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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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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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Joliet criminal defense attorneysThe Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been in the news a lot over the past few decades. Mass shootings at schools, synagogues, shopping malls, and theaters have put the issue of gun control at the forefront of public consciousness. Many people want to ban firearms except for the military and law enforcement. However, the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. 

With this in mind, you should know that Illinois state laws regarding the concealed carry of a weapon are some of the strictest in the country. But how do they apply to minors who are in possession of a firearm? It is important to understand the gun laws in Illinois since the punishments vary depending on the age of the offender. 

Criminal Charges Involving Firearms

In Illinois, a person must obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification card (FOID) from the state police before purchasing a gun or any ammunition. However, a FOID is only available for adults who do not have a criminal record or history of mental illness. 

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Joliet theft crimes defense attorneysCriminal offenses such as theft, robbery, and burglary are often misunderstood crimes because they are frequently lumped together. However, they are different offenses. Under Illinois law, theft occurs any time a person’s actions result in the intentional and unauthorized taking of property or services. 

Theft offenses are typically classified according to the dollar amount value of the item or service stolen and can range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the circumstances. It is important to know the distinctions between them in case you are ever facing prosecution for theft in Illinois. 

What Constitutes Theft? 

Illinois law defines theft as occurring when a person knowingly:

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