Archive for the ‘Traffic Offenses’ Category
February 15th, 2017 at 9:01 am
All too many people find themselves ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois, and these drivers fail to understand that leaving the scene of an accident is not just a traffic violation—it is a criminal offense. As such, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois. A skilled lawyer will be able to identify any potential defenses you have and will work hard to fight the charges that are pending against you.
There are several reasons why someone might leave the scene of an accident. For instance, you might panic because you do not know what to do. Or, you might leave because you think that there is nothing for you to do about the situation, such as when you accidentally hit a parked car and have no way to leave contact information and have no way to reach the driver of the vehicle you hit.
Sometimes drivers flee the scene of an accident because they are worried about facing other criminal charges in addition to the accident if police show up at the scene, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or reckless driving charges.
What Are Your Obligations if You Are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Under 625 ILCS 5/11-402, leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois is illegal. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are supposed to stop immediately and remain at the scene until you can provide contact information (including providing your name address vehicle registration number and the name of the owner of the vehicle if it does not belong to you) to the affected parties, and/or until you render the appropriate aid for the given situation. In some situations, this could mean having to remain at the scene until law enforcement and/or emergency personnel arrive at the scene. You are also required to report the motor vehicle accident to the appropriate authorities under 625 ILCS 5/11-403 and you have 10 days to report the accident to the Illinois Secretary of State.
What Are the Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor, which can leave you with a criminal record, jail time, a fine, and a lengthy probation period. Additionally, a conviction for leaving the scene of an accident can result in long-term consequences as well. For instance, your driving privileges could be suspended or revoked and having a leaving the scene of an accident conviction on your record could prevent you from getting certain types of jobs in the future, especially if those jobs involve driving.
Consult With a Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois. The potential consequences of a conviction are numerous, and you need to do everything that you can to help protect yourself and your rights. Working with a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has years of experience handling these types of cases would be to your benefit.
February 8th, 2017 at 9:06 am
When it comes to traffic violations in Illinois, there are two different categories of offenses: moving violations and non-moving violations. A moving violation occurs when a vehicle is in motion, such as while you are driving or while you are backing up. A non-moving violation occurs when a vehicle is not in motion or is parked. The vehicle could be running and not moving when you get a non-moving violation.
Examples of Moving and Non-Moving Violations
Examples of moving violations include speeding, reckless or dangerous driving, drag racing, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, following too closely, not using turn signals, disobeying posted traffic signs or lights, and texting while driving. Examples of non-moving violations include parking violations, stopping in a no-stop zone, or having an unregistered vehicle or an expired vehicle registration.
Does the Distinction Between a Moving Violation and a Non-Moving Violation Matter?
Whether a violation occurred while the vehicle is in motion has a lot of bearing on the seriousness of the offense. After all, if the vehicle is in motion when a driver commits a traffic violation, such as speeding or failing to use proper turn signals, then there is a chance that other people could get hurt as a result, whether they are other drivers, pedestrians, or bicyclists who share the roadway. A non-moving violation poses substantially less threat of harm to others since the vehicle is not in motion when the violation occurs.
Other Differences Between Moving Violations and Non-Moving Violations
- The cost of the fine. A majority of traffic offenses are minor infractions of the law, and are punishable by a fine. Citations for non-moving violations tend to be slightly less expensive than citations for moving violations.
- Whether the violation is reported to your auto insurance provider. Non-moving traffic violations are typically not reported to your automobile insurance provider , while moving violations are reported. Insurance providers use moving violations as a justification to raise insurance premiums.
- Moving violations result in points being added to your driver’s license. If you are convicted of a moving violation, i.e., you pay the fine associated with your citation, then points will be added to your driver’s license by the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles. If you accumulate too many points on your driver’s license in too short a period of time, then your driving privileges can be suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State.
Strict Liability Violations
Certain types of traffic violations are considered strict liability offenses, meaning that by the driver simply committing the act, the driver is guilty of the traffic violation. There are several different strict liability traffic offenses under Illinois law, and include but are not limited to the following:
- Not using turn signals when making a turn;
- Disobeying traffic signs or traffic lights;
- Parking in a handicap space without the proper authorization; and
- Other parking violations.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
It is important to challenge moving violations if you believe that the ticketing police officer improperly cited you. Consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer to learn more about fighting your moving violation traffic ticket.
