Oak Brook, IL (PRWEB) July 29, 2014
Oak Brook criminal law firm Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. is pleased to announce that attorneys Christopher Hage and Tina Gagliano advocated for a new sealing law in Illinois, House Bill 5815, sponsored by Illinois State Representative Jeanne M. Ives. On June 6, 2014 Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Ives’s bill and the new Illinois sealing law will take effect on January 1, 2015.
The new law, formerly known as HB 5815, allows municipal ordinance violations for minor offenses to be sealed in the same manner that misdemeanor arrests for similar offenses can be sealed. This means that attorneys may start filing sealing petitions as early as January, 2015 for those unfortunate individuals who suffer the long-term negative consequences due to a minor infraction of an ordinance violation.
Oak Brook criminal attorneys, Christopher Hage and Tina Gagliano pointed out they felt there was inequity with how the infractions were being handled by the Courts simply by virtue of the fact that the infractions were being charged as violations of local ordinances. The bill pushed for common sense legislation that cleared up the ambiguity in the prior Illinois law. Because of the seemingly unfair provisions in the law regarding the sealings, Hage and Gagliano sought the help of State Representative Jeanne Ives of Wheaton. Taking note of the issue and agreeing with their concerns, Ives responded by sponsoring legislation to fix the problem and help her constituents clear their records.
On March 26, 2014, Oak Brook criminal attorneys Tina Gagliano and Christopher Hage traveled to Springfield where they provided expert testimony in support of HB 5815. The Judiciary Committee agreed with their concerns and HB 5815 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee with unanimous approval. HB5815 was signed into law by Governor Quinn on June 6, 2014 and is now known as Public Act 98-0635.
Public Act 98-0635 created equity in how the courts treat defendants with minor infractions that have big consequences in life, such as the denial of employment. According to Rep. Ives, for example, under the old law, a person who has a Class C Misdemeanor conviction or receives a sentence of court supervision for issues such as alcohol or cannabis use or possession of minor quantities of marijuana which are prosecuted under state law may have the record sealed after a period of time, whereas those prosecuted under a local ordinance could not; Same minor infraction of the law, but a very different end result. The provisions of the new law, Public Act 98-0635, ensure equal treatment and opportunities for the sealing of records, regardless of whether they are prosecuted by the Office of the State’s Attorney for violations of state law or by the Local Village/City Prosecutor for ordinance violations.
“HB 5815, now Public Act 98-0635, will help individuals with minor amounts of cannabis and other minor offenses clear their criminal records the same way that those with larger amounts have been able to do. It closes an unintended loophole and we owe Representative Ives a big thanks for seeing the wisdom and fairness of it,” says Oak Brook Criminal Lawyer Christopher Hage.
At the law office of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., the experienced criminal defense attorneys provide attentive service and quality legal representation for clients facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. The DuPage criminal law firm knows that even seemingly small crimes can result in a criminal record that can affect a person’s entire life. If you need an attorney to assist you with a criminal law matter, including expungement and sealing of records, contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. for a free initial consultation today. Call 630-472-9700 or fill out the online contact form.