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Archive for the ‘traffic offenses’ tag

City Admits Wrongdoing When Trying to Fix Previous Error on Red Light Tickets

June 26th, 2017 at 7:00 am

red light tickets, Rolling Meadows traffic ticket lawyer, speeding tickets, traffic offenses, traffic violationsThe city of Chicago had inaccuracies on 1.9 million red light and speed-camera tickets. In an attempt to correct this mistake, it appears that Mayor Rahm Emanuel may have exacerbated the issue.

City Hall sent mail to recipients of the red light and speed camera tickets. The letters received attempted to offer another chance to appeal the tickets in court. The measure is widely identified as an effort to ward off a class-action lawsuit, pleading that the city failed to provide ticket holders enough time or notice to challenge their tickets.

One Cook County resident received five red light camera tickets for which she could only make out two of the videos. She was quoted as saying, “It’s alarming that they would do something like this.”

An official spokesman, Michael Claffey, indicated that the process to correct the fault in the system denying people adequate notice to contest their tickets would take considerable time to rectify.

Cook County offered no explanation for the issue, but opined that the malfunction might have been a result of the high traffic on the city’s website. The offer from the city to allow ticket holders another opportunity to appeal their tickets comes after a Cook County Circuit Judge denied a motion from the city to dismiss a class-action suit alleging the city violated due process by failing to provide adequate notice.

A Chicago attorney stated, “the Emanuel administration’s effort to force people to relitigate the city’s illegal behavior is a sham.” That same attorney explained that out of the 37 cases related to these red light cameras, 18 had no photographs or videos.

Need to Contest a Red Light Camera Ticket?

If you or a loved one has received a ticket in the mail from a red light camera or speed camera, you may have an opportunity to fight it. Rolling Meadows traffic ticket lawyer Christopher M. Cosley is an experienced and proven defense lawyer who represents his clients in a litany of issues relating to traffic violations.

Do not blindly accept that you have no options when you receive a ticket. Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 to schedule your initial consultation. Or, visit our website www.cosleycriminaldefense.com. Our 24-hour answering service is designed to get you the advice you need when you need it.

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/redlight/ct-red-light-camera-notices-0108-20170106-story.html

Traffic Citations and Your Driving Record in Illinois

May 24th, 2017 at 7:13 am

traffic citations, Rolling MeadowsStandard moving violations will usually stay on your driving record for up to five years from the time you are convicted, according to the Illinois Secretary of state. Standard moving violations include:

  • Speeding;
  • Disobeying a stop sign;
  • Disobeying a traffic light; and
  • Improper lane usage.

However, traffic violations whose penalties result in a suspension or revocation can stay on your driving record for at least seven years. That timeline will not start until the date you get your license reinstated.  The caveat to that general rule are traffic violations that include alcohol or drugs, like a DUI for example. Those kinds of convictions may stay on your Illinois driving record for the rest of your life.

Is There Any Way I Can Keep a Traffic Ticket Off My Driving Record?

That is a question for your Cook County traffic violation attorney. Generally, the only way to accomplish that is to receive court supervision as a punishment for your traffic violation or getting the charge dropped or dismissed.

Traffic violation convictions not only cause your insurance rates to increase but they also count as points towards getting your license suspended. When faced with a traffic violation, it is important that you speak with an experienced and knowledgeable traffic violation defense lawyer to give you the best shot at keeping traffic infractions off of your record.

Understand Your Rights

It is important that you understand what rights you have at a traffic stop. When a police officer stops you and begins asking questions, it is usually not polite conversation. He or she is beginning their investigation into whether or not you have committed a moving violation or a more serious offense.

The majority of convictions in Illinois occur as a result of an arrestee giving more incriminating evidence than was necessary to the police.  Questions that are appropriate to answer include but are not limited to the following:

  • What is your name?
  • Where are you going?
  • Do you have your driver’s license?
  • Do you have proof of insurance?
  • Do you know why I have stopped you? (simple yes or no)

Questions and request intended to incriminate you include:

  • Can I search your car?
  • Have you been drinking?
  • Do you have anything illegal in the car?

