What are the Illinois Laws Against and Penalties for Prostitution?

Sometimes referred to as the world’s oldest profession, the practice of prostitution has a long-standing place in human history. Despite these historical roots, Illinois law prohibits the exchange of sexual acts for money or other things of value. If a person receives something of value in exchange for performing sexual penetration or other acts, then he or she is guilty of prostitution and subject to criminal penalties under Illinois law. 

What is the Definition of Sexual Penetration in Illinois?

720 ILCS 5/11-0.1 details the meaning of sexual penetration under Illinois law. This term refers to any contact or intrusion between:

    A person’s sexual organs or anus; and A physical object; or Another person’s sexual organs or anus. 

Illinois law does not require evidence of ejaculation to prove that sexual penetration occurred. Examples of sexual penetration under Section 11-0.1, include but are not limited to:

    Anal penetration; Cunnilingus; and Fellatio.

What [...]

Illinois Legalizes Marijuana for Recreational Purchase and Use

When Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a new law on June 25th, Illinois became the 11th U.S. state to legalize recreational possession of marijuana, according to an article by the Associated Press. As of January 1, 2020, the legal limit will be 30 grams for residents and 15 grams for non-residents. 

Officially titled the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), this initiative will allow adults over 21 years of age to purchase, possess, and use marijuana recreationally. At present, only those people with a medical prescription may legally purchase, possess, or use marijuana in Illinois. 

Once the CRTA becomes effective, there will be a path to expungement for an estimated 800,000 people with marijuana-related convictions. The state will expunge the criminal records for anyone purchased or possessed 30 grams or less of marijuana. Offenders who committed other possession crimes may petition for expungement, but the state prosecutors may [...]

How Does Illinois Confront Drug Paraphernalia?

Any equipment used in conjunction with illegal drugs and other controlled substances is referred to as drug paraphernalia in Illinois. Under state law, it is illegal to deliver or possess drug paraphernalia. Any person who violates these laws can face criminal liability in the form of prison time and fines.

Definition of Drug Paraphernalia

Under 720 ILCS 600/2, the term drug paraphernalia refers to equipment, materials, and other products used with illegal drugs. Within this term, Illinois law specifically includes equipment that is intended to:

    Grow illegal drugs; Consume illegal drugs; Cultivate illegal drugs; Manufacture illegal drugs; Test illegal drugs; or Ingest illegal drugs. 

If such equipment is used to violate Illinois law — such as the Cannabis Control Act or the Illinois Controlled Substances Act — then it likely qualifies as drug paraphernalia. 

On the other hand, the term drug paraphernalia does not include equipment, materials, and other [...]

Drug Distribution Charges Pending After Illinois Traffic Stop

A 26-year-old driver faces criminal charges for distribution of cocaine and cannabis after a recent traffic stop in Decatur, Illinois, according to an article by the Herald & Review. Police officers executed this traffic stop on Thursday, May 30th near the 700 block of East Johns Avenue. The officers stopped the driver due to a missing or malfunctioning light on the rear-end plate.

After asking the driver to exit the vehicle, the police officers executed a thorough search. In the process the officers discovered:

    One large bag of cannabis, weighing approximately 40 grams; and Eight individual bags of cocaine, each weighing approximately 0.8 grams.

As a result of this traffic stop and search, the authorities charged the driver with unlawful distribution of cannabis and cocaine. The driver did not post the $20,000 bond and, thus, remains at Macon County Jail for further proceedings.

While this driver waits for the [...]