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With the new year’s arrival, Illinois has ushered in a host of fresh legislation. Over 300 new laws in Illinois became effective on January 1, 2024. These statutes span various areas, encompassing public health, public education, pet adoption, and drug education.
Below, we present an overview of some noteworthy criminal laws now in effect in the state of Illinois as of New Year’s Day.
House Bill 2245 mandates that Illinois car manufacturers establish a vehicle theft hotline that leverages existing global positioning (GPS) systems to aid in locating stolen vehicles. This law addresses the concerning rise in car thefts and carjackings, which saw a 20% increase in Chicago in 2022 compared to the previous year. An incident involving a north suburban family and their stolen Volkswagen vehicle, which contained their child and a pregnant woman, highlights the need for this law. Despite having a tracking device, the family faced challenges as Volkswagen declined to provide GPS location data once the tracker’s free trial period had expired.
Legislators have approved a measure to protect victims of “deepfake porn.” Beginning in 2024, individuals falsely portrayed in sexually explicit images or videos will have the ability to pursue legal action against the creators of such content. This amendment augments the state’s existing protections for victims of “revenge porn,” which were enacted in 2015. Deepfakes, increasingly sophisticated with the accessibility of artificial intelligence tools, disproportionately target women in explicit content. Some proponents of this legislation, including Chief Sponsor Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and D-Glenview, have expressed interest in further regulating the use of artificial intelligence.
House Bill 3924 mandates that high schools incorporate lessons about the dangers of fentanyl into all state-required health courses. In 2022, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office recorded a record 2,000 opioid overdose deaths, with over half of the victims being African American. Furthermore, more than 91% of opioid overdose deaths involved fentanyl, a substance up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Early education on fentanyl’s hazards, its common adulterants, methods for testing it, and the administration of Narcan in overdose situations could potentially save lives.
House Bill 2431 emphasizes the importance of keeping one’s focus on the road. While texting and driving is already illegal, this legislation expands the ban to include the use of electronic devices for video conferencing or accessing social media platforms while driving.
While obstructing a driver’s view through a rearview mirror has long been unlawful in Illinois, House Bill 2389 clarifies the existing law to ensure that vehicles cannot be stopped or searched simply because objects, such as navigation systems, air fresheners, or even fuzzy dice, obstruct the driver’s view through the front windshield.
House Bill 1540 extends the state’s smoking ban in public spaces to include electronic cigarettes or vaping devices, prohibiting their use in public areas and within 15 feet of building entrances.
Senate Bill 380 introduces a civil cause of action for fertility fraud, allowing individuals to seek legal recourse against healthcare providers and doctors who knowingly or intentionally use their own sperm for assisted reproductive treatments like IVF without the patient’s informed written consent.
Cases of fertility fraud have garnered attention over the years, yet victims often lacked a clear avenue for seeking redress when their trust and bodily autonomy were violated. Although such fraud may resemble sexual assault, it does not align with the criminal or civil definitions of sexual assault or battery.
In need of an experienced criminal defense firm? Contact our Illinois criminal defense lawyer at Michael D. Ettinger & Associates at 708-923-0368 for a free case evaluation. Protecting your legal rights is our top priority, and we’re here to fight for those important rights. Don’t hesitate, to call us now for the experienced legal representation you deserve!