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630-472-9700Available 24/7

Several New Criminal Laws Passed by Illinois Legislature

Posted on in Drug Crimes

New law, Illinois Law, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyIllinois lawmakers have been busy this legislation session, with the passage of many bills affecting the state’s criminal statutes. Almost a half dozen of these bills now await the governor’s signature, which will make them official laws. Several of those bills specifically address drug and drunk driving offenses.

Marijuana Charges

House Bill 218 amends the Illinois Cannabis Control Act, essentially making the possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana a petty offense, similar to a speeding ticket. The fine for possession can be up to $125 and expungment of the offense off a person’s record after six months. The Illinois Department of Corrections estimates that this new law will save the state approximately $30 million. The new law also establishes a threshold level for anyone who is arrested driving under the influence of marijuana.

Blood Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device Program (BAIID)

Both the Illinois House and Senate passed House Bill 3353, which requires anyone convicted of a second offense of drunk driving to participate in the BAIID program for a minimum of five years. Ignition interlock devices are installed in the offender’s vehicle, which will not start without an initial blow by the driver to confirm that they are not under the influence. The device also requires random tests throughout the time the driver is behind the wheel.

A second bill concerning drunk driving offenses also passed both chambers. House Bill 1446 would enable anyone who has had four drunk driving convictions to request a hearing to participate in the BAIID program once they have gone ten years after conviction without incidents. The goal of the law is to help decrease the number of convicted drunk drivers who drive after suspension. Those who are approved agree to have a BAIID installed in their vehicle for life.

Heroin Crisis Act

A third bill was passed by both houses in an effort to help combat the ever-expanding heroin epidemic which is gripping Illinois and the rest of the country. Instead of treating those charged with heroin possession has criminals, House Bill 0001 seeks to treat addicts and their addictions instead of punishing them. The new law will include increased funding for drug education, establishing a prescription refund program, and covering rehabilitative services under Medicaid. The law also requires police departments to have an inventory of naloxone, which is a drug that is used to reverse drug overdoses.

If you have been arrested for a drug offense, contact an experienced Oak Brook criminal defense attorney. Call the offices of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. today at 630-472-9700.

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