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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_291286040.jpgThe state of Illinois is home to one of the most famous cities globally — Chicago. This vibrant city is full of exciting monuments to tour, high-rise buildings for business seminars, and gorgeous parks filled with acres of green space. Before you get too eager to roam the streets of Chicago, it is essential to remember all of the pedestrians and driving laws that are enforced throughout the city. 

What is Jaywalking?

Pedestrians, like drivers, must obey the laws of the road when exploring a city on foot. This means that walking on a busy street, running into merging traffic, or crossing a road with no crosswalk may be against the law. Jaywalking is a term primarily used in the United States that refers to pedestrians crossing the street in prohibited areas. Jaywalking comes in many shapes and sizes and can look like:

  • Running across a road with no crosswalk when traffic slows

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_216281644.jpgUnderage drinking is an offense taken very seriously in the state of Illinois. The state has set a no-tolerance policy that prohibits minors under the age of 21 from consuming alcohol to keep minors and the public safe. Underage drinking has many dangerous implications including damage to a minor's growth and mental health. It can lead to drinking and driving, DUIs, serious injury or death. Most underage drinking charges are considered misdemeanors and lead to fines, and even jail time. Minors who call 911 seeking medical or police assistance while under the influence will receive immunity from legal consequences.

Understanding Immunity

Under regular legal processes, consuming or purchasing alcohol as a minor under the age of 21 years old is a misdemeanor. This charge can lead to fines up to $500, license suspension for up to six months, or even jail time. If a minor is found drinking and driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.00, that minor can be charged with a DUI. The exception to this rule is minors acting in good faith. According to Illinois law, minors acting in good faith are those that willingly admit to consuming alcohol underage to request medical or police assistance. 

To qualify for immunity, the minor must have requested contact with an office and the following conditions were present:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1087933811.jpg Murder is commonly seen as the worst crime an individual can commit. The act of ending another person’s life is punishable by a lengthy prison sentence and other harsh penalties. Although rare, some unfortunate situations occur in individuals' lives that legally warrant killing another person. In the state of Illinois, the use of deadly force on another person may be justified if the person was directly threatening the defendant's life. 

Understanding Illinois Murder Charges 

Similar to other criminal charges, murder is calculated, charged, and sentenced by degree. The degree of the murder charge is based on a few factors, including the situation of the crime and the intent of both parties involved. Murder is charged in Illinois on two different counts:

  • First-Degree Murder — First-degree murder involves killing someone with the intent to kill or cause great bodily harm. This is the most serious homicide charge in Illinois. The consequences of a first-degree murder conviction include a minimum of 20 years in prison. Probation or early release is not permitted for this type of crime. The state of Illinois does not have the death penalty. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_2090617144.jpgIn an effort to allow police officers more time and resources to combat violent crimes, the state of Illinois legalized the use of marijuana on January 1, 2020. The state saw it as beneficial to allocate the money and public space used to enforce marijuana laws to rehabilitation and substance abuse and treatment centers. Although recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois, there are still regulations throughout the state to ensure that Illinois citizens are safe. Breaking any of the outlined rules for legalized marijuana, including illegally distributing marijuana, may still result in legal consequences. 

Can I Sell Marijuana?

Can you sell marijuana in Illinois? The short answer is no. Illinois citizens without a state-issued license may not distribute marijuana to others. In order to sell marijuana, Illinois requires an entity (usually a business) to obtain a license and open a dispensary. The application fee to open a dispensary costs $30,000. There is also another $100,000 charge to the state for the cannabis business development fund. If you are a citizen in Illinois without a license to grow and distribute marijuana, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony for illegally distributing marijuana.

Marijuana Regulations 

Marijuana regulations are easy to follow if you can remember two key rules about legal cannabis in Illinois: (1) you must have a license to grow or distribute marijuana, and (2) you can only possess 30 grams or less at a time. Failure to follow Illinois marijuana laws may result in a person being charged with a drug crime:

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arlington heights criminal defense lawyerPeople make mistakes every day — it is human nature. Legal mistakes, however, can follow you for the rest of your life and affect the way you interact with the world. Depending on the nature of the crime that was committed and the age of the offender, some people with a criminal record may be eligible to expunge or seal their criminal records. This process removes or conceals any wrongdoings, but there are some cases where an old record can still be reached.

How Do I Conceal or Expunge My Record?

Many people who have committed a crime wish to remove the crime off of their record in an effort to distance themselves from a past mistake. If you are looking to remove a record, it is important to understand the difference between expunging a record and sealing a record. When a record is expunged, it is destroyed and your name is removed from public records and official files. If a record is sealed, it still exists, but it is not available to the general public. To determine if a criminal record can be sealed or expunged, a few factors have to be taken into consideration. 

  • The nature of the crime — An important factor that is considered when determining if a crime is eligible to be expunged is the crime’s classification. You can expunge your arrest record, court provisions, and sometimes probation orders. However, if you were convicted of a crime and sentenced, you may be eligible to seal the crime, but not expunge your record.  

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