Illinois Laws Coming in 2018

Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

It’s a new year, and with it come changes in Illinois laws, which may work either for or against you should you be charged with a crime, undergoing a divorce, operating a business, or even just driving or residing in our state.

Due to the complexity of Illinois criminal law, it is essential to get top-notch legal assistance if you are accused of violating any law.  The experienced Illinois lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances and requirements. We will work with you to find the most effective solution possible.  We offer a free consultation, so contact us for help today at 630-305-0222 if you need legal assistance.

The following are some of the new 2018 laws that you should know about:

Abortions Remain Legal

Illinois residents considering abortion may worry about what would happen should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, which makes abortions legal throughout the United States. House Bill 40 removes a “trigger law” that could make abortions illegal in Illinois should Roe v. Wade be overturned.  The new law also covers abortions under both Medicaid and state employees’ health insurance plans.

Online Threats Could be Considered Hate Crimes

This law states that cyberstalking, transmission of obscene messages and certain acts of intimidation could be considered hate crimes and serves to better protect Illinois residents by addressing the increasing use of technology to attack victims.

Cyberstalking occurs if you knowingly on at least 2 separate occasions use electronic communication directed at a specific person that you should know would cause a reasonable person to:

(1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person; or

(2) suffer other emotional distress.

Mental Health Issue Training for Police Officers

This new law, HB0375, stipulates that all law enforcement officers in counties of more than 3 million people must take a course on mental health issues to learn about the types, signs and symptoms of mental illness, and common treatments and medications. The purpose is to prevent many of the problems that can unnecessarily occur between law enforcement and people who are mentally ill and accused of crimes.

New Training for Restaurant Managers

The restaurant industry will be affected by new rules stating that managers of  category 1 restaurants must undergo accredited food allergen awareness and safety training within 30 days of being hired, with recertification required every three years. In addition, at least one trained manager must be on site at all times while the restaurant is open.  The purpose is to prevent problems with diners who have severe food allergies.

Insurers Must Cover MRI for Some Women

An MRI of breasts  must be covered by an insurer if a mammogram demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue when such tests are determined medically necessary by a licensed physician.  This is because dense breast tissue is a factor that increases risk of cancer.

Schools Must Accommodate Nursing Mothers

If you are involved with a public or charter school, be aware that these institutions must now provide space for nursing mothers in a private and secure room with an electrical outlet, and this must not be a bathroom.  Under the new law, students can bring to school any equipment needed to express breast milk, such as a breast pump; they must have access to a refrigerator to store their milk, and they can’t be penalized for time they spend pumping or breast-feeding.

Pets to be Considered in Divorce Cases

Previously, in a divorce proceeding, Illinois courts generally treated a pet as personal property, the same as a television, an heirloom, or an antique.  The new law SB1261 states that all “companion animals” or pets are considered marital assets, and the court can allocate joint or sole ownership of a pet, in part, based on their well-being. Service animals are exempt.

Cyclists Can Ride on the Shoulder

Whether you are a cyclist or a motorist, you should be aware of a new law permitting bicycling on road shoulders and allowing motorists to pass cyclists in no-passing zones. A driver is allowed to cross into the oncoming lane in a no-passing zone to safely pass a cyclist riding at less than half the posted speed limit when there is sufficient distance to do so. Drivers must not exceed the speed limit and pass with at least three feet of clearance. At night, cyclists can use rear red taillights instead of (or in addition to) the standard reflector currently required.

Domestic Violence Survivors Can Keep Cellphone Numbers

If you are a victim of domestic violence and have an order of protection, you can now petition to keep your current cellphone number without getting the approval of the primary account holder. You can also have your children’s numbers transferred, but be aware that you will then become financially responsible.

Schools Can’t Expel Pre-K Students

Young children can no longer be kicked out of early childhood programs due to difficult behavior issues. Instead, early childhood programs must document any steps taken to make sure these children are still able to participate safely. If those efforts don’t work, the children can be transferred to other programs, as long as they have parental permission.

Listing Prices

Businesses including hair salons, barbers, dry cleaners and tailors must now provide customers with a price list of services, upon request. New law SB0298 requires transparent pricing to prevent people from being surprised by prices higher than expected or women from being unfairly charged more than men for the same services.

Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. for a Free Consultation.

If you have run into problems with violating any law in Illinois, you need to hire the best attorney that you can find.  The experienced and seasoned Illinois attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. offer a free consultation to examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available in every situation.  We will answer all your questions and make sure you fully understand the facts surrounding your case.  We represent clients in DuPage County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook, and the greater Chicagoland area.

Contact us online or call 630-305-0222 today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Attorney Natalie Stec

Natalie M. Stec, born and raised in Illinois, and earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her practice has been concentrated in significant pre and post decree marital and family law cases; including custody, visitation, support, and paternity matters. She has important criminal defense experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases. She is a very dedicated and passionate litigator. [ Attorney Bio ]