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SAFE-T Act: No Warrants For Missing a Court Date

Despite recent press around aspects of the SAFE-T Act being unconstitutional, other aspects of the historic bill have gone into effect without major challenge. The landmark bill represents a big moment for efforts to reform the criminal justice system. Overall, the legislation seeks to reduce legal penalties for persons who may be struggling with a lack of organization, monetary difficulties, or a general tendency toward nonviolent difficulty with legal procedure.

The new law attempts to prioritize leniency and clemency on the part of the courts rather than a tendency toward swift and strict legal punishment.

What is the Procedure for a Missed Court Date Now?

If you have an order to appear in Court, you should always obey that order. However, now, when a person fails to comply with any condition of pretrial release or fails to appear in court for a court date, the court now has the option to issue a summons rather than a warrant for arrest. Courts are urged to take this course of action instead of issuing warrants in an effort to prioritize a more merciful court process and to reduce long-term legal consequences for a fairly minor mistake when all is taken into account.

Defendants will now be issued a summons for a new date, and if they show up for the newly issued date, they will not be charged with any failure to appear for a court date and will not be arrested. Courts are instructed not to use this initial failure to appear as an influence in any of their court decisions. Specifically, an initial failure to appear is not to be taken as any kind of evidence that a person will likely fail to appear at a later date.

What if I Miss the Summons Date?

If the summons date is missed, then the court may issue a warrant for your arrest. Essentially under the new SAFE-T Act legislation, defendants are offered a second chance to successfully appear in court. There are no third chances, however, and a warrant will be issued for your arrest should you mess up your second chance. The new law offers more “wiggle room,” so to speak, so that forgetting a court date or being stuck somewhere will not result in devastating consequences as long as it does not happen twice.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today

It is important to get professional help in matters involving your safety or the safety of those you care for. Do not delay in acquiring legal help from our law offices. Glasgow & Olsson is uniquely qualified to help navigate new changes in police accountability law. Recent changes to Illinois law likely affect your rights and trial process, so make sure to remain informed and updated. Make sure to acquire legal assistance the whole way through. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.

Illinois Police Now Duty-Bound to Render Aid

It is the general mission of law enforcement officers to defend the public peace. Officers are required to enforce the peace, defend citizens from threats, and help promote the general well-being of ordinary persons in their communities.
Law enforcement officers are authorized to protect the public at large by enforcing the law. This includes the service of civil processes, such as eviction notices and court orders, and general enforcement of laws regarding property rights, traffic regulation, and even domestic disputes. Although specific duties pertaining to domestic violence cases vary from officer to officer and department to department.

In addition to enforcing the law and protecting public safety, police officers are often called upon to keep the public peace by maintaining control over chaotic or disruptive situations. It is also the duty of law enforcement officers to provide emergency assistance to persons in need, if possible. This includes providing assistance to persons who are injured, reporting missing or wanted persons, and giving whatever aid is possible in life-saving situations.

Though you may assume that police officers are bound to report or facilitate the seeking of treatment for injuries, this responsibility has not always been assigned to police officers. Legislation mandating officers to report an injury, regardless of cause, has only recently been brought to the state of Illinois through the passage of the SAFE-T act.

Though reporting injury and contacting medical treatment authorities have certainly been the implied and expected duties of police officers, no legislation required officers to aid injured persons or even contact medical assistance.

The recent passage of the SAFE-T Act adds ILCS 5/7-15: Duty to render aid

According to the new law, Illinois police officers are now obligated to determine if any persons are injured as soon as practically possible. The police officer is obligated to determine this injury, whether there has been a use of force or not, and whether or not the injury has occurred due to the police officer's actions or not. Officers are required to render medical aid consistent with training or to procure emergency medical assistance if necessary.

In the terms of the law, rendering medical aid means performing CPR, applying a defibrillator, or making arrangements to carry or transport a person to a physician, medical care facility, or emergency medical care person.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today

Do not delay in acquiring legal help if you are facing any sort of legal concern. Recent changes to Illinois law likely affect your rights if you are facing criminal charges, so make sure to remain informed and updated. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.

Language Added to Illinois Statutes to Increase LEO Accountability

It is no secret that the national attention paid to police brutality cases has increased significantly in the last few years. Some are calling for more accountability, and legislation has started to emerge which seeks to address the issue. High-profile cases such as the shooting of Jayland Walker, the death of George Floyd, and Patrick Lyoya have increased public scrutiny of police officers.

Gaps in the letter of the law in some states have inadvertently led to difficulty in prosecuting police officers. Though no state simply allows police officers to do whatever they please whenever they would like, there has been concern that the current state of the law fails to hold authority figures to the same standards that it holds the general citizen. Recent legislation in Illinois, called the SAFE-T Act, represents efforts to affect change in this area of the law.

Illinois Police Now Duty-Bound to Prevent Any Person From Using Excessive Force

A new law has been added under ILCS 5/7-16 that requires police officers to intervene to stop the use of excessive force or unauthorized force, irrespective of the chain of command. The second part of the new law is important; in previous instances of misuse of force, some officers felt unable to intervene and disobey the chain of command.

Additionally, any officers who intervene as required by this section must make a full report under the guidelines set out under ILCS 6/7-16 (b). Reports must be filed within five days of the incident. This aspect of the statute gives intervening officers a record of their efforts and protects them legally in the case of later legal action.

Retaliation of Any Kind Against Police Who Intervene Banned Under New Statute

ILCS 5/7-16 protects whistleblowers and other officers who attempt to prevent instances of unauthorized or excessive force. Subsection c may be the most important part of the new law, since many officers would likely intervene to prevent excessive force if it were not for the fear of retaliation. Mandating intervention, requiring reporting, and protecting police officers against retaliation all work together to prevent abuses of power in the police force.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today

It is important to get professional help in matters involving your future and your freedom. Recent changes to Illinois criminal code will affect your rights and trial process, so make sure to remain informed and updated. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.