Authored by Ken LaMance, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law
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The state of Illinois has been mired in legal controversies that helped define many constitutional rights across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Illinois law in Stanley v. Illinois, this time on equal protection grounds. The law at issue declared children of unmarried fathers to be wards of the State upon the death of their mother without a parental fitness hearing or proof of neglect. The Court found the law violated equal protection since such a hearing and proof was required before the State could take custody of children of married or divorced parents and unmarried mothers.
Illinois has also taken heat for its gun policy, which is one of the strictest in the nation. In Illinois, one must obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification card (FOID) from state police before buying or possessing a gun or ammunition. Applicants can be denied FOIDs for a number of reasons; for instance, applicants will be denied if they have prior assault or battery convictions, or if they are afflicted with certain documented mental conditions. Additionally, after buying a handgun, people in Illinois must wait 72 hours before actually taking possession of it.
Some areas of Illinois enforce even more restrictive firearm laws. Chicago and a number of surrounding suburbs, for instance, have banned handguns altogether. Handgun bans have been challenged repeatedly in other states, and were recently struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. The legality of Chicago’s handgun ban is currently being litigated in the U.S. District Court for Chicago in McDonald v. City of Chicago.
Individuals seeking assistance with parental rights issues, or those who are facing criminal charges need lawyers quickly. When searching for a lawyer, it is usually more time and cost-efficient to use a free lawyer matching service, such as LegalMatch, than to search the Yellow Pages or rely on word of mouth. By using LegalMatch, clients gain access to pre-screened lawyers in their area who can competently handle their case.
The websites below lead to further information about Illinois law: