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Illinois defense lawyerWith the rise of technology, internet-based crimes have become more common in our society. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, nearly 300,000 complaints were made concerning internet crime in 2017. Illinois ranked number seven on the list of states with the most internet crime incidences. The state of Illinois made changes to the Cyberstalking section of the Criminal Code of 2012, which went into effect at the beginning of 2018.

What Is Cyberstalking?

According to Illinois law, cyberstalking takes places when a person uses electronic communication to cause another person to fear for their safety or suffer emotional distress. The law also says that cyberstalking is committed if a person uses electronic communication to harass another person on two or more occasions and threatens bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint of the person or a family member of the person.

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alcohol laws, new laws, Arlington Heights defense attorneyMore than 200 new laws went into take effect in Illinois on January 1, 2016. A few of them relate specifically to alcohol or driving while under the influence. Know how they are expected to change, and how they may impact your life for the better (or for the worse).

Powdered Alcohol Ban 

Powdered alcohol, otherwise known as Palcohol, has been on the state’s radar since early summer, 2015. Beginning in 2016, the product has been completely banned in the state and is being pulled off the shelves. Capable of being used to spike drinks, it carries a high risk of overdosing and could be used to maliciously spike the drinks of an unsuspecting individual. Five other states (Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Vermont) have already banned the substance.

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Posted on in Criminal Law

new laws, 2016, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyThe ushering in of the new year not only represents new beginnings for many people, but also brings with it a flurry of legislation changes for Illinois citizens. In the majority of the circumstances, ignorance of the law is not a valid defense, so with that in mind, we want to make sure you are aware of what changes these new Illinois laws bring.

Powdered Caffeine and Powdered Alcohol

Illinois lawmakers addressed both powdered caffeine and powdered alcohol this past year, enacting laws for both. The state has banned the sale of powdered caffeine to anyone under the age of 18. This new law was prompted by the death of an Ohio teen who overdosed on the product.

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bail, new laws, Illinois criminal defense lawyerTwo new laws regarding fees collected for bail is going to cost Cook County approximately $5 million in lost revenue every year. Lawmakers who pushed for the measure say these laws will especially protect those defendants who are poor and often do not have the funds when it comes to posting bail.

The first bill passed and signed into law addresses the amount of money counties can collect on bail. Previously, when a person was arrested and qualified to be released on bail, they would forfeit 10 percent of the bail amount as a processing fee. The county kept that processing fee whether or not the person was actually ever convicted for the crime or not. For example, a person who was arrested for a crime has their bail set at $5,000. Under current laws, the person is also responsible for a $500 processing fee. The person is later found innocent of the crime they were charged with. The $5,000 is returned, minus $500 kept by the county as the processing fee.

Under the new law, all bail processing fees are capped at $100 – whether bail set is for $1,000 or $1 million. Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, who helped get the bill passed, said he wants to see a future law passed which would refund that fee to those defendants who are either have charges dismissed or are found not guilty.

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boating, law, illinois criminal defense lawyerSummer is well underway and that means many Illinois citizens will be enjoying a multitude of outdoor activities. One of the more popular activities is boating. However, it is important to be aware of three new boating laws that went into effect this year. The goals of the new laws are to help promote boater safety and decrease the number of deaths and injuries which occur each year on Illinois waterways. Of particular focus to marine law enforcement is the crackdown on boat operators who drink and drive.

Illinois Senate Bill 3434 - Operating Under the Influence (OUI) went into effect on January 1st of this year. This law allows the state to seize a person’s boat or other vessel if that operator is engaging in certain criminal offenses. One of those offenses that this law takes harsh action against is operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The penalties for driving a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level over the legal limit of .08 are now similar to those penalties for driving a vehicle with an illegal BAC level.

The bill allows for the seizure of a watercraft used in the commission of certain offenses related to operating under the influence. The new rules bring penalties for boating under the influence more in line with those for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

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