When You Need a Lawyer

The criminal justice system is a complex terrain that requires a knowledgeable and experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Christopher M. Cosley is a respected and proven attorney. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, you will receive dedicated and compassionate representation. Contact us at 847-394-3200, 24 hours a day, to schedule your consultation and get the representation you deserve.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=49&ActID=1815

Chicagoans’ Due Process Rights Violated by City Regarding Red-Light and Speed-Cam Tickets

March 18th, 2016 at 7:03 am

red-light and speed-cam tickets, Rolling Meadows Traffic Offenses AttorneyThere are more than 300 red-light cameras in Chicago, and in many cases tickets that have been issued from these cameras may be void because the issuance of the tickets violates due process laws. According to a recently issued news report by the Chicago Sun-Times, Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy issued a ruling, potentially worth millions of dollars, against the city of Chicago to reimburse fines and penalties collected on red-light and speed-cam tickets that were issued without due process.

How Was Due Process Violated?

Due process is your right as an individual to be respected by the state or other governmental entity when it comes to your legal rights. When you are charged with a crime, you are granted certain due process rights, meaning that law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors must treat you in accordance with the law before finding that you are liable for a crime.

When it came to tickets issued based on information captured by the red-light and speed-cams located all over the city, the city was found by the Circuit Court to have violated the due process rights of those motorists who stood accused of speeding or running red lights, by:

  1. Failing to provide a second notice of the alleged traffic violation to the accused motorist, which is a violation of the Municipal Code of Chicago Section 9-100-045(b)(2);
  2. Failing to provide the specific make of the vehicle that was issued the ticket, which is a violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code; and  
  3. Indicating that late penalties on the issued tickets would begin to accrue within 21 days of the issuance of the ticket, which is a violation of the Municipal Code of Chicago Section 9-100-050(c) and provides that motorists have a 25-day grace period from the determination of liability in which to pay the ticket without incurring penalties.

Each of the above are violations of motorists’ due process rights, and in effect, the city was not following the law when it made liability determinations without giving accused motorists the chance to contest their charges. The city has collected millions upon millions of dollars on these types of tickets going back as far as 2003, and along the way, some Chicagoans have had their due process rights violated.

The judge held that tickets that were issued and paid by motorists when the motorist’s due process rights were violated are void, and that these motorists can bring collateral actions against the city to recoup their lost fines and penalties. Those motorists who may be affected need to contact an experienced traffic offenses lawyer, and should keep an eye out for a class action suit against the city.  

Contact Our Office for Help

Many people are issued traffic tickets by automated detection systems in Chicago. However, even when a ticket is automated, you still have rights, such as the right to contest the charges that are against you. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic offenses attorney right away. Our legal professionals are ready to help you today.

Sources:

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/1345175/judge-declares-red-light-speed-cam-tickets-void-city-violated-due-process

http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title9vehiclestrafficandrailtransportati/chapter9-92impoundingandrelocationofvehi?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1815&

http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title9vehiclestrafficandrailtransportati/chapter9-92impoundingandrelocationofvehi?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

Avoiding Illinois Roadblocks

March 16th, 2016 at 6:55 am

avoiding Illinois roadblocks, Rolling Meadows Traffic Offenses LawyerMost Illinois drivers have encountered a law enforcement imposed roadblock during their time. Law enforcement use roadblocks to conduct DUI checks, while also completing license checks and tags and registration checks on the drivers and their vehicles that pass through the roadblock. However, drivers may not understand their rights when it comes to roadblocks. In the event you encounter a roadblock, it is important to understand your rights.