January 23rd, 2017 at 11:01 am
Admittedly, no one enjoys getting a traffic or speeding ticket in Illinois. Getting a ticket can be inconvenient, costly, and time-consuming. Many people find the whole process of being issued a ticket, and then having to deal with the aftermath of the ticket, to be immensely frustrating. Indeed, that is why so many people simply go to the courthouse or go online to pay the fine associated with their traffic citation. Still, what a lot of people do not realize is that by simply paying the fine associated with your traffic citation, you are effectively pleading guilty or no contest to the alleged traffic offense.
By pleading not guilty or no contest the alleged traffic offense, there are many additional consequences that go along with the payment of your traffic citation fine. For instance, it could also result in:
- Points being added to your driving record;
- The loss of your driver’s license;
- Increased automobile insurance premium; and
- Attendance at a mandatory driver’s education program.
Needless to say, the consequences associated with pleading guilty or no contest to a traffic violation are many and serious. That is why it is so critically important that you fight your traffic ticket if you do not believe that you have broken the law. By working with an experienced traffic citation defense lawyer, you can fight against the charges pending against you and get your traffic offense dropped, dismissed, or reduced. You need to protect your rights and you should receive fair treatment under the law if you have been issued a traffic ticket. An experienced traffic offenses attorney can help you fight your traffic citation.
What Does it Mean to Fight a Traffic Ticket?
In Illinois it is not very difficult to indicate to the traffic court that you would like to fight your traffic ticket, although the rules regarding traffic court do vary from county to county. As a general rule, the way that you would initiate your fight is by pleading not guilty to the alleged traffic offense. You will need to make sure that you plead to the appropriate traffic court, i.e., the court that is designated on your traffic citation, and in the appropriate manner. Once you have pled not guilty, you will be scheduled to appear in traffic court where you will present to the judge your case as to why you are not guilty.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
It is to your benefit to retain the services of an experienced traffic violations defense lawyer when fighting your traffic citation. A traffic violations lawyer will know the specifics of the traffic court, can help you build your case, and can represent you in court. If you believe that you were issued a traffic ticket in error, then you should consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer about fighting your ticket.
December 21st, 2016 at 7:00 am
Many people have been guilty of speeding at some point in time when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Sometimes it happens on accident, while other times a driver purposefully means to exceed the posted speed limit. However, if you are caught speeding by Illinois law enforcement, a ticket for violating the state’s speeding laws will be issued to you.
Receiving a traffic ticket can adversely affect you if you admit your guilt to your traffic offense. For instance, if you go to the courthouse and immediately pay your ticket without fighting it in traffic court, you effectively have made an admission that you are guilty of the speeding charge.
Admitting guilt for a traffic violation can result in the addition of points to your driver’s license. If you accumulate too many points, then serious consequences can result. Too many points can mean that your license will be suspended, which will make traveling more difficult for you without the ability to drive. Ultimately, much is at stake when you are issued a traffic ticket for speeding. Hence, it is important that you fight your speeding ticket. With the help of an experienced Illinois traffic offenses defense attorney it might be possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
However, sometimes the evidence of your speeding is irrefutable and the only action to take is to admit your guilt, while still presenting a valid and legitimate defense as to why you were speeding in the first place. It is important to know that there is a difference between a good defense to speeding charges and a bad excuse for speeding. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can help you with your defense.
What Are Some of the Good Defenses to Charges of Speeding
There are legitimate and valid defenses that you could use to defend against a speeding charge. For instance, it might be possible that you did not know the speed limit for the area where you received your speeding ticket because you did not see the posted speed limit sign. If you can show that the speed limit sign was not posted properly or was missing (perhaps because the sign was hit by a car or due to an act of vandalism), it could be a valid defense to your speeding.
Have You Been Ticketed for Speeding? Call Us Today for Professional Help
No one wants to receive a speeding ticket. Moreover, there can be serious consequences if you admit to speeding charges. Therefore, if you have been issued a speeding ticket, then you need to get in touch with an experienced traffic offenses defense lawyer. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic offenses attorney at our office. We are eager to help you throughout each step of your case.
