2015 New Illinois Criminal Laws

Sealing Records

(HB 5815/PA 98-0635): Allows for the sealing of a court supervision or a conviction for a municipal ordinance violation. The intent is to allow for a cannabis or alcohol ordinance violation to be sealed in the same manner that a misdemeanor supervision or conviction for an alcohol or cannabis offense can currently be sealed.

Juvenile Records

(SB 978/PA 98-0637): Requires the Department of State Police to automatically expunge all records pertaining to the arrest of a minor if the arrest did not result in a delinquency petition being filed. The State would have to expunge arrests automatically when the minor turns 18 and only if the minor was not arrested within six months of the minor's most recent arrest. Ticket Quotas (SB 3411/PA 98-0650): Prohibits counties, municipalities, conservation police and state police from implementing ticket quotas.

Juvenile Court Act Revisions

(HB 4083/PA 98-0685): Clarifies the shared responsibilities and authority between the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Cleans up previous amendments and revisions made to the Act in 2006 and 2013. Juvenile Justice Employees (HB 4781/PA 98- 0689): Makes changes to the qualifications of Department of Juvenile Justice personnel. Expands the types of Bachelor's degrees that can be considered for employment if the candidate has at least two years experience in juvenile justice.

Victim Registry Confidentiality

(HB 4266/PA98-0717): Prohibits the Prisoner Review Board from releasing the name or address of a victim to anyone other than law enforcement. Prohibits the Attorney General’s office from releasing the personal information of any person or entity registered to receive a victim’s information or notifications to anyone other than state or local officials.

Probation Officers and Firearms

(HB 4417/PA98-0725): Designed to give probation officers more access to firearms training. This is an initiative of the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association. They are required to be trained but because they do not meet the current definition of "peace officer" in either the Police Training Act or Illinois Peace Office Training Act, they can have a difficult time securing training.

Bulletproof Vests

(HB 5688/PA 98-0743): Requires law enforcement agencies to provide bulletproof vests for officers. Outlines requirements that the law enforcement agency, the state and local governments must pursue to provide funding for the cost of these vests. Since 1999, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) program has reimbursed more than 13,000 jurisdictions, a total of $288 million in federal funds for the purchase of over one million vests (1,146,909 as of December, 2013). Based on data collected and recorded by BJA staff, in FY 2012, protective vests were directly attributable to saving the lives of at least 33 law enforcement and corrections officers, in 20 different states, an increase 13.7% over FY 2011. At least 14 of those life-saving vests had been purchased, in part, with BVP funds.

Escape Attempt Ramifications

(SB 3332/PA 98-0770): Provides that a person in the custody of (rather than committed to) the Department of Human Services under the provisions of the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act who is under a detention order, commitment order, conditional release order, or other court order who intentionally escapes from any secure facility or from a Department employee or any of its agents (rather than a person committed to the Department of Human Services under the provisions of the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act or in detention with the Department of Human Services awaiting such a commitment) who intentionally escapes from any secure residential facility or from a Department employee or any of its agents (rather than the custody of an employee of that facility) commits a Class 2 felony.

“Ban the Box” Criminal Records

(HB 5701/PA98-0774): Prohibits private employers with 15 or more employees from asking a job applicant about their criminal history until the applicant has been selected for an interview or, if there is not an interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is made. It has been called “ban the box” after the check-box that appears on some employment applications asking if the individual has been convicted of a crime. Advocates argue that the legislation allows applicants to have the opportunity to address questions about their past criminal records in person, during an interview.

Community Service

(SB 2709/PA 98-0824): Provides that giving blood or volunteering at a blood bank does not qualify as community service.


(SB 2937/PA 98-0831): Prohibits a law enforcement agency from using a drone owned by a private third party to acquire information (with certain exceptions). Allows the use of a drone without a search warrant, if law enforcement is using a drone during a disaster or public health emergency (flood, tornado, earth quake). It does not require an official declaration of a disaster or public health emergency prior to use.

Law Enforcement Misconduct

(SB 2695/PA 98-0867): Provides that an employee of a law enforcement agency commits official misconduct when he or she knowingly uses or communicates, directly or indirectly, information acquired in the course of employment, which obstructs, impedes, or prevents the investigation, apprehension, or prosecution of any criminal offense or person. Specifies that the defendant must have had intent to disrupt the case.

