By the end of July 2016, Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards will no longer be issued at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Instead, the DMV will be issuing temporary paper cards with a photo on it, which the applicant will have for 45 days while multiple fraud checks are being performed at an off-site state facility. The new cards will be equipped with anti-counterfeiting security that will help prevent individuals from using another’s identity. After these changes are put into place, Illinois will be 84 percent compliant with the federal mandate, REAL ID, which is designed to prevent fraud and identity theft. The new license and ID cards will have a new, upgraded design as well.

Illinois Rolls Out New Design, Process for Obtaining Licenses, State ID Cards, www. nbcchicago.com, May 17, 2016

A new Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission report released last month examined juvenile expungements from 2004 to 2014. It concluded that only three records for every 1000 juvenile arrests are expunged including those cases that are ultimately dismissed. In Illinois, it is not a criminal offense to improperly share records of juveniles, as it is in many other states. The study concluded that the laws and policies of this state threaten public safety and the ability for juveniles to transition to productive adulthood.

The Commission made recommendations to increase the scope of confidentiality and access to juvenile record expungement.

Report: Only A Fraction of Juvenile Records Expunged in Illinois, www.progressillinois.com, May 2, 2016

The number of shootings in the first three months of 2016 is the highest of the decade in Chicago. At least 775 people have been shot in the city, which is up 80 percent from last year. As of March 28, there were at least 650 separate shootings. The surge in shootings is a major concern heading into the spring and summer months.

Not only are shootings in Chicago on the increase, but homicides in general are as well. So far this year, 1,142 people have been murdered in Chicago. While a majority of the homicides have occurred on the South and West sides, there has been a rise in murders all across the city.

On Easter weekend, an astounding 38 people were shot. Only one of those shootings resulted in a fatality. According to the Chicago Tribune, 40 percent of those shootings occurred in either the Englewood District or the Harrison District.

Kim Foxx will be the democratic candidate for Cook County State’s Attorney, defeating current State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Alvarez came under fire after waiting a year to file murder charges against an officer accused of shooting teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. Charges were pressed only after a judge ordered the squad-car video be released to the public. Many accused Alvarez of a “cover-up.”

Foxx previously worked as chief aide to the Cook County Board President and worked in the juvenile division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office for years. In November, Kim Foxx will face-off against Republican nominee Christopher Pfannkuche.

Dorothy Brown, who is serving her 4th term as Cook County Circuit Court Clerk, will be the democratic nominee in the upcoming election despite the federal probe into her office. While Brown did not have a majority of the vote (48 percent), she dominated over the other candidates, Michelle Harris and Jacob Meister had 31 percent and 22 percent, respectively. In October of last year, the Democratic Party announced they would no longer endorse Dorothy Brown, but would instead endorse Harris. Brown will challenge Republican nominee Diane Shapiro, who ran unopposed.

According to jail guards at the Lake County Jail, unsafe jail conditions are causing very dangerous situations. A letter to the Chicago Tribune from Cass Casper, senior staff attorney for the union local, states that there is a “substantial risk of the safety of the officers” due to broken elevators and radio systems. The letter alleges nine instances in which the radios or elevators failed from November to January.

Jail guards allege they have been stuck in elevators without the ability to use their radios due to radio “dead zones.” Wait times up to 25 minutes and rescues by ladders have been reported. An officer reported that the response time to an attack in which another officer was grabbed by the throat and thrown to the floor was “severely delayed due to one of the two elevators being nonoperational.”

According to jail officials, the main elevator has been fixed and the radio system will be replaced. Lake County plans to spend more than $7 million to buy a more advanced radio system that should be up and running by April.

The prosecution of cyberbullying has been a challenge for states looking to protect minors from harassment. A new Illinois bill, introduced by Republican Representative Terry Bryant, provides that those who post videos of fights online with the intent to condone or promote violence could be charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. One obstacle of the proposal is proving intent of those who post the videos. Another concern is the unconstitutionality of such a law; mainly, infringement on the right to free speech.

The proposal stems from a video that Representative Bryant saw on Facebook, showing two young boys fighting, with their classmates watching and recording without anyone calling for help.

Social media and the advancement of technology have posed major issues for lawmakers trying to keep up. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, only half of the anti-bullying laws across the country address cyberbullying. Other than infringement of free speech, there are additional concerns of over-criminalizing teenage behavior.

Effective today, January 1st, 2016, new DUI laws go into effect which benefit revoked and suspended drivers who want to seek driving privileges before the Illinois Secretary of State. One of these significant changes in the law will allow drivers with a lifetime ban on driving the opportunity to apply for driving relief.

Attorney Larry A. Davis, principle of The Davis Law Group, P.C. assisted in the drafting of these new laws and represented the Illinois State Bar Association in securing their passage.

Contact The Davis Law Group, P.C. if you would like a consultation or further information on these important changes in the laws.

Yesterday the Chicago Tribune highlighted a new law effective January 1, 2016, which will expand the number of DUI revoked and suspended drivers who will now be eligible for driving privileges in Illinois. The law will allow the following categories of drivers to obtain driving privileges who previously could not: first offenders needing driving privileges during the first 30-days of the DUI statutory summary suspension; second offenders during the 1-year or 3-year DUI statutory summary suspension; and persons with multiple DUI convictions (who currently cannot obtain privileges during the first year of revocation).

A first offender is an individual without a prior DUI disposition within 5 years prior to the current DUI arrest. A second offender is an individual with a prior DUI disposition within 5 years prior to the current DUI arrest.

The law also expands the groups of persons required to have Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices (“BAIID devices”) installed in their vehicles to include DUI involving a fatality or serious bodily injury and individuals who have had a prior DUI statutory summary suspension anytime in their lives.

Comprehensive guidelines for the use of police body cameras are among the several important provisions of Public Act 99-0352, effective January 1, 2016. While the new law will not require body cameras, it creates a policy for their use. The bill aims to also protect privacy by providing for times where officers do not need to use the cameras.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that only certain types of recordings can be disclosed when a FOIA request is made. These recordings include but are not limited to when a firearm is discharged by and officer or when someone is seriously injured or killed.

The hope is that the expanded use of body cameras will improve the behavior of police officers and citizens while also increasing transparency. The State will help fund the body cameras through a $5 increase in traffic tickets. It is estimated that the body cameras will cost $5.6 million over two years.

The City of Chicago is rolling out an amnesty program for old parking tickets, red light tickets, back taxes and building code violations. Penalty and collection costs will be waived for eligible tickets. The program begins November 15, 2015 and runs through the end of the year. The program applies to tickets issued prior to January 1, 2012, which are not currently enrolled in a payment plan or part of pending legal activity with the City of Chicago.

To search for outstanding tickets, you may visit www.cityofchicago.org/finance and click “Search for Tickets” or call the City at (312) 744-7275. All eligible tickets must be paid in full by December 31, 2015 to receive the reduction. Any eligible tickets not paid by the deadline will revert to the original amount due.

Chicago amnesty on penalties for old tickets, other debt to start Sunday, www.chicagotribune.com, November 10, 2015