The Shiller Preyar Law Offices are dedicated to social justice issues on a local scale in the Chicagoland area as well as on a national scale. Our blog is a useful space to keep up with current legal news, firm updates and upcoming events.
The New Rights and Laws of 2014
Every day, the people elected to the legislative branches in our city, state and federal government’s wake up thinking of new laws to pass. As a result, the beginning of every year brings a bunch of new laws that people must become familiar with. Unfortunately, this year is no different.
If you are a resident of Illinois, beginning January 1, 2014 you cannot:
- Throw your cigarette butt out of your car window. It is now a misdemeanor offense that can net as much as 6 months in jail.
- Use your cell phone while driving. While this hands been the law of the land for Chicago and many other municipalities for several years, it is now a statewide law. You must use a handsfree device if you are going to talk on your cell phone. This is a petty offense that can result in a fine.
- You cannot tan in a tan salon if you are under 18. The minor won’t be in trouble, but the business will.
- You will have to take a breathalyzer if you are in a boating accident—similar to DUI’s. But, as always, Shiller Preyar’s advice is to not blow.
- Cannot use social media to organize a mob attack. Frankly, our lawyers are little confused as to why this was not generally against the law anyway—and about how this particular twist will be enforced—but the state legislature thought it was necessary to pass. Part of the new law means a judge can limit a defendants use of social media. There are likely to be first amendment issues that eventually get raised.
- Cannot buy an electronic cigarette if you are under 18.
Some laws, allow people to do things. If you are a resident of Illinois, beginning January 1, 2014 you can:
- Marry who you love if you are gay (not until June for this one)
- Buy medical marijuana, presuming you have a prescription and go to a licensed dispensary.
- You can vote in a primary election if you are 17, but will turn 18 by the general election. In election the primary elections happen in March of every even year and the general elections happen in November of every even year. So those summer babies get to participate early.
- Drive up to 70 miles per hours on expressways not in urban areas.
- Keep your school from checking your child’s facebook and/or email without receiving prior permission from you.
- Can protect yourself from local law enforcement agencies that use drones for investigations—but only if you are on private property. A new state law requires a warrant for such technology, but removes the warrant requirement for use of drones to search into cars on state-owned lands, highways and roads.
There are dozens of other new criminal and civil laws we're keeping our eyes on. A good wrap-up can be found here.
We here at Shiller Preyar wish you a happy and safe new year!