Out-of-State Attorneys

(HB 4235/PA 98-0895): Allows a licensed attorney from another state to appear in front of the Illinois Commerce Commission. This legislation was introduced due to a recent Supreme Court rule change. Probation Services (HB 4082/PA 98-0892): Allows a probation department to meet with a minor offender (and his or her attorney) in a preliminary conference.

TASC Ineligibility

(HB 4236/PA 98-0896): Adds Class-4 felony stalking to the list of crimes that would make an individual ineligible for Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) participation. TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) is a not-for-profit organization that provides behavioral health recovery management services for individuals with substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Criminal Fortification

(HB 4269/PA 98-0897): Includes preventing or impeding lawful entry of law enforcements entry through the use of video surveillance, motion sensing devices or booby traps as part of the criminal fortification of a residence or building. Law enforcement has found that criminals are increasingly reliant on technology as a way to inhibit law enforcement at locations where illegal activity occurs, and this legislation would incorporate these techniques into current law.

“Skype” Search Warrants

(HB 4594/PA 98-0905): Allows for electronic search warrants that utilize simultaneous audio and video transmission between the person requesting the search warrant and the judge. The Chief Judge or Presiding Judge in the issuing jurisdiction is to determine standards and best practices policies for filing and retaining the transmissions.


(HB 5290/PA 98-0919): Adds a new provision to the “grooming” statute, in which someone uses the Internet to seduce or entice a child to commit a sex offense, to stipulate that the crime would also include the distribution of photographs depicting the sex organs of a child.


(HB 5950/PA 98-0940): Sets forth procedures for a crime victim, through the court, to enforce the payment of restitution by a convicted person sentenced to probation, conditional discharge, or supervision. If payment of restitution as ordered has not been made, the victim can file a petition that restitution payments are still unpaid. The court then would hold a review hearing to either extend the probation, conditional discharge, or supervision or issue a judgment for the unpaid restitution.

Defendant Costs

(SB 2650/PA 98-0943): Provides that a defendant whose conviction is reversed on final appeal or by a finding of factual innocence is not liable for court costs or fees or for any charge of subsistence while detained in custody. If the defendant has paid any costs, fine, or fees, it will be refunded to the defendant.

Extending Probation

(SB 3074/PA 98-0953): Allows a court to extend a defendant's term of probation or conditional discharge that was concurrent to, consecutive to, or otherwise interrupted by a term of imprisonment for the purpose of providing additional time to complete an order of restitution.

Criminal Violations

(SB 3110/PA 98-0954): Adds an exception to the physician-patient privilege for situations where a grand jury subpoena is issued and requires the State's Attorney to seek a protective order in certain cases. Requires the State's Attorney to petition the court for a protective order in cases where the grand jury subpoena exception is being used to pierce the physician-patient privilege. A protective order must be sought in any criminal action where the charge is domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, or an offense under Article 11 of the Criminal Code (sex offense), where the patient is under the age of 18 years or upon the request of the patient.

Aggravated Meth Manufacturing

(HB 4093/PA98-0980): Includes in the offense of aggravated participation in the manufacture of methamphetamine, methamphetamine manufacturing that occurs within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising any school. The purpose is to create consistency with other drug statutes, which provide enhanced penalties for manufacture or distribution that occurs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Controlled Substances

(SB 3275/PA 98-0987): Adds "25I-NBOMe," "25B-NBOMe" and "25CNBOMe" to the list of Schedule I controlled substances. This is in response to a powerful new hallucinogenic synthetic drug which has caused overdoses and fatalities in youth. It has been marketed as an LSD substitute as it targets the same serotonin receptor as many other hallucinogens including LSD. Small amounts can cause seizures, cardiac and respiratory arrest, and death. According to the DEA, reports from medical examiners link at least 19 deaths of people aged 15-29 years in the U.S. between March 2012 and August 2013.

Sealing Records

(HB 2378/PA 98-1009): Allows a petitioner to petition the circuit court to seal his or her conviction record for the following misdemeanor "crimes of violence” including: Assault, Aggravated assault, Battery, or Reckless conduct in as little as four years after the termination of the petitioner's sentence.

Electronic Monitoring

(HB 3744/PA 98-1012): Allows a judge to order as a condition of bail a risk assessment evaluation and consider electronic monitoring (GPS) of a person charged with certain violent crimes, regardless of whether an order of protection had been issued. This bill was introduced in response to a 2013 case where a woman was murdered by her former boyfriend, who she had filed an order of protection against. The order of protection expired, and the victim filed to have it renewed, she was killed three days after the order expired.

