Posted on in Criminal Law

By:  Kal Issa

With the passing of House Bill 1438, which allows for the legal possession of Cannabis, many individuals who have had criminal records based on the mere possession of certain amounts of marijuana will have the opportunity to have their criminal record wiped clean. That is because the bill will provide those individuals the ability to have their arrests, cases, and convictions expunged, making it as if it never happened at all.

House Bill 1438, known as The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, amends the Criminal Identification Act, which addresses the sealing and or expunging of certain criminal offenses. Sealing allows a record to be hidden from public view, while still being accessible to certain entities. Expungement, on the other hand, allows for the complete obliteration of a criminal record, essentially wiping the past away.

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By: Kal Issa

Recently, there has been a spike in vehicle accidents involving stopped emergency vehicles, mainly Illinois State Police vehicles.[1] Unfortunately, some of these accidents have led to the death or serious injury to members of law enforcement. In Illinois, it has been nearly 20 years since lawmakers enacted a criminal statute to address this issue.

Scott’s Law, otherwise known as the “Move Over” law, requires motorists to change lanes away from the shoulder when there is an emergency vehicle parked on the shoulder with its emergency red, white, blue or yellow lights flashing.[2] If it not safe for the motorist to make this lane change, the motorist must proceed with due caution and reduce its speed. Scott’s Law was named after Scott Gillen, a Chicago firefighter who was struck and killed by a motorist while on the scene of a crash rendering emergency services.

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Posted on in Criminal Law

In Illinois, a DUI arrest can occur not only when an officer believes that someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, but a DUI arrest can occur when an officer has probable cause that an individual is driving under the influence of any controlled substance or marijuana. Currently, most breath analysis equipment is only able to determine the presence and/or amount of alcohol in a driver’s system. In order to determine whether or not a suspected drunk driver has any other controlled substance in their system (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, benzodiazepines, etc.), an officer will normally request that the driver submits to blood testing at a hospital (“blood draw”).

The United States Supreme Court has held that breath analysis testing is not subject to Fourth Amendment protection, while blood testing is subject to that protection. [1] This is important because if testing is subject to Fourth Amendment protection, law enforcement will be required to obtain a search warrant issued by a judge for any testing. There are many exceptions to this warrant requirement. For the purposes of this topic, the exception to the warrant requirement that has the most impact is called exigency.

Both under federal and state law, if the police have an exigent circumstance, then they are not required to obtain a warrant. For instance, if police see a gunshot victim run into their home, police can enter that home because there is a risk of an immediate loss of life. No court would require that the officers stop their investigation to obtain a warrant while risking that the gunshot victim may die during the process.

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When a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holder is ticketed for any offense in the State of Illinois, havoc can ensure regarding that individual’s ability to provide financial support for themselves and their family. This is the case even if the ticket appears to be only “minor” at first glance.

CDL holders, without regard to which state issued the CDL, face two categories of moving violations when issued an Illinois ticket. The first is called a “major moving” violation. The second category is called a “serious traffic” offense.

Illinois follows the federal law with regard to major moving violations. Major moving violations are offenses that lead to an automatic one-year disqualification of an individual’s ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). In fact, a second major moving violation would lead to a lifetime revocation of that individual’s CDL. This even applies if the CDL holder was ticketed for the major moving violation while operating their personal vehicle or a non-commercial motor vehicle.

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Posted on in Criminal Law

MelissaPolice responded to a domestic disturbance call in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, only to find blood spatters on the first-floor apartment walls and floor. According to the police, a 22-year-old woman was stabbed multiple times when she knocked on the rear door of an apartment around five in the morning on February 11. Police state that a 27-year-old woman opened the door with a knife in her hand, and started stabbing the younger woman.

The younger woman was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with serious-to-critical injuries, having been stabbed in the head, hand, arm, torso, and back, along with sustaining a collapsed lung. The 27-year-old had also received a stab wound in her left leg during the encounter, and was taken to St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center. She is listed in good condition.

According to this article in the Chicago Tribune, there was another woman in the apartment during the time of the stabbing, but she did not receive any injuries. None of the women were identified in the story, and Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli told the Tribune that criminal charges are still pending.

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