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Concealed Carry Law: Illinois’ Shall Issue Requirement

Joliet Illinois Concealed CarryThe state of Illinois has long been known for its strict policies on gun ownership , particularly in regard to handguns. In fact, Illinois was the last state in the country to enact a law permitting the possession of concealed weapons. The law, however, represented the state’s legislative reaction to a 2012 federal appeals court ruling that a complete ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional and violated the second amendment rights of citizens. The court provided a 180-day window within which the state legislature could craft an acceptable measure that balanced public safety interests with citizens’ rights.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry Permit

Passed in 2013, and going into effect in 2014, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act provides guidelines for permit eligibility. To be eligible, an individual must:

• Be at least 21 years old;
• Currently possess a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card and continue to meet the requirement for possessing a FOID card;
• Have not been convicted of a violence-related misdemeanor in the previous five years;
• Have not been convicted of two or more DUI violations in the previous five years;
• Not be the subject an existing warranty, ongoing prosecution, or proceeding that could disqualify him or her from owning or possessing a firearm;
• Have not received residential or court-ordered substance abuse treatment in the previous five years; and
• Have completed appropriate education and training requirements.

Shall Issue

One of the more interesting aspects of the concealed carry law, as it was passed, is the specific language it contains. The law explicitly states that “the Department [of State Police] shall issue a license to an applicant” (emphasis added) meeting the necessary criteria, within 90 days in most cases. The use of the words “shall issue” creates the statutory expectation that an eligible individual will not be denied a license.

In limited situations, a concealed carry permit may be denied on the grounds that an applicant is a danger to himself or herself, others, or to public safety. Because of the language in the law, however, such cases must be considered very carefully by the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board to ensure sufficient justification exists to deny the application.

Responsibilities of Permit Holders

Once a permit has been granted, the holder must carry the permit on his or her person while in possession of a concealed weapon. If he or she is stopped by law enforcement for any reason, including a traffic violation, it is the permit holder’s responsibility to inform the officer that he or she is currently possessing a concealed firearm. Upon the officer’s request, the holder must produce his or permit, disclose the location of firearm, and to allow the officer to secure the weapon for during the stop.

Violations of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, including possessing a concealed firearm in statutorily restricted places, are very serious. If you are facing weapons charges related to the carrying of a concealed firearm, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer . As a former Will County prosecutor, Attorney Jack L. Zaremba is committed to helping you protect your rights and will work with you in minimizing the impact to your future. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free, confidential consultation today.

Evidence Gathered in Warrantless Cell Phone Searches is Inadmissible

Joliet Warrant Cell Phone SearchWhen an individual is arrested, whether it is on charges of DUI , weapons offenses , or possession of drugs , the arresting officer will normally conduct a pat-down search of the arrestee. This is done in an effort to prevent the officer from being injured by any object on the individual’s person that may pose an immediate threat. The search is also conducted to prevent the destruction of immediately available additional evidence, such as drugs or drug paraphernalia. However, up to 90 percent of American adults routinely carry a cell phone or other mobile device that may be seized by police subsequent to an arrest. Thanks to a ruling by the United States Supreme Court, though, the police must obtain a warrant before looking through an arrestee’s cell phone for additional information.

The decision came as the result of two separate cases from opposite sides of the country. In the first, a California man was convicted for additional crimes when a warrantless search of his cell phone led to incriminating evidence that was used against him at trial. In the other, a man in Massachusetts was arrested for selling drugs and law enforcement officials searched his phone. Using information on the phone, they were able to identify the man’s apartment, a warranted search of which found additional drugs and illegal weapons. Together, the two cases reached the nation’s high court, which, in a unanimous decision, solidified the concept of digital privacy by prohibiting warrantless searches of cell phones.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. He expressly recognized the inherent differences between a cell phone or mobile device and other items that are routinely carried on someone’s person. The search of a cell phone, he continued, is therefore much different than the normal, brief search conducted incident to arrest. “Digital data stored on a cell phone,” Roberts wrote, “cannot itself be used as a weapon to harm an arresting officer or to effectuate the arrestee’s escape.”

The court maintained the right of law enforcement to secure the device and to search it after obtaining a warrant based on probable cause, but recognized that such searches are rarely so time-sensitive that the warrant process would have a measurable negative impact. Proceeding to search without a warrant, however, would render the information developed from such a search to be inadmissible in most cases, and a violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights.

At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, we take the rights of defendants very seriously. We understand the law, and when law enforcement officers violate your rights, we are prepared to take action. If you have been charged with a crime based on information found on your cell phone, contact an experienced Will County criminal defense lawyer today. We will review your case and are equipped to help you protect your future. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

Governor Amends Lawmakers’ Proposal on Marijuana DUI Limits

Joliet Marijuana DUI BillA few weeks ago, a post on this blog discussed a bill that would have created the created the state’s first quantitative standard for driving under the influence of marijuana . The measure had been approved passed with bipartisan support by the Illinois House and Senate and was sent to the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature. The governor, however, found the proposed limits to be too permissive and returned the bill to the legislature with a proposal of his own, exercising his amendatory veto power.

Zero-Tolerance and Initial Proposal

Under the existing laws in Illinois, a driver could face charges for DUI if any trace of marijuana is found in his or her system. This presents several problems, proponents for change contend. First, efforts are underway around the country and in Illinois to decriminalize marijuana possession, with some starts having already legalized recreational use. Thus, a zero-tolerance policy for presence of a substance, the use of which may or may not have been illegal, does not seem to make sense when impairment is not a factor. The other main concern is that it takes a significant amount of time for all traces of marijuana to be fully metabolized or expelled from the body. In fact, some remnants can remain in a person’s system for several weeks, long after its impairment effects have worn off. Critics of the current law maintain that a DUI arrest today based marijuana use last week—which may have been legal if the driver visited another state—is simply unjust.

The law sent to the governor contained a quantifiable standard for impairment, similar to the state’s limits on blood alcohol content, or BAC. Lawmakers proposed a limit of 15 nanograms of THC—the psychoactive component of marijuana—per milliliter of blood. If it had been passed, the law would have established the highest such limit in the country.

Amendatory Veto

Governor Rauner agreed with many around the state who believed that such a standard was simply too lenient. As a result, the Republican governor sent the bill back with a new proposed limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter. Supporters see the amendment as in line with trends across the country , as a 5 nanogram limit is currently the enforcement standard in Washington and Colorado, the two states which legally permit recreational marijuana use.

While the state legislature considers the governor’s amendment, it is important to remember that driving under the influence of marijuana or any other controlled substance can result in serious criminal penalties. If you have been charged with DUI, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Joliet today. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba.

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