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911 Law, underage drinking, Lake County criminal defense attorneyFor several years, the state of Illinois has granted immunity from criminal prosecution to individuals who call 911 for another person in danger of overdosing on heroin or other dangerous drugs. Lawmakers and proponents of so-called “Good Samaritan” laws believe that by offering immunity, a person with the ability to take action and save a life is more likely to do so if they are not in fear of criminal repercussions. Earlier this year, the Illinois legislature took the concept a step further, approving a measure that would offer similar protections to underage drinkers seeking emergency medical assistance.

Responding to the Dangers

The new law, set to take effect January 1, 2016, was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner in late August. Supporters of the bill believe that those in a position to help are often paralyzed by the thought of getting in trouble with the law themselves. House sponsor Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood cited a particular example from within his district. “People were reluctant to call for help, but someone did,” he said. “And then both the teenager and the friend who called ended up getting citation for the situation.” Similar amnesty laws have been put into place in various places around the country, including many college campuses, and surveys indicate they are having desired effect.

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Posted on in Juvenile crime

fake ID, underage drinking, Cook County Criminal Defense LawyerAs the new school year gets underway, many students are experiencing a whole new world of opportunity. Incoming college freshmen, in particular, may be enjoying a sense of freedom that they have never felt before. Many students will use this newfound independence to develop an identity as an adult and to practice self-discipline. For others, however, this means underage drinking and the use of fake IDs to buy alcohol or to get into bars and clubs. While they may seem like rites of passage for college students, both are against the law, and can lead to serious consequences and criminal penalties.

Several Applicable Laws

In Illinois, there are a number of statutes that expressly address the use of a falsified identification card or driver’s license. The Illinois Vehicle Code, the Illinois Identification Card Act, and the Illinois Liquor Control Act all contain provisions prohibiting the possession of a fake ID and the fictitious use of a legitimate identification card.  Depending upon the circumstances of each case, the applicable law and the subsequent penalties may vary. Prosecution, however, will generally range from a Class A misdemeanor, with a $500 minimum fine, to a Class 4 felony, with the same minimum fine but increased maximum penalties.

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