October 13th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Foreign nationals who wish to come to the United States, either for work, school, or another purpose, gain entry through a visa. A number of different types of visas are awarded based on the reason for the foreign national’s stay in the United States. However, there are also many restrictions on visas. If these restrictions are violated, one’s visa can be revoked by the U.S. government. For instance, a visa can be revoked if the visa holder is convicted of committing a crime in the United States.
Barred From Re-entry Into the U.S.
Being convicted of a criminal offense in the United States is often a violation of the terms of your visa. Therefore, if you leave the country and try and return to the United States, you will most likely be barred from re-entry into the United States by immigration officers at the airport, or via your port of entry. Moreover, you could be denied entry into the United States for years.
Even Too Many Traffic Offenses Can Result in Visa Revocation
Traffic violations are common minor offenses. However, each time you pay a traffic ticket without fighting it, you are effectively admitting your guilt to the alleged traffic violation. This is the same as if you were convicted for your traffic violation. Convictions for traffic violations result in points being added to your driver’s license. When you accumulate too many points on your driver’s license, your driving privileges are suspended and you are no longer permitted to operate a motor vehicle. Operating a motor vehicle while on a suspended driver’s license is a serious criminal offense and can result in the revocation of your visa.
Foreign nationals who obtain a visa for entry into the United States generally do so with a purpose, such as for the purpose of attending school or to get a U.S. job. Hence, it is critically important for these individuals to maintain their visa status. Anyone who is a visa holder and has been charged with a traffic violation needs to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Fighting your traffic citation is the best chance that you will have to get the charges against you reduced or even dropped completely so that you can remain in the United States on your visa.
Receive a Traffic Ticket While on a Visa? Get a Lawyer
If you have received a traffic citation, it is essential to consider if it is in your best interests to fight the ticket. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our firm and let us assist you throughout each step of your case. Call 847-394-3200 today.
September 22nd, 2016 at 3:35 pm
Many people have received a traffic citation for a mistake made behind the wheel. You might have been driving too fast, may have failed to use your turn signals, or may have placed your vehicle somewhere it should not have been. Furthermore, many people who end up with a traffic citation are unsure what to do about it. In this situation, contacting an experienced traffic offense lawyer could help.
Basics of A Traffic Citation
At its core, a traffic citation is a charge for violating a state or municipal traffic law. The citation is a piece of paper, or ticket, that includes your information, the information about your vehicle, and your alleged offense. The ticket provides you with the statute of the law that you allegedly violated along with the fine you are required to pay, and provides instructions on how to pay the ticket, or details about when you are required to appear in court.
For the most part, most traffic law violations are merely infractions of the law, which is punishable only by a fine. Infractions are mostly minor offenses. More serious traffic violations can rise to the criminal level, such as driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. These more serious traffic violations can carry steep fines and even jail time.
Traffic violations are broken down by the type of offense you have committed, and the seriousness of your offense. For instance, traffic violations are classified as either moving violations, or non-moving violations, which refers to whether your alleged offense involved a moving vehicle. For instance, speeding, driving without a fastened seatbelt, DUI, and failing to obey stop signs are all considered moving violations because each of these offenses involves a moving vehicle. Non-moving violations include things like driving an unregistered vehicle, not having your license plates attached to your vehicle, and parking offenses.
Next Steps After Receiving a Traffic Citation
When you receive a traffic ticket, you usually have a few options on how to proceed. For the most trivial of traffic violations, most people simply choose to pay the fine and be done with the ticket. Paying the ticket, however, means admitting guilt for your violation of the law. If you are generally a good driver who rarely receives tickets, then simply paying your fine might be how you choose to resolve your traffic ticket.
However, if you believe that the issuance of a ticket to you was a mistake or is wrong, you can dispute your ticket and fight it. To dispute your traffic citation, you must personally appear in court during your scheduled court appearance timeslot, and enter a not guilty plea. Next, you will be scheduled a trial date, where you can fight your traffic citation.
If you plan on fighting your traffic citation, you need to speak with an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer soon after getting your ticket. You will have a scheduled court appearance time, and your lawyer may need to work quickly.
September 20th, 2016 at 11:07 am
Many drivers in Illinois are stopped by law enforcement and issued traffic citations when they allegedly violate one of Illinois many traffic laws. While a ticket could be embarrassing, or might make you mad, you must take some sort of action regarding your traffic ticket.
Consequences of Pleading Guilty to a Traffic Violation
Most tickets are simple to deal with, and many do not even require the driver to appear in court. There are many types of traffic tickets that can simply be paid over the internet or at the courthouse. Many drivers elect to pay their fine and be done with their ticket. But payment of the ticket fine is effectively the same as pleading guilty to your traffic citation.
Countless Illinois drivers do not realize that this is the case and are surprised to learn that there are consequences for paying the fine and effectively pleading guilty to a traffic offense. For instance, in some cases, it can mean that points will be added to your driver’s license by the Illinois Driver Services Department. If you get too many points on your driver’s license in a certain amount of time, your driver’s license can be suspended. The more points you have on your driver’s license also translates to increased car insurance premium rates.
Paying the fine on your traffic ticket will also create a record of your admission of guilt in your driving record, which is maintained by the Illinois Driver Services Department. This record is communicated to law enforcement and government agencies in other states.
While it is important to deal with your traffic ticket as soon as possible (as traffic tickets always come with a date by which payment is due), you do not have to admit guilt. You can always fight any traffic ticket that is issued to you in court. A skilled Illinois traffic offenses lawyer can help you make your case to the court, and it may be possible to get your charges and fine reduced, if not dropped completely.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Ticket?
Pretending that your traffic ticket never happened is not a good idea either. If you do not pay the fine for your ticket, or you fail to make a scheduled court appearance, it can result in a judgment against you and a warrant could be issued for your arrest. It is also likely that if you ignore a traffic ticket, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Got A Traffic Ticket? Talk To Us
Traffic tickets happen to drivers all the time, and if you believe that you were wrongly ticketed, then you should consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer about fighting your ticket. We are eager to assist you today.
July 7th, 2016 at 9:00 am
Illinois drivers are required to respect and protect emergency workers while driving on roadways. This means acknowledging and respecting an emergency vehicle’s need to get somewhere much faster than your average driver and getting out of the way so that emergency vehicles and personnel can get to where they need to go as quickly as possible. It also means moving over on the highway to give a stationary emergency vehicle as much room as possible.
Codified at 625 ILCS 5/11-907, the law that protects emergency vehicles and emergency personnel is referred to as Scott’s Law, after Scott Gillen, a Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant who was killed by a passing motorist while trying to do his job. The law is necessary because emergency workers face many dangers when responding to accidents and trying to save lives.
Getting To An Emergency
Other drivers on the road are supposed to get out of the way for an emergency vehicle that is using its flashing lights and/or its audio signal. Drivers are supposed to pull over and move out of the way so that an emergency vehicle has a path to maneuver through traffic. A driver that does not get over reasonably can be reported by the emergency vehicle, and the driver could end up with a ticket.
It is possible that the driver was unable to get out of the way quickly, or that it would have been unsafe for the driver to yield the right of way to the emergency vehicle. Perhaps a mechanical failure caused the driver’s car to stall out, and the driver was unable to get out of the way. There may be reasonable defenses for not having yielded to the emergency vehicle, and these reasons or defenses should be raised when fighting the ticket.
Responding To An Emergency
Under Scott’s Law, drivers are also supposed to attempt to get over as far as possible when passing a stationary emergency vehicle on the side of the road. This is to protect the emergency responders. Whether the emergency vehicle is an ambulance, fire truck or police vehicle, when and if possible, other drivers should get over as far as safely possible.
A driver could be issued a ticket if, for example, the driver approached a police vehicle that was stationary on the right-hand side of the road, and remained in the right-hand lane, although there was plenty of room for the driver to move to the left-hand lane safely while passing the stationary officer vehicle. Law enforcement officers take the safety of other officers and emergency workers very seriously and will issue you a ticket if you do not move over for stationary emergency vehicles.
Let Us Help With Your Ticket
Any traffic ticket can be challenged, even tickets issued for a violation of Scott’s Law. If you have been cited for a traffic violation, you should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer as soon as possible after receiving your ticket to help protect your rights.