Avoiding a Roadblock Before You Get to It

Many people can tell when they are approaching a roadblock. Traffic backs up, flashing lights are seen in the distance, and some vehicles may turn around to find an alternative route. As a driver, you may not be interested in waiting in order to proceed through the roadblock. You may be in a hurry to get home after work, may know a shortcut around the roadblock, or may simply lack the patience required to answer probing questions from law enforcement. Whatever your driving motivation is, you might decide to try and avoid the roadblock.

While the Third District Court of Illinois has held that it is legal for a driver to avoid a roadblock, be careful if you do. Sometimes law enforcement uses a roadblock for dual purposes: to check the drivers who voluntarily go through the checkpoint and to carefully watch those drivers who turn away for any reasonable suspicion to warrant pulling over the driver that turned away from a roadblock.

It is a logical line of thinking that a driver who is avoiding a roadblock is trying to hide something. Yet it is also a prejudiced line of thinking. Hence, that is why law enforcement must be able to articulate facts and reasoning for pulling over a driver who has avoided a roadblock; still, the reason for the stop must be for something other than avoiding the roadblock.

Turning away from the roadblock in and of itself may not be illegal, but police might carefully scrutinize drivers who turn away for any other reason to make a traffic stop. For instance, if the driver commits a traffic violation when avoiding the roadblock (i.e., makes an illegal turn or speeds away), if the passenger and the driver switch places, or if the driver who is avoiding the roadblock acts suspiciously, this could be enough to create a reasonable suspicion that the driver is up to no good. If law enforcement can articulate facts as to why the traffic stop was warranted after a driver avoided a road, then the stop was most likely legal and justified.   

Can We Assist You?

When you are arrested either at a roadblock or because of other circumstances when you tried to avoid a roadblock, you have rights. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will work hard to fight for you. Please do not hesitated to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer at our office. We are eager to help you today.

Source:

http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/checkpoint_laws.html

Five Rights You Have When You Get a Traffic Ticket

February 23rd, 2016 at 7:00 am

traffic ticket, Rolling Meadows Traffic Offenses AttorneyWhile you may think you have a pretty good handle on the rules of the road, do you know what your rights are when you are pulled over and given a traffic citation?

Not many people actually know what their rights are when they are pulled over. Therefore, it is important that you understand the rights you have when law enforcement pulls you over to issue you a citation for a traffic violation.

  1. You Can Wait to Stop at a Safe Location. Where you are being pulled over might not be a terribly safe place to stop. It might be dark, there might be no lighting, or there may be no shoulder for you to pull over into. You can continue to travel a reasonable distance before stopping at a safe place, but you should indicate to the officer who is pulling you over of your intention. This could be done by slowing down, turning on your blinker to indicate that you are pulling over, and then informing the officer of why you did not pull over sooner once you do finally stop and the officer approaches the vehicle.
  2. You Do Not Have to Answer Questions. You may decline to answer questions asked by the officer that pulled you over. Be polite, but know that you do not have to answer. Officers try to get more information out of you than they really need, and this can lead to additional tickets if you are not careful. This also applies to when the officer asks if you know why you are being pulled over. You have no obligation to incriminate yourself. Even if you were speeding, you do not have to say so.
  3. You Can Ask Questions. You have the right to ask why you have been pulled over. Most law enforcement officers will inform you of what their probable cause was for pulling you over as soon as they approach your vehicle. However, if they do not come right out and say why they pulled you over, you may ask.
  4. You Can Ask to Speak With Your Lawyer. If the situation goes beyond the standard ticket issuance, and the police want to search your car or something similar, you have the right to request that you speak to your lawyer. You may then answer questions that the officer has in light of your lawyer’s advice. You also do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle without a warrant.  
  5. You Have the Right to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test. While there are consequences under the law for refusing a breathalyzer test, such as the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, you are well within your rights to refuse to submit to one at the officer’s request.

Contact Us for Professional Representation

Traffic tickets are a serious matter, and an experienced traffic violation lawyer can help you defend against your traffic citation. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows traffic offenses attorney immediately. Let our attorneys provide you with exceptional representation in your case.

