Why Police Officers Need an Attorney Even if They Follow Illinois’ New Law

Police officers across the country have been relocating, retiring and quitting in record numbers. In Chicago, 560 police officers retired, resulting in 15% more police officers retiring than in 2019. In 2019, police retirements were down by nearly 30%. Many police officers have taken a leave of absence and many are considering relocating to states with more police friendly laws or simply quitting their positions in law enforcement.

Some police officers have said that the recent riots and demonstrations, including calls to defund the police completely, demoralize them in Chicago. A leading officer who wished to remain anonymous stated that Illinois’s massive criminal justice reform bill might be the final straw that will lead even more officers to quit their jobs. Additionally, Chicago's mayor Lori Lightfoot has eliminated 614 police vacancies in the latest budget, tasking the 8,900 Chicago police officers to deal with policing the city and the estimated 170,000 gang members in the various neighborhoods of Chicago.

Police union representatives have pointed out that they feel that policing in Chicago and Illinois is nearly impossible. The police officers who remain are commanded by the law to follow all of Illinois’ new sweeping justice reform law provisions.

Illinois’ New Law Has Changed Nearly Every Aspect of Policing

Illinois police officers must follow all of the new provisions in Illinois recently passed Criminal justice reform law. Trying to understand all the changes and enact them on a day-to-day basis while working as an on-duty police officer is difficult, but not impossible. Calls to defund the police through budget cuts create a serious conundrum for departments. If enacted, less funding, means less money to train and less personnel to police with. Police departments likely will not have the funding or time to train officers on their new requirements thoroughly if these measures come to pass. Police officers may unintentionally violate the new law and face potentially devastating consequences in trying to do the job the citizens have tasked them with doing.

When to Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Unfortunately, even police officers who worked hard and tried to follow all of the relevant criminal justice laws may end up needing an attorney. If you are a police officer who has been accused of violating the new criminal justice reform law, you need an attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the facts in your case, the police union might assign you an attorney who will represent you. However, it is wise to discuss your case with an attorney of your own choosing. At Glasgow & Olsson, we have a proven track record of success in defending police officers.

Facing Charges for Unauthorized Use of Deadly Force

Illinois' new law has changed when police officers have a right to use deadly force. Now, it is more difficult for police officers to justify the use of deadly force during the course of protecting citizens. Police officers are barred by the new law from using chokeholds or any other type of deadly force against a suspect who is committing a property violation, threatening self-harm, or fleeing the scene of the crimes.

The only time the use of deadly force is justified by police officers in these situations is if under a totality of the circumstances, it is necessary to prevent serious bodily harm or death to the officer or another person. If you have been accused of using unauthorized force, you could be facing murder charges in Illinois. Hiring the best attorney possible is crucial to protect your rights and freedom.

Contact a Schaumburg Criminal Defense Lawyer for Police Officers Today

At Glasgow & Olsson, our award-winning criminal defense lawyers have a proven track record of success in many high-profile state and federal criminal cases. You can see defense attorney Thomas Glasgow on local Chicago news when he fought to get a former police officer’s conviction vacated. Contact Glasgow & Olsson today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how our legal team can fight for your rights.

This entry was posted in: 

And tagged: