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New Laws in Illinois for 2015

new 2015 Illinois laws, DuPage criminal defense lawyerIn a given year, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of pieces of legislation which make their way through the state government and end up being signed into law. Many bills set a future date on which they are set to take effect and in a large number of cases, a new year provides a convenient starting date for new laws. This year, more than 200 new or amended laws became effective on January 1, covering a wide range of issues from traffic and vehicle concerns to children and family interests to the criminal code and law enforcement, including record expungement.

While many of the new laws seem rather bureaucratic, there are several which may be of interest to the public at large.

Ban on Ticket Quotas (PA 98-0650)

It is not uncommon for a driver who has received what he or she perceives to be a questionable traffic ticket to assume the issuing officer was just trying to “make his numbers.” However, beginning in 2015, it is now illegal for a police department to mandate ticket minimums for its officers. Additionally, the number of citations issued by a police officer may no longer be used a job performance measure.

“Sign and Drive” (PA 98-0870)

Recognizing that a state-issued photo identification card is necessary for more than just driving privileges, the “sign and drive” law prohibits law enforcement from confiscating a driver’s license as bail in relation to minor traffic citations. A cited driver is expected to sign the citation and appear in court as required. Failure to do so may result in the suspension of the individual’s license until the original violation is resolved.

Protection for Job Seekers (PA 98-0774)

For an individual with a criminal record, finding gainful employment can often be difficult. Many find that past legal issues continue to follow them for years. Starting this year, employers may not conduct background checks or otherwise attempt to find information regarding criminal history of an applicant before offering an interview or extending a conditional offer of employment. The aim of the law is to allow qualified candidates the opportunity to earn employment before being automatically eliminated from consideration.

Expungement of Records (PA 98-0637 and PA 98-0635)

Two public acts went into effect on January 1, 2015, regarding the expungement of criminal records, based on certain criteria. One of the acts focuses on the automatic expungement of a minor’s record, within particular guidelines, when the individual turns 18. The other addresses the right of a citizen to petition the court for the expungement or sealing of records related to certain municipal ordinance violations. Unlike many existing statutes, violations addressed by this law are possibly eligible to be expunged even if the individual was convicted.

If you or a loved one has been accused of crime in Illinois, an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney can help. Contact the offices of Stephen A. Brundage today for a consultation and get the qualified representation you deserve.

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