Source:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=81900000&SeqEnd=84800000

The Crime of Drag Racing

October 26th, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois driving laws, Illinois criminal attorney,Drag racing, sometimes also referred to as street racing, involves at least two vehicles competing in a speed race against one another. Drag racing can be a straight shot, meaning that the racers maintain a straight path, or could be a race along a designated course that comprises public streets, roadways and highways. The object of drag racing is for one driver to arrive at a destination first, and within a short amount of time. However, sometimes the point of street racing is to prevent another vehicle from passing, or is to test the physical limitations and stamina of drivers over the course of a long driving route.

Street racing has been highly popularized over the last decade or so due to its appearance in a number of movies and high profile celebrity deaths. However, drag racing and any other form of racing is illegal on the roads and highways of Illinois under 625 ILCS 5/11-506, and the consequences of being caught participating in street racing activities are severe criminal charges with lasting effects.

Penalties for a Driver Who Was Racing

Punishment for a drag racing driver is based on whether the driver is a repeat offender, and whether anyone was hurt as a result of the racing.

  • As a first offense, street racing is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a minimum fine of $250;
  • As a second or subsequent offense, street racing is upgraded to a Class 4 felony and carries a minimum fine of $500;
  • If the drag racing results in a motor vehicle accident that causes great bodily harm, dismemberment, or disfigurement to someone, the driver will be charged with aggravated street racing under 625 ILCS 5/11-506(d)(3). Aggravated street racing is a Class 4 felony and is punishable by a jail sentence lasting from a minimum of one year to up to 12 years; and
  • In all instances of street racing, the driver will have his or her driver’s license revoked. License revocations are for an indefinite amount of time, and the only way to get driving privileges back is to appear before the Secretary of State for an administrative hearing and request reinstatement, which takes time, money and often the help of a driver’s license reinstatement lawyer.

You Do Not Even Have to Be a Driver

Not only is it illegal for a driver to engage in street racing, but it is also illegal to be a vehicle owner and knowingly allow another to use your vehicle for street racing purposes under 625 ILCS 5/11-506(b). A conviction for knowingly permitting another to use your vehicle for racing can land you a Class B misdemeanor for a first time offense, and a Class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Maybe you were charged with speed racing when in reality you were just speeding, or maybe someone used your car for racing and you had no knowledge that the racing was going to occur. Either way, it is important to fight the charges against you. Contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer immediately at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.

 

Source:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-506

Higher Speed Limit Ushers in New Work-Zone Safety Rules

May 7th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Higher Speed Limit Ushers in New Work-Zone Safety Rules | Illinois LawThe beginning of 2014 brought a change in the speed limit posted on interstates in Illinois to 70 miles per hour from the previous limit of 65 miles per hour. In light of the increased speed limit applicable to roadways across the state of Illinois, a news outlet recently reported that extra safety measures will also apply to Illinois construction zones, including reduce-speed signs and speed-indicator posted signs.

The Effect on Work-Zone Speeds

Studies indicate that on average, a car going 70 miles per hour needs 470 feet to come to a complete stop, while cars traveling at 65 miles per hour need just 405 feet to stop safely. Heavier cars, including trucks and semi-trailers, require even more distance. The safety measures for work zones, including the signs mentioned above, are used in areas where workers are present in an effort to get drivers to pay attention and slow down.

With the new speed limit in effect for just a few months, it is hard to determine what the effect the speed limit has had on work-zone speeds. The short time the change has been in effect is only one factor; this winter’s severe weather and the cool and rainy spring have pushed construction back significantly, making it difficult to measure the overall impact of the change in speed. It is worth noting that the Illinois Department of Transportation opposed the increased speed limit due to safety concerns.

Harsher Penalties

Since 2003, fines have increased in Illinois for traffic citations, including speeding in a work zone, and crashing in a work zone causing injuries or fatalities. First time offenders of work-zone speeding will incur a fