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Illinois Passes Over 250 New Laws

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Il defense lawyerThere have been many changes to Illinois law since the start of the new year. The number of new laws - including laws that have been amended - exceeds 250 and many of them deal with serious criminal charges, traffic violations, and more.

Of course, the law has been talked about the most before and after the new year was the legalization of recreational marijuana. Not only did this law change possession of marijuana charges, but it also annulled several minor possession charges that were committed before 2020.

The New Marijuana Law

The state of Illinois is the 11th state to make recreational marijuana legal. After the first of the year, the state opened several licensed dispensaries where people over the age of 21 can purchase marijuana.

The new law also grants possible pardons to those who were convicted of marijuana possession before the new law came into being. Before the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker pardoned 11,000 people who were convicted of possession over 30 grams, but less than 500 grams.

However, the new Illinois law does have restrictions, including:

  • No one can possess more than one ounce (30 grams) of cannabis flower; five grams of cannabis concentrate; and 500 milligrams of cannabis-infused products.
  • No one can grow cannabis plants in their home unless they have a prescription from a doctor (limit five plants).
  • No one can use marijuana near anyone under 21 years old, near a school, near a place of worship, in a public place, or in a motor vehicle.

Colleges and universities also have the right to ban marijuana from campus.

It is still unlawful in Illinois to drive impaired and those who choose to drive under the influence of marijuana will be charged with a DUI.

Traffic Violations Updated

Several road-related laws were amended in 2020 to make fines higher for breaking certain rules. Illinois’ Scott’s Law - passed to protect law enforcement officials from motor vehicle accidents - was one law that saw fines more than double with the start of the new year.

Fines for breaking Scott’s Law went from $100 to $250 for first offenders. Second and subsequent offenders are now fined at least $750.

Other traffic violations that increased in punishments include:

  • Passing a school bus that is stopped and has its stop sign extended: first offender fines increased from $150 to $300; subsequent offender fines increased from $500 to $1,000.
  • Failure to reduce speed in a construction zone: fines increased from $10,000 to $25,000.
  • Failure to obey traffic-control devices in work zones: fines were created to enforce this law. Fines range from $100 to $1,000.

In addition to Scott’s Law fines, violators could be charged another $250 to fund education and support enforcement of the law.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

There are some restrictions that have been lifted since the beginning of the new year, while others became more severe in punishment. It is good to be well-educated in the law especially when fighting charges. The lawyers of Luisi Legal Group can help guide you through any criminal litigation and avoid unwanted punishments. To schedule a free consultation with a Chicago criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 773-276-5541.

 

Sources:

 

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-saw-nations-worst-population-loss-during-the-decade/

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

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