Transition to the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012

An experienced Illinois crime lawyer is essential for any Illinois criminal case. Call our Chicago criminal defense law firm today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

Until 2012, the Criminal Code of 1961 was the law of the land for Illinois criminal defense attorneys and criminal prosecutors. Small amendments to the law were made over time, but, still, the go-to statute for criminal law in Illinois was the Criminal Code of 1961.

In 2012, that changed. After eight years of deliberation, the Illinois state legislature replaced the Criminal Code of 1961 with a new version, originally drafted by the Criminal Law Edit, Alignment and Reform (CLEAR) Commission.

CLEAR was formed as a non-governmental entity with the goal of simplifying and clarifying the law contained in the Criminal Code of 1961 and the Unified Code of Corrections. Judges, legislative leaders, prosecutors, defense attorneys, a law professor, and representatives from the governor's office all participated in the effort to update Illinois crime laws.

Advocates of the 2012 criminal law changes say the new and improved 2012 Criminal Code is more readable, understandable, consistent and just -- a big improvement over the outdated and sometimes redundant Criminal Code of 1961. All duplicative sections of the code were eliminated, as were sections of the criminal code that had been declared unconstitutional. After all of the streamlining was complete, the new Illinois criminal code was approximately two-thirds the size of the previous code.

In addition to being less complicated and easier to comprehend, the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 incorporates case law into various statutory provisions.

Former Gov. James R. Thompson, a member and leader of the CLEAR Commission, noted that "by making our laws easier to understand and free of conflicting and even unconstitutional provisions, this new code should make mistakes in criminal trials less likely."

While the new law has indeed simplified the code, the ability of the accused to come out as a winner in an Illinois criminal case remains as challenging as ever. The skills of an experienced Illinois criminal lawyer are essential, and we are ready to discuss your case. Give us a call at (312) 466-9466.

Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer - (312) 466-9466 

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