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Joliet DUI defense attorneysThe state of Illinois passed a new law that made recreational marijuana legal as of January 1, 2020. However, citizens should understand the restrictions attached to it and how this relates to medicinal use, driving, and potential DUI charges. People aged 21 and over are allowed to purchase up to 30 grams (or 500 milligrams of THC-infused products) of the drug from licensed retailers. They can smoke the substance in their own homes and on the property of certain cannabis-related businesses. 

Regardless of the new law, motorists are not permitted to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Penalties for this criminal offense can range from fines, loss of driving privileges, and prison. It is important to know that you can be charged with DUI after using marijuana, even though the effects of it may be different than alcohol. 

Medical Marijuana

Illinois residents who are authorized to use cannabis for medicinal purposes must be 18 or older and register with the Department of Public Health. They must obtain a written certification from a doctor who is licensed in Illinois. If that criteria is met, they will receive a registry identification card with a note on their Illinois driving record.

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Joliet criminal defense attorneysThe start of the new decade saw many changes to Illinois laws. The amendments and new legislation cover a wide variety of issues, from traffic violations to sexual crimes to the financial exploitation of the elderly, as well as the use of recreational marijuana. One of the most far-reaching laws removes the statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse for victims of any age, not just those 18 and under. This means a victim can file charges against his or her offender within any timeframe, not just within a certain number of years after the alleged crime took place. 

Previously, a sexual assault victim had to take legal action within 10 years of the offense if the victim reported the offense to police within three years after the commission of the crime. A large number of people may be facing criminal charges because of this change, and that is why it is important to understand what acts constitute these crimes and the legal ramifications if you are ever charged with them. 

How Are Sexual Assault and Abuse Defined?

The consequences for sexual crimes can be significant, resulting in felony charges that are punishable by hefty fines and jail time. Criminal sexual assault occurs when a person commits an act of sexual penetration and one of the following is true:

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Will County criminal defense attorneyWhen someone sees a “no trespassing” sign, he or she may not take it very seriously. It may seem more like a request to stay off of someone’s yard than an actual law. In legal terms, trespassing is defined as physically being on another person’s property without permission. Property owners have the right to call the police and have trespassers arrested and charged if they are on their premises. Generally, trespassing is charged as a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. However, if a person trespasses on a certain type of property or with the intent to commit a crime such as burglary, it could be charged as a felony. 

Different Forms of Trespassing

It is important to note that under Illinois law, there are two types of trespassing, civil and criminal. Civil trespass typically involves a tenant-landlord situation in which a tenant fails to pay rent but still remains in the residence. The police will not get involved until the eviction process is formally started. Criminal trespass to property, residence, or vehicle are more serious offenses, which can lead to fines and imprisonment depending on the circumstances. A few examples of this type of trespassing include the following:

  • Entering a building you do not have permission to be in
  • Stepping foot on property when there are “no trespassing” signs clearly posted
  • Using false documents to receive permission from the owner to enter or remain in a building
  • Refusing to leave someone’s home after being asked to leave
  • Operating or entering a vehicle, boat, plane, or snowmobile without permission to do so. 

Illinois Punishments for Trespassers

According to Illinois Criminal code, criminal trespassing can be prosecuted either as a Class A  or B misdemeanor, or even a Class 3 or 4 felony. The penalties for these offenses are as follows:

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Joliet workers compensation attorneysConstruction jobs can be more dangerous than other types of jobs due to the nature of the work. For example, construction workers often operate heavy machinery to perform their duties, sometimes at extreme heights on scaffolding. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 150,000 construction site accident injuries every year in the United States. The reasons for injury can range from improperly maintained equipment, inadequate training, or hazardous workplace conditions. Although some injuries may be minor, others can be debilitating, requiring surgery, physical therapy, or extensive rehabilitation. In some cases, a person may be unable to return to work in the construction field. Workers’ compensation benefits can alleviate some of the medical costs incurred after a work injury. However, in certain situations, a negligent third party could be held responsible for your injury as well. 

Professional Hazards

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers at construction sites to follow certain safety procedures, accidents can still happen. For example, if an employee falls from a ladder, he or she can sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI), a broken leg or arm, and possibly paralysis. Heat-related injuries can occur when working in high temperatures or humidity without adequate hydration or breaks. In the event electrical equipment malfunctions, an explosion can occur, resulting in significant burns or damage to a person’s eyesight and/or hearing. 

Some of the more common injuries construction workers may suffer on the job include:  

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Will County traffic violations attorneyFederal and state laws are constantly changing for various reasons. In some cases, new legislation reflects an update to the punishment, definition, or statute of limitations for a criminal act. In Illinois, there are 250 new laws set to go into effect on January 1, 2020. These regulations cover a range of crimes, including drug sale or possession, sexual offenses, and traffic violations. Depending on the type of offense, traffic crimes may be classified as “moving or nonmoving violations.” Moving violations are more serious in nature, which could potentially lead to injury or even wrongful death. Although many people view traffic citations as an annoyance, they are meant to deter poor driving habits by motorists. Any changes to traffic laws are generally made to increase the safety of everyone on the roadways. 

Passing a Stopped School Bus

Currently, there are many actions that constitute a traffic violation. Some of the more serious offenses can include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), reckless driving, and operating a vehicle without proof of auto insurance. Specific laws for driving in school zones are put in place to protect children from risks when crossing the street or getting on and off a bus. It has long been illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing, both inside and outside of school zones. Due to changes in the law, the fines for such a violation will increase dramatically in 2020. 

Beginning on New Year’s Day, the penalty for passing a stopped school bus will now be a $300 fine for a first offense. If an offender violates this law a second time, the fine increases to $1,000.

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