Along with all of the excitement that goes along with the start of a new year comes some potentially tricky developments in the legal arena. The first of the year is generally when new laws tend to go into effect. That means that lawyers and clients alike may find themselves looking at certain new laws and waiting for a few months to see how they pan out and are implemented. Now that almost a fourth of the year has passed, it’s a good time to take a look some of the (200+) laws that went into effect on January 1st and how they might impact you.
Car Dealerships and For Sale Stickers
In response to the tragic death of an individual while test driving a vehicle whose vision was obstructed by the “For Sale” sign on the windshield, lawmakers have mandated that all such signs be removed before the vehicles in question leave the car lot. This is true whether the car is being test-driven or has been sold and is on its way to a new home.
Clearly Priced List of Services
One of the more interesting laws to consider is one that requires tailors, hair salons, and dry cleaners to provide a clear list of their services and corresponding prices. This law was passed to help improve transparency in transactions and prevent consumers from paying more on the basis of gender. In the past, women have been charged more at these outlets.
Teenagers Can Become Organ Donors
In the past, you could only declare yourself to be an organ donor if you were 18 years old or older. A new law makes it possible for drivers aged 16 and up to designate themselves as organ donors when receiving their driver’s license.
Traveling Exhibits and Elephant Abuse
One law that is particularly interesting is a new law that forbids traveling exhibits and circuses from including elephants in their various displays. Elephants are, of course, still welcome in state zoos. Illinois is the first state to pass a law of this kind, however it is likely that others will follow suit in an attempt to fight elephant abuse.
Divorce, Pets, and Custody
Divorces are almost always contentious affairs, particularly when pets come into play. A new law now states that courts should include pets in custody discussions in order to provide the best option for the animal in question.
Medicaid and Abortion
Another new law in 2018 is one that makes abortions available to state employees and women on Medicaid. While this particular bill was a controversial one, it was also one that was considered rather overdue by many individuals.
Gun Violence Laws
Sentences for individuals repeatedly committing crimes involving guns will increase this year, thanks to a new law spearheaded by Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. This law is hoped to give individuals considering committing a crime with a gun some hesitation regarding their actions in an attempt to lower gun violence across the state.
Additional Criminal Sector Laws
There are a few additional laws that impact the criminal sector. The abolition of the use of sexual orientation as an acceptable provocation to commit second-degree homicide – the “gay panic” defense – is one such law. Religious crimes and cyberstalking crimes are also able to be considered as hate crimes according to a new law. Domestic violence victims will no longer face penalties for breaking a contract to change their phone number or to switch from a plan with their abuser to an individual plan, Barack Obama has been enacted to celebrate the former president on August 4th, and the VA is now required to provide veterans with resources regarding their mental health, including treatment for PTSD.
Do you have a question about how these laws might affect you or your case? Call Frederick & Hagle today for more information at 217.367.6092 or 800.642.1227.