Illinois Court Rules Against Unlocking Criminal Cell Phones

An appellate court determined that an Illinois man charged with illegal drug possession was not required to unlock his cell phone for police investigators, according to a recent decision from Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District.

In terms of specific background information, this legal battle dates back to June 2017. At that time, the Illinois man was riding as a passenger in a vehicle in Rock Island. A law enforcement officer pulled over the vehicle and executed a traffic stop.

During the traffic stop, additional officers arrived with a K9 unit. When the K9 unit indicated the presence of contraband, the law enforcement officers conducted a complete search of the vehicle. As a result of that search, the officers located a prescription pill bottle filled with cocaine powder, a measuring scale with cocaine residue, and approximately 20 individually sized plastic bags.

After locating the illegal drugs and related contraband, [...]

How Does Illinois Define and Penalize Vehicular Hijacking?

Commonly referred to as carjacking, standard and aggravated vehicular hijacking are Illinois crimes that address the immediate theft of motor vehicles. In any circumstance, this type of behavior is illegal under Illinois law. Depending on the circumstances, the Illinois penalties for vehicular hijacking can fluctuate greatly.

Definition of Vehicular Hijacking

The definition of vehicular hijacking appears in 720 ILCS 5/18-3. There are three elements to this offense under Illinois law. In order to qualify as vehicular hijacking, the perpetrator must:

    Knowingly take unlawful possession of a motor vehicle; From the person or immediate presence of another; and Use force or the threat of force to complete the offense.

Penalties for Vehicular Hijacking

Any person who violates 720 ILCS 5/18-3 and commits vehicular hijacking is guilty of a Class 1 felony. The standard Illinois punishment for a Class 1 felony includes a sentencing range of four to 15 years [...]

Illinois Laws Against and Penalties for Growing Marijuana

Even though many U.S. states have already legalized marijuana for recreational use, that is not the case in Illinois at this point. Outside of narrow exceptions, Illinois still prohibits the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana. Moreover, there are specific Illinois laws against and penalties for growing marijuana plants.

Illinois Laws Against Growing Marijuana Plants

720 ILCS 550/8 outlines the Illinois laws against growing marijuana plants. Under this section, it is unlawful to possess or grow marijuana plants. To qualify as a violation, the offender must know — or have a reason to know — that he or she is in possession of or growing actual marijuana plants.

That being said, there is an exception under 720 ILCS 550/11. Specifically, that section authorizes certain people to possess and grow marijuana plants for research purposes. The Illinois State Police is responsible for authorizing the possession and growing of marijuana plants [...]

Illinois General Assembly Considers Social Media Checks for Gun Owners

In order to curb unlawful use of weapons, the Illinois General Assembly is considering whether to require social media checks for potential gun owners, according to an article by CNN.

Introduced by Illinois State Rep. Daniel Didech on January 24th, House Bill 888 seeks to amend the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act to include additional verification requirements for gun ownership. Upon application for firearm owners identification (FOID) card, this bill would require the Illinois State Police to investigate the applicant’s publicly available social media profiles.

After introduction and filing on January 24th, House Bill 888 went through a first reading in the Illinois House on the 28th. That say day, Rep. Jonathan Carroll joined as a chief co-sponsor, and the bill was referred to the Rules Committee. On February 5th, House Bill 888 was assigned to the Judiciary/Criminal Committee. The next day, Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia joined the [...]