scenes

Keep in mind that a county prosecutor’s office has a multitude of cases to review each day. Your case, while extremely important to you, is just one of many being processed at any given time. The date on the citation is often an arbitrary date, generally at least a month or two months after the incident initially occurred. It is presumed that this time is sufficient to accomplish the necessary steps, including:

  • Police drafting an official report including witness statements, examination of evidence, video footage, and a written report;
  • The arresting agency filing the report with the prosecuting agency, usually the State’s Attorney’s office in the local county, and
  • If there is evidence to create a case, the prosecutor filing and sending a notification to all relevant parties including a revised court date, replacing the one on the original citation.

Statute of Limitations

If you happened to be one of the unfortunate few who arrives at your court date listed on your citation only to discover your court date has changed, you will receive a form stating that you did report as requested. You will also likely be told to wait patiently, and your new court date will arrive by mail.

While waiting and diligently checking your mailbox, you may start to breathe a sigh of relief, hoping with a small shred of optimism that perhaps they forgot and the whole incident "blew over." This situation is not likely, however, as prosecutors rarely let anything just slip through the cracks. A statute of limitations exists that allows charges to be filed for up to 18 months from the date of the original arrest. If it has been two or more years since the original arrest and you still have not heard from the court, there may be an outstanding warrant your arrest.

We Can Help

If you have been charged with DUI, you should consider consulting with a defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction can be life-altering but may be preventable in many cases with the proper representation. Contact an experienced Elgin DUI defense lawyer. Call The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=5100000&SeqEnd=6000000

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