Illinois now the 21st state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 2228 on July 29, 2016, removing criminal penalties for those found in possession of 10 grams or less. Law enforcement may no longer arrest or jail a person in possession of that amount, and the infraction does not result in a criminal record. This change vastly improves the previous law by replacing criminal penalties with a fine of between $100 and $200. The DUI law also improved, eliminating the possibility of a conviction based on metabolized forms of THC, unrelated to impairment.
The state’s medical cannabis program also saw improvement this year. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 10 into law, extending the medical cannabis pilot program to at least July 2020. The state program will also add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying medical conditions, and streamlines the physician’s role in the qualification process for patients.

Overall, it has been a positive year in Illinois. Criminal penalties for possession of 10 grams or less just disappeared, and the medical cannabis program is improving!

Source: Marijuana Policy Project

Before you “Conceal and Carry” in Illinois – Expunge

Will your criminal record prevent you from “Conceal and Carry” in Illinois?

With passage 430 ILCS 66, which allows an individual to legally carry a concealed firearm. There are some criminal offenses that do not qualify for expungement and an individual cannot expunge a charge on their criminal record if they have even a single conviction, or have pleaded guilty to the charge. The expungement laws do allow for expungement of non-convictions such as arrests resulting in an acquittalRestore Gun Rights or dismissals. There are other alternatives, such as Restoring your Civil Rights, to obtain your Conceal and Carry License after a conviction. I would encourage anyone wanting to ultimately obtain a permit to allow him or her to carry a concealed firearm to make sure any arrests that qualifies for expungement,  are in fact expunged prior to submitting an application to the Illinois State Police.

The Firearm Concealed Carry Act, 430 ILCS 66,  allows an eligible individual to legally carry a concealed firearm with a valid Concealed Carry License. There are requirements a person must meet in order to obtain a license. The Illinois State Police looks at the criminal record of an individual and bases their decision as to whether to issue such a license to an individual. Section 15 of the new law provides that “any law enforcement agency may submit an objection to a license applicant based upon a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others, or a threat to public safety”. This is obviously purposefully vague language that serves to open the door for objections by law enforcement agencies. For more information on this topic, please visit the expungement section of our website, or Call or email us 309-797-9000.

By: Hanna & Ruud, LLC Attorneys at Law – June 9, 2015


Should I Stay or Should I Blow?

“Why would someone refuse the breath test if they were not drunk?”

Criminal DUI Defense

If you have been charged with a DUI in Illinois, you need an experienced Attorney, and Results Count!

Having gone through many DUI jury and bench trials in Rock Island County, Henry County, and the surrounding areas in Illinois that involve a breath test refusal, the number one issue the jury is usually most concerned with is, “Why would someone refuse the breath test if they were not drunk?” This is why it is important for a skilled DUI Attorney to scientifically refute the States Attorney’s evidence, or lack there of. There are many reasons to and not to refuse chemical tests in a DUI case. Many people refuse the breath and standard field sobriety tests because they do not trust the methods or equipment used to administrator the presence of drugs or alcohol, which is completely justifiable. Under the Implied Consent law in Illinois allows a police officer to ask for a chemical sample of a suspect’s blood, breath , or urine. The police officer can even ask for samples of two of the three, and if the suspect does not comply then it is deemed a refusal.

It is the duty of a skilled Criminal and DUI Defense lawyer in Illinois to give the jury reasonable doubt about why the breathalyzer or other tests were refused, and to prove that the government does not have adequate evidence to prove the suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Of course there are many reasons why a person would refuse the breath test.  It is “not” the DUI or Criminal Defense Attorney’s job to prove the suspect was not intoxicated. This is because the burden of proof  falls on the prosecutor and it is unconstitutional to shift the burden to proof to a suspect not guilty to the criminal offense.

One important reason anyone could refuse a breath test in Illinois is because there are many potential problems with the state’s breath test equipment,  it is sometimes outdated, not calibrated correctly, and may lack important procedural safeguards.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, County in Illinois Call 309.797.9000 – We also serve many other areas in Illinois.

By:  Hanna & Ruud, LLC Attorneys at Law