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Taser or Stun Guns in Illinois

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An Illinois law prohibiting the carrying of a taser or stun gun in public was ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court on March 21, 2019. The court declared that a taser or stun gun has the same essential function as a handgun for self-defense and therefore merits similar protection under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The law at issue, 720 ILCS 5/24-1(2)(a), states that a person commits the crime of Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) when he carries a taser or stun gun in public or in a private automobile. Another state law, 430 ILCS 66, permits Concealed Carry License (CCL) holders to carry a handgun but does not specifically permit carrying of a taser or stun gun. Thus, the UUW statute acts as a total ban on the carrying of a taser or stun gun and violates the Second Amendmen right to bear arms.

For those unfamiliar, a stun gun is a device that must be pressed to another person’s body to deliver a non-lethal electric shock. In contrast, a civilian taser can work from as far as 15 feet away but is more effective around five feet. It shoots two probes connected to the device by wires that deliver a shock for up to about 30 seconds.

How Will Illinois Law Change Regarding Tasers and Stun Guns?

When a state law is declared unconstitutional , the Illinois legislature typically responds by modifying the law to comply with the court’s ruling. Three laws likely to be affected are the UUW law, the CCL law, and the Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) Act, 430 ILCS 65.

FOID Law: The FOID Act already allows for the acquisition of a stun gun or taser by FOID card holders but does not address public possession of such devices.

The FOID act also reserves to the state the following “exclusive powers and functions” which cannot be superseded by stricter municipal laws:

• Transportation of any firearm and ammunition by FOID card holders;

• Regulation, licensing, possession, and registration of handguns and handgun ammunition; and

• Regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons.

The Illinois legislature may or may not reserve regulation of tasers and stun guns as exclusive powers and functions of the state.

CCL Law: The legislature will most likely want to regulate who can and cannot carry a taser or stun gun. One likely option is to modify the Concealed Carry Licensed Law to make it legal for a CCL holder to carry a taser or stun gun. Given that a firearms safety course and a shooting proficiency test are currently required to obtain a CCL for a handgun, similar training would presumably be required for to obtain a CCL for a taser or stun gun. Organizations concerned about firearms deaths might even be in favor of encouraging people to carry tasers or stun guns in place of handguns, given that tasers and stun guns generally inflict less damage than a firearm.

UUW Law: The current UUW law makes it a Class A misdemeanor to carry a taser or stun gun, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The UUW law will likely need to be modified to allow the carrying of a taser or stun gun by either FOID or CCL holders. The UUW law has been modified this way before when Illinois legalized the carrying of switchblade knives by FOID card holders in August 2017.

Will County Weapons Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with unlawful carry or possession of a knife, firearm, or other weapon, talk to a Will County weapons defense lawyer as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba respond to calls 24/7 and we will aggressively defend you against any weapons-related charges. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

Proposed Bill Would Make Illinois Medical Marijuana Program Permanent

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In the past couple of years, there has been a surge of different states and even different countries that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. In the United States, there are 33 states, including the District of Columbia, that have legalized medical marijuana. In addition, 10 of those states have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Medical marijuana has been deemed an effective and popular way to help treat and alleviate symptoms of certain medical issues. Illinois is included as one of the 33 states that have legalized medical marijuana, though the program is currently not a permanent fixture. A new bill would change that.

Current Medical Marijuana Program

In 2013, Illinois passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act which legalized the growth, use, and sale of marijuana for medicinal uses throughout the state. In 2016, a bill was passed to extend the program until 2020 because of initial delays in getting the program started and early indications of the benefits it offered to patients. Currently , there are nearly 58,000 medical marijuana patients in Illinois, including over 400 patients under the age of 18. The medical cannabis program allows patients who have at least one qualifying condition (such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease) to purchase 2.5 ounces of flower, edibles, or other cannabis-infused oils and concentrates every two weeks.

Bill Aims to Make Program Permanent

An Illinois state representative has proposed a bill that would expand and also make the pilot program a permanent fixture in Illinois. According to the bill, the list of qualifying conditions would expand to include chronic pain, autism, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and many others. The bill would also allow veterans who see doctors through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to qualify for medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids, which they currently cannot do because marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

A Joliet Drug Possession Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you do not completely follow the rules, you can end up getting yourself into trouble for using or possessing medical marijuana. Drug charges are taken quite seriously in Illinois, and the consequences for illegal marijuana possession can be severe. If you are facing drug charges, you need an experienced Will County drug possession defense attorney on your side. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you plead your case and avoid a conviction at all costs. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

Exploring Juvenile Diversion Programs in Illinois

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When your child is in legal trouble, it can be extremely stressful for the entire family. Often times, you do not know what will happen to your child, whether or not they will serve jail time and what non-legal repercussions will come of your child’s situation. While some juvenile offenders have committed crimes that are serious enough to warrant juvenile detention , most children in juvenile detention are serving time for minor offenses and have significant mental health issues. Juvenile detention is the youth equivalent to adult incarceration, but studies have shown that not all juveniles benefit from being in detention. This is why juvenile diversion programs were created as an alternative to incarceration.

What Are Diversion Programs?

Juvenile diversion programs are used to redirect juvenile offenders out of the justice system by using programming, supervision, and support. Most juvenile offenders who are a part of a diversion program have committed minor offenses

Using diversion programs helps offenders from becoming repeat offenders, and it has been shown that a diversion program is a more effective response than juvenile detention.

Elements of Juvenile Diversion Programs

The structure and operation of juvenile diversion programs can differ greatly, but the main goal of the diversion programs tends to be the same: to address delinquent behavior and attempt to prevent future delinquency. Services that diversion programs provide to juveniles and their families include:

• Screening and assessments;

• Educational and tutorial services;

• Service learning programs;

• Job skills training;

• Mental health treatment;

• Crisis intervention;

• Family counseling;

• Supports for rebuilding family relationships; and

• Recreation and organized sports programs.

Each case is different and diversion programs can be customized—at least to an extent—to meet the needs of the juvenile in question.

Get in Touch With a Will County Juvenile Defense Lawyer

It can be a parent’s worst nightmare to learn that their child is involved with the criminal justice system. Many times, juvenile offenders are sent to juvenile detention, though it has not been shown that juvenile detention benefits the majority of juvenile offenders. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you avoid detention for your child at all costs. Our skilled Joliet juvenile defense attorneys can help you fight for alternative sentencing for your child. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

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