New Illinois Criminal Law Safeguards Places of Worship

On January 1st, a new law will adjust the Illinois Criminal Code to safeguard churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship, according to an article by The Pantagraph. More specifically, this new law amends the statutes governing murder, aggravated battery and assault, and unlawful use of weapons

Introduced as House Bill 38, this measure passed through both houses of the Illinois legislature in less than a year. The governor signed this bill into law on August 9th as Public Act 101-0223, with an effective date of January 1, 2020. 

Once this law becomes effective, several statutes within the Illinois Criminal Code will change, including those relating to first-degree murder, aggravated battery, unlawful use of weapons, and aggravated assault

First-Degree Murder

Moving forward, first-degree murder under 720 ILCS 5/9-1 will include additional provisions. Specifically, it will qualify as first-degree murder if the victim was:

    A member
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Illinois Removes Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault Crimes

Starting on January 1st, there will not be a statute of limitations for standard and aggravated criminal sexual assault crimes in Illinois, according to an article by WIFR.

Once effective, House Bill 2135 removes the three-year timeline for victims to report sexual assault and similar crimes to the appropriate authorities. Additionally, the 10-year limit for prosecuting sexual assault crimes will also disappear.

Considering the potentially sweeping impact of this new law, it feels like a great time to assess Illinois laws against standard and aggravated criminal sexual assault.

Criminal Sexual Assault

720 ILCS 5/11-1.20 provides the Illinois definition of criminal sexual assault. Under this section, criminal sexual assault only occurs when there is an act of sexual penetration. Additionally, Section 11-1.20 requires that the victim was:

    Subject to force or the threat of force during the act; Unable to understand the act or provide knowing consent; Under the age
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What is the Difference Between Battery and Aggravated Battery in Illinois?

Under the laws of the State of Illinois, it is unlawful to make unwanted physical contact with another person. This is referred to legally as battery or aggravated battery, depending on the circumstances of the offense. The presence of actual contact is what differentiates battery from assault crimes, which only address threats of unwanted physical contact.

Battery

The definition of battery under Illinois law appears in 720 ILCS 5/12-3. Under this section, battery occurs when a person knowingly and without legal justification:

    Inflicts physical harm or injury on another person; or Makes insulting or provoking physical contact with another person.

The penalties for battery in Illinois also appear in 720 ILCS 5/12-3. In most circumstances, battery results in Class A misdemeanor charges. Upon conviction, the typical punishment includes up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in fines, and 24 months of probation.

Aggravated Battery

The definition of aggravated [...]

Illinois Orders of Protection vs. No Contact Orders

Orders of protection and no contact orders are legal devices available to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and similar crimes. In a general sense, these legal orders prevent the criminal perpetrators from further contact with the victims. From a more precise standpoint, the eligibility and protections available for these orders varies based on the type of offense and relationship between the victim and perpetrator.

Orders of Protection for Domestic Violence

Orders of protection are available to victims of domestic violence in Illinois. In order to qualify for an order of protection, the victim must suffer abuse at the hands of family or household member. Specifically, a family or household member includes a person’s:

    Blood and other relative(s); Spouse or former spouse(s); Roommate(s) or former roommate(s); Co-parent of a common child; Romantic partner(s) or former romantic partner(s); and Caregiver(s), in the case of certain disabled adults.

When [...]