You can expect a lot of change in Illinois with 200 new state laws going into effect in the New Year. The three laws highlighted below affect current inmates, individuals suspected of drug-induced homicide and juvenile offenders. And, even if you don't fall into any of those categories, you may still be affected if you have loved ones that do.
The law for several years governing drug-induced homicide has stated that if you distribute a controlled substance, you can be held accountable if your drugs lead to someone's death. The death would have to be a direct result of the deceased individual taking the drugs. Under the old law, you could only be charged with drug-induced homicide if the drugs were distributed within Illinois borders.
But, effective January 1, 2018, the Illinois General Assembly amended the act. You can now be charged with drug-induced homicide in the state if the drugs were distributed outside of Illinois. This is due to the passage of the Evan Rushing law.
Inmates have expanded visitation rights
If you're incarcerated, the Department of Corrections (DOC) can no longer revoke your right as an inmate to in-person visits simply because video visits exist. This means that your loved ones may now be able to visit you in-person, instead of looking at a screen. Previously, the DOC could revoke your in-person visits because your visitors could video chat you instead. With the new law, inmates could feel less isolated and more connected to the outside world.
Expunging juvenile offenses
A new law automatically expunges all juvenile court records and arrests for most offenses, excluding murder, if two or more years have passed without any further juvenile court proceedings. Essentially, if you steered clear of the law for at least two years following your proceeding, your good behavior is rewarded with an expunged record. The law also clarifies when sealed juvenile records can be obtained and who is authorized to inspect them.
Furthermore, it states that if you went through the juvenile court system, you will not be subject to the collateral consequences that come with a criminal conviction. In particular, under the new law, juvenile adjudications do not disqualify an applicant for public office. That means if you have previously been in juvenile court, you can still run for public office and have a voice changing the laws.
These are just three of the over 200 new law changes in Illinois. There are still many others that may affect you or your loved ones. You may want to consider contacting an experienced attorney if you need further clarification on which of them affect you.