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Illinois Police to Enforce Gun Laws Regardless of Gun Sanctuaries

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Gun regulation has become a hot topic in recent years following the multiple mass shootings that have occurred in the United States, such as the Las Vegas shooting, the Sandy Hook shooting, and the Parkland shooting. Many states have taken action to reform current gun laws, especially those regarding assault-style weapons. In response to these changes, many areas are proposing “gun sanctuaries,” or areas where certain gun laws don’t apply.

Illinois Gun Sanctuaries

According to an Illinois news station , four counties (Jefferson, Saline, Perry, and Iroquois Counties, which are all located in southern Illinois) have passed resolutions that declare the counties to be “gun sanctuaries.” These counties have declared four Illinois House bills and one Illinois Senate bill unconstitutional, saying that these bills infringe on their Second Amendment rights.

In the resolutions , the counties state that they will not enforce these laws, meaning that if someone in these counties is in possession of a firearm or accessory banned by the laws, local police will not be able to bring charges under local law.

The Laws

The Illinois House and Senate Bills that are being opposed are:

• HB1465: This bill states that nobody under the age of 21 can own or possess assault weapons, assault weapon attachments, or .50 caliber rifles or cartridges. The bill also says that anyone under the age of 21 who does not give up their banned weapons and accessories 90 days after the effective date of the bill will face possible charges.

• HB1467: This bill prohibits the ownership of bump stocks and trigger cranks, both of which modify guns to enable them to increase the rate of fire.

• HB1468: This bill states that a person unlawfully sells firearms when he or she knowingly delivers any assault weapon without a mandatory 72 hour waiting period. The bill also states that a violation of this law is a Class 4 felony.

• HB1469: This bill deals with the delivery and sale of any large capacity ammunition feeding device, such as magazines, belts, feed strips, or similar devices that hold more than 10 rounds. The bill prohibits the sale and possession of these devices.

• SB1657: This bill creates the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, which would provide that a person cannot sell, lease, or transfer firearms without a license issued by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The bill also creates the Gun Dealer Licensing Board, which consists of five members appointed by the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation. These members would recommend policies, procedures, and rules relevant to the act.

State Police Response

In response to these proposed gun sanctuaries, the Illinois State Police have responded by saying that they will continue to enforce all state laws that pertain to the possession, sale, and transfer of firearms. According to the Illinois State Police Public Information Office, if you are charged with wrongful possession of a firearm or accessory in a county that has declared itself a gun sanctuary, the case will go to the county’s State’s Attorney, who will make the final decision regarding charges and sentencing.

Contact a Joliet Weapons Charges Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm or accessory, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba can help protect your rights and give you the representation you deserve in court. Contact a Will County weapons charges defense lawyer at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

Tips for Staying Out of Trouble on the Water This Spring and Summer

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If you find yourself enjoying a day out on a boat this year, consider yourself lucky. Only about 240,000 people in Illinois are fortunate enough to own a boat. However, if you run into a law enforcement officer while boating, here are a few tips to remember that can help you avoid charges related to operating a boat while intoxicated, which is prosecuted in the same manner as driving under the influence (DUI) :

Safety First

Try to remember that Illinois boating regulations do not exist to spoil your day at the lake and generate revenue from fines. They exist to keep everyone safe.

When the police ask you to do something for basic safety reasons—for example, to show identification, to move from one place to another, or to keep your hands where they can be seen—always comply courteously.

Keep Private Things Private, In Both Words and Deeds

While you are out on a boat, it is easy to start feeling like you are in your own world, away from it all. You might even feel like being on your boat accords you the same privacy that you have in your own home or backyard. It can be easy to forget that law enforcement officers do patrol marinas, lakes, and rivers, and that there are just as many laws applying to boating as there are to driving a car.

An event which took place in July 2017 illustrates why it is wise to mind both your manners and your mouth, even on your boat. As two Conservation Police officers patrolled a busy Illinois lake, they witnessed a speedboat towing a waterskier. After the skier returned to the boat, the boat driver proceeded to the front of the boat and began urinating in plain view. The officers approached the boat and asked if the driver had been drinking. The 18-year-old driver said he had had one beer. (Admitting consumption was his first mistake, especially since he was underage.)

