A New Year Means New Laws in Illinois

illinois criminal lawyerAt the beginning of each new year, the state of Illinois enacts a number of new laws that impact nearly every aspect of people’s lives throughout the state. From divorce to nursing teen mothers, the Illinois legislature considered a wide variety of areas affecting citizens. We are using this space to summarize some changes to the Illinois criminal code and traffic safety laws.

Safe Driving

Every year, private citizens and automobile dealers, both new and used, attempt to sell vehicles. A new law in Illinois hopes to make taking test drives a little bit safer. House Bill 733 (HB 733) requires that no vehicle leaves a lot with stickers, price tags, or other notices affixed to the car’s windows that reduce visibility for the driver. This new law also applies to privately owned cars, which can no longer be operated on Illinois roads with a “for sale” sign displayed in the windshield.

Another change with road safety in mind was the passage of HB 1784, which not only allows bicyclists to ride on the shoulder of the road, but also permits drivers to pass bicyclists in designated “no passing” zones. Drivers may not exceed the speed limit while passing, and they must provide at least three feet of clearance while doing so.

Cyberstalking and Hate Crimes

Illinois legislators passed the following laws aimed at protecting citizens from threats and other acts of violence:

  • As the use of computers and other electronic communications devices expands, so too have the incidents of online threats and intimidation. Beginning this year, acts of intimidation, cyberstalking, or the transmission of obscene messages may be considered a hate crime. A related law expands penalties for cyberstalking to include the criminal use of spyware and other tracking software.
  • Crimes committed on the grounds of a church or other religious facilities may now be considered hate crimes with the passage of HB 2390. Furthermore, the law allows courts to order fines in excess of the previous $1,000 cap for restitution, based on the severity of the crime committed or the damage caused.

Retain an Experienced Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney to Help Protect Your Rights

Regardless of the circumstances that led to your arrest, you have rights that must be protected. To ensure you receive fair treatment under the law, work with a knowledgeable Illinois criminal defense attorney who understands how new Illinois laws will be applied by law enforcement and prosecutors. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we will review the details of your case and present an aggressive defense strategy on your behalf. Contact our offices today by calling 815-740-4025 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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