NEW LAWS TO WATCH FOR 2015
Police banned from Traffic Ticket Quotas
The Department of Illinois State Police, County Police or Sheriff’s Departments, and Local Municipal Police are prohibited from requiring its officers or troopers from issuing a specific number of traffic citations within a designated period of time.
Sign and Drive for Petty Offenses – No Driver’s License Taken as Bond
Any driver cited with a petty traffic offense, excluding business offenses, will not be required to post bond. In such situation, the driver can sign the traffic citation. If the driver fails to appear in court, the court may continue the case for minimum of 30 days and the clerk will send notice of the next court appearance. Again, if the driver fails to appear in court, the court may enter an Order of Failure to Appear. The clerk of the court must notify the Secretary of State regarding the Court’s Order. In response to the Court Order, the Secretary of State will immediately suspend the driver’s privileges unless and until Secretary of State is notified that the driver appeared in court and resolved the pending traffic matter. The signing of the ticket will not be an admission of guilty, but rather it will be used as a promise to comply and appear in court.
A new bill prohibiting police confiscation of driver’s licenses for certain traffic tickets will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015. P.A. 098-870 (Senate Bill 2583) will allow Illinois drivers to simply sign the traffic citation for tickets not requiring a court appearance in lieu of relinquishing their license. Signing the citation will not be an admission of guilt.
Civil Jury Size from 12 persons to 6 persons
A civil jury is comprised of ordinary citizens to hear cases involving certain disputes, such as involving personal injury (automobile crash), medical malpractice, breach of contract, and probate. Typically, a civil jury is charged to determine damages, including an award of money to an injured or harmed party. Beginning June 1, 2015, the size of civil juries will decrease from 12 members to 6 members.
Workplace Pregnancy Accommodations
In Illinois, it is a civil rights violation for employers to discriminate or not make reasonable accommodations for employees with conditions commonly related to childbirth or pregnancy.
About the Author:
Patrick G. King, a trial lawyer, practices in the areas of Personal Injury (Automobile Accidents, Bike Accidents, Construction Site Accidents, Dog Bites, Dram Shop, Injuries to Children, Motorcycle Accidents, Negligence, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Trucking Accidents/Semi-Tractor Trailer Accidents, and Wrongful Death), Criminal Defense (Felony, Misdemeanor, DUI, and Traffic), and Driver's License Reinstatement cases before Illinois Secretary of State at Formal Administrative Hearings. Patrick is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Missouri and actively represents clients in the following counties, Madison County, IL, Jersey County, IL, St. Clair County, IL, Macoupin County, IL, Montgomery County, IL, Green County, IL, Calhoun County, IL, Bond County, IL, and Monroe County, IL. Patrick also represents clients throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.
King Law Firm, LLC
510 East 6th Street
Alton, IL 62002
(618) 465-5705 (fax)