As we ring in 2018 it is important that we are familiar with the new changes to the law. The legislature has implemented dozens of new laws and has revised some current laws. Below are list of some of the more relevant laws implemented. However, before we get to legislative changes, the Illinois Appellate Court has set forth a significant change to DUI’s. Law enforcement officers investigating DUI cases need a warrant before drawing blood and urine samples from a driver suspected of being impaired, a split Illinois appeals court ruled. In a 2-1 decision, the 1st District Illinois Appellate Court ruled part of the state’s DUI law unconstitutional and reversed the first-degree murder conviction of Ralph Eubanks, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison in the 2009 death of 48-year old Maria Worthon.

 In that case, Eubanks refused to give investigating officers permission to take blood and urine samples, but officers said state law allowed them to do so anyway. The divided appeals court disagreed. It overturned a statute allowing blood and urine tests to be taken without a suspect’s consent or a warrant when an officer has probable cause to believe a suspect was both impaired, and involved in a crash resulting in death or injury. As a result, officers cannot simply say, “Well, you were involved in accident, therefore you are going to the hospital and we are going to take your blood.” The court ruled there was no emergency circumstance in the Eubanks case, because officers waited for nearly three hours and did not seek a warrant in that time before forcing Eubanks to provide blood and urine samples. Accordingly, the state’s attorney ends up having the burden to show that there was some exigency or emergency which negated the need for the warrant. Below are some legislative changes:

  • Law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be required to develop a written policy regarding the investigation of officer-involved criminal sexual assaults. (HB 270)
  • Police Training (HB 375): Requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to create a course on mental health awareness including recognizing mental crises which require an immediate response.
  • Sealing of Criminal Records (HB 514): Allows records of charges that result in an acquittal or dismissal with prejudice, except for minor traffic offenses, to be immediately sealed after the final disposition of the case.
  • Hate Crimes at Religious Facilities (HB 2390): Adds crimes committed on the grounds of a religious facility to the definition of a hate crime. Removes the $1,000 restitution cap and allows courts to impose a fine based on the severity of the crime and damages.
  • Illinois Department of Corrections Visitations (HB 2738): Requires prisons to allow inmates to receive visitors in person or via video teleconference, with some exceptions for behavior.
  • Circuit Court Complaints (HB 3054): Requires circuit courts to post a public notice with details on how to file complaints against judges.
  • Aggravated DUI Death Limitations (HB 3084): Removes the statute of limitations on prosecution for aggravated DUI causing death.
  • Restorative Justice (HB 3165): Provides for training in restorative practices for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.
  • Illegal Electronic Monitoring/Cyberstalking (HB 3251): Expands the cyberstalking offense to include installing tracking software and causing threats.
  • Hate Crime Civil Penalty (HB 3711): Includes intimidation, stalking, cyberstalking, or transmission of obscene messages as possible hate crimes and creates a civil penalty for hate crimes.
  • Content Controlled Tablets For Inmates (HB 3712): Allows the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide inmates with temporary access to content‐ controlled tablets for educational and visitation opportunities as a reward for good behavior.
  • Criminal Protective Orders (HB 3718): Consolidates provisions regarding obtaining and issuing orders of protection and no contact orders, creates a criminal offense for the violation of no contact orders, and allows the State’s Attorney to petition for protective orders on behalf of a victim.
  • Participating in Gang Activity (HB 3803): Changes the criminal offense of “unlawful contact with a gang member” to “unlawful participation in street gang related activity.”
  • Expunging Juvenile Offences (HB 3817): Eliminates instances in which juvenile records may be shared and creates an automatic expungement process for some juvenile offenses.
  • Protective Order Phone Service (SB 57): Allows domestic violence victims to continue to use their current cell phone when they have separated from their abuser, helping them leave by saving them financial costs from setting up a new phone.
  • Collaborative Process Act (SB 67): Establishes requirements for collaborative law agreements and collaborative law procedures, clarifies the role of the courts in a collaborative proceeding, and set rules for privileged or confidential material.
  • Drug-Induced Homicide Sentence (SB 639): Creates an imprisonment term for a person who delivers a fatal dose of a controlled substance to another person.
  • Civil Pro-Zoning Board of Appeals (SB 731): Prevents someone who has testified as an individual from being named as a defendant in a lawsuit.
  • Unlawful Discrimination Juries (SB 889): Prohibits jurors from being excluded from jury service on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or economic status.
  • Sex Offender Management Board Act (SB 1321): Adds a definition to “child” in the offense of “grooming” and “travel to meet a minor” under the Sex Offender Management Board Act.
  • Criminal Prosecution Proof of Statute of Limitations (SB 1422): Eliminates the requirement of prosecution to provide facts to extend the statute of limitations; instead, the defendant must file a pretrial motion alleging that their case should be dismissed.
  • Juvenile Justice Qualifications (SB 1519): Removes the requirement that certain Department of Juvenile Justice personnel have a bachelor’s/advanced degree with a specialization in criminal justice, education, psychology, social work, and only requires them to have a bachelor’s, advanced degree or vocational training.
  • Sentencing Guidelines for Repeat Gun Offenders (SB 1722): Creates tougher sentencing guidelines for repeat gun offenders while working to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison.
  • Bail Reform Act (SB 2034): Provides new rights for bail defendants and encourages the creation of a risk assessment for defendants to determine if they are a danger to the community.
  • Sexual Orientation (SB 1761): Prohibits sexual orientation from being considered a mitigating factor and clarifies that it does not constitute serious provocation in murder cases.