June 8th, 2016 at 11:08 am
A police officer simply cannot stop you in Illinois on the grounds of drunk driving. Rather, law enforcement is not permitted to make a traffic stop without a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver has violated a traffic law, i.e., a reasonable suspicion that a law was broken. Stopping a driver for anything short of a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver has violated a traffic law would be an illegal seizure of the driver, which is a violation of the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights. Many people who are facing a DUI may be facing charges that are based on no actual violation of a traffic law. When there is no evidence of a reasonable and articulable belief that the driver broke the law, it means that the traffic stop was illegal.
How Do DUI Charges Come About?
Once a legal traffic stop has been made, a police officer can then witness evidence or facts that could lead the officer to believe that the driver was recently drinking alcohol, at which point a police officer can make allegations that the driver is driving while under the influence. Police can make a DUI arrest when they have a probable cause to believe that the driver broke the law. However, that is not to say that a driver may have engaged in activity while behind the wheel that made police suspicious as to whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol. There is a line between violating a traffic law and conducting oneself in a legal fashion, and sometimes police make mistakes about where that line is drawn.
By way of a few examples, swerving within your own lane of traffic is not an illegal act. You might have been avoiding a pothole or other hazard in the road, weather conditions, such as a strong wind, might push your vehicle within your lane of traffic, or you might not have been paying close attention to your driving momentarily. However, as long as you stay in your own lane, you have not broken any traffic laws. Conversely, if you swerve between lanes of traffic in a dangerous or reckless way, or across a double yellow line into oncoming traffic, then you have committed a traffic violation and police can make a traffic stop.
Other reasons to make a traffic stop include:
- Speeding violations;
- Failing to comply with traffic signs and signals;
- Driver or passenger is not wearing a seat belt; and
- Equipment violations, such as a broken tail light.
Let Us Assist You Today
Police must have a reason for pulling a driver over to do an investigatory traffic stop. If other facts present themselves to the officer that lead the officer to believe that the driver is driving while under the influence, then the officer can make a DUI arrest. If you are facing DUI charges, do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney for professional assistance with your case.
May 18th, 2016 at 12:35 pm
In honor of National Work Zone Safety Week, law enforcement across Illinois put forth effort to raise awareness about exercising care when driving through active and inactive work and construction zones. National Work Zone Safety Week was the week of April 11th 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
Highway construction is a problem that is acutely experienced by drivers in Illinois, especially around big cities. However, road construction is a necessary part of maintaining our highways and byways. As such, it is important that drivers exercise care when driving through a work zones. Law enforcement takes traffic violations in work zones very seriously.
Work Zone Safety Stats
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were more than 4,300 accidents that occurred in construction zones in 2015. Of these accidents, 1,000 resulted in injuries to construction workers, drivers and passengers. There were also 46 fatalities resulting from work zone traffic accidents. More often than not, it is motorists who are passing through a work zone who are involved in traffic accidents. Inattentiveness, driving at too high of a rate of speed, and following too closely are some of the leading causes of work zone traffic accidents.
Work Zone Speeding Tickets
Speed limits are strictly enforced in work zones, and you can get a speeding ticket even if no workers are present when you are caught speeding. 625 ILCS 5/11-05.1 is the Illinois statute for speeding tickets issued for offenses committed while driving through a work zone. It does not matter whether the workers are present in the work site or not, and work zones are one of the few locations where law enforcement is permitted to use radar and lidar detection means to determine a driver’s speed as evidence that the driver was speeding in the work zone.
Work zones are clearly identified as they are required to have posted signage indicating where a work zone begins and terminates, as well as the posted maximum and minimum speed limit. Fines for a first offense can range from $250 to $750. A second-time offense within a period of two years can cost a driver his or her license. Court appearances are mandatory, and dealing with the courts for a traffic ticket can be difficult as there are very specific rules that must be followed. You should consider working with an experienced traffic offenses lawyer to fight your ticket.
Let Us Help With Your Ticket
Traffic tickets can happen to anyone, even the best drivers. When a traffic offense occurs in certain locations, such as in a school or work zone, the associated fines and penalties can be more severe. If you have been cited for a traffic violation, you should contact an experienced traffic offenses lawyer immediately. Please contact a Rolling Meadows traffic offense attorney at our firm for assistance. We will help you throughout each step of your case.