The officers escorted the boat driver to a nearby landing for field sobriety testing, at which point the driver confessed to having three beers. That was followed by a portable breathalyzer test, which showed a blood-alcohol concentration of .137 percent. The driver eventually admitted to drinking a total of 9 beers. (Lying was his second mistake. It never pays to lie to the police; it only makes them more likely to be hard on you when they write up their citations.)

The officers cited the driver for operating a boat under the influence and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. He also received a warning for nudity on Illinois Department of Natural Resources property, plus two boating violations. A 19-year-old passenger was also cited for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

What can we learn from this story? First, remember that when an officer asks you questions about what you have been doing, he is looking for evidence to use against you. Your best response to such police questioning is normally “I prefer not to answer” or “I am going to exercise my right to remain silent.”

Second, if you can do it carefully, you may want to offer explanations for any aspects of your appearance or behavior that an officer might mistake as signs of intoxication and probable cause for a DUI arrest. For example, a police officer might mistakenly conclude you were intoxicated when, in fact, you had red eyes from being out in the sun all day and were light-headed from dehydration.

Trust an Experienced Joliet Defense Attorney

If you are charged with boating under the influence or some other offense, you should contact a knowledgeable Will County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba will thoroughly investigate the details of your case and recommend the best defense strategy. Contact us at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation; phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.

Standardized and Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

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In the state of Illinois, driving under the influence (DUI) covers many different types of impaired driving, from driving under the influence of alcohol to driving under while intoxicated after using drugs, including prescription medications or illegal substances. In 2016, 29,528 DUI arrests were made, according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

When you get pulled over for a suspected DUI, the police officer may ask you to exit your vehicle and conduct a number of field sobriety tests to determine if you are impaired.

What Is a Field Sobriety Test?

A field sobriety test is one of the first things a police officer uses as a way of determining whether a person is under the influence while driving. There are both standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests which allow officers to observe a person’s sense of balance, physical control, or ability to maintain attention. These tests are usually administered after a person is pulled over and is asked for their license and registration.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests can be either standardized or non-standardized. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) was implemented in the early 1980s by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and consists of three parts: the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand test.

Standardized Tests

The SFST is the most commonly used test to determine possible intoxication. It consists of:

Horizontal gaze nystagmus - This test is a way of measuring involuntary jerking of the eyeball that can occur when an intoxicated person looks to the side. Usually, when a person is intoxicated, they will also have difficulty following a moving object, which police officers can detect by using this test.

Walk-and-turn - During this test, the officer instructs the suspect to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, then turn on one foot and come back to the officer in the same manner. With this test, the officer is looking at how well the suspect remains balanced, if the suspect can listen to the instructions, or if the suspect uses their arms to balance.

One-leg stand - In this test, the officer instructs the driver to stand on one foot and count out loud for 30 seconds. During this test, the officer is looking for signs of impairment, such as swaying, hopping, or putting their foot down.

Non-Standardized Tests

In addition to the SFST, officers commonly use a variety of non-standardized tests to determine possible intoxication. These tests include:

Romberg balance test - This test is based on the idea that vision, equilibrium, and knowing where you are in space are necessary to maintain balance. During this test, an officer will ask you to stand with your feet together, head tilted back, and eyes closed. The officer will then ask you to estimate when 30 seconds has passed, observing your ability to balance and follow directions.

Finger-to-nose - During this test, an officer will ask you to close your eyes, tilt your head back, and touch your nose with your index finger. The officer will look for swaying, the inability to follow directions, or the inability to touch your nose.

ABC Test - With this test, an officer will likely ask you to recite a portion of the alphabet - for example, from G to Q. The officer will look for the inability to focus, slurred speech, and difficulty following directions.

Contact a Skilled DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you need the help of an experienced Will County DUI defense lawyer . Field sobriety tests - especially non-standardized ones - can be subjective, and their effectiveness has been debated. Contact the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba to explore your options for fighting your DUI charge. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-740-4025.

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