Maintenance Award

(SB 3231/PA 98-0961): Provides that no judge may award maintenance in the event of a dissolution of marriage without first determining that it is appropriate. Further, provides standard guidelines for the amount of maintenance to be paid in most instances.

Process Servers and Gated Communities

(SB 3286/PA 98-0966): Requires gated residential communities, including condominium associations or cooperatives, to grant unannounced entry into the community, including its common areas and common elements, to a person who is attempting to serve process on a defendant or witness.

Sex Trafficking

(SB 3558/PA 98-1013): Provides that solicitation of a sexual act does not apply to a person younger than 18. Directs a portion of a fee for an impounded vehicle to the Specialized Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking Fund. Modifies the allocation percentages of moneys and sale proceeds forfeited by individuals convicted of involuntary servitude and trafficking of persons.

Photo Lineups

(HB 802/PA 98-1014): Creates a new lineup procedure that requires all lineups be conducted by 1) an independent administrator (unless it is impractical); 2) an automated computer program; 3) a random folder photo lineup method; or 4) any other procedure that does not allow the lineup administrator to know the identity of the suspect. Allows a lineup of persons or a photo spread lineup to be presented to witnesses sequentially, with each presented separately and then removed before the next person or photo is viewed or presented to witnesses. Requires each law enforcement agency to establish written guidelines on when an officer should present persons or photographs to an eyewitness simultaneously or sequentially. Prohibits the presence during a lineup of any person who knows the suspected perpetrator's identity, except the eyewitness and defense counsel. Provides instructions to the eyewitness to whom the identification procedure is presented. Provides remedies for failure to comply with lineup identification procedures. Requires a lineup to be video recorded, if practical, unless the eyewitness refuses to consent to the recording.

Liability for Underage Drinking

(HB 4745/PA98-1017): Expands current law that makes it illegal for parents or guardians to allow underage drinking at a residence or other private property, so that it will include vehicles, conveyances, or watercraft under their control. A “conveyance” would include trailers, mobile homes, campers, etc.

Unfit to Stand Trial

(SB 2801/PA 98-1025): Makes changes to how defendants who are found unfit to stand trial and placed in the Department of Human Services are held. Requires a forensic interview to be videotaped, unless impractical. If the interview is not videotaped, the examiner may still testify, and the court may only consider the lack of compliance and not the admissibility of the expert testimony.


(HB 5526/PA 98-0981): Prohibits a person under 18 from knowingly possessing kratom or using a fake ID to attempt to obtain a product containing kratom. Prohibits any person from knowingly selling or distributing a product containing kratom to a person under 18. Kratom has been sold for medicinal purposes; however, teens are showing up in the ER after using it to try and get high.

Domestic Violence Penalty Enhancements

(HB4653/PA 98-0994): Ensures that prior convictions for domestic battery, or for any offense which is substantially similar, that occurs in another jurisdiction will trigger penalty enhancements.

(HB4653/PA 98-0994)

(HB 4113/PA 98-1061): Authorizes county sheriffs to enter into joint contracts with units of local government and non-profit housing development corporations to develop job training programs to rehabilitate houses. Provides that these rehabilitated houses may be used as transitional housing for the mentally ill (in addition to homeless or low income citizens). The Department of Corrections already has this authority, and this is a request of the Cook County sheriff who would like authority to operate a program.

Destruction of Public Records

(HB 4216/PA 98-1063): Makes it a Class 4 felony for any person who knowingly and with the intent to defraud, alters, destroys, defaces, removes, or conceals any public record.

Civil Actions

(HB 5512/PA 98-1077): An initiative of the Trial Lawyers to allow individuals who may sustain a legal disability after a cause of action accrues but before a case is filed to still bring an action.

Will County Judicial Facilities

(HB 5889/PA 98-1085): Allows the Will County Board to impose a new fee of up to $30 per party in a civil case and $30 for a defendant in a criminal or traffic case. The proceeds are to be used to build new judicial facilities.

Electronic Legal Documents

(SB 1941/PA 98-1097): Creates the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act. This applies to all legal material in an electronic record that is designated as official and first published electronically on or after the effective date. This is part of an effort to adopt consistent regulations regarding electronic legal documents in all states.

False Personation

(SB 3538/PA 98-1125): Adds to the false personation statute, including anyone who knowingly and falsely represents themselves as the legal guardian, including any representative of a State or public guardian, of a disabled person.

Criminal ID Amendment

(SB 1598/PA 98-0528): Amends the Racial and Ethnic Impact Research Task Force Act. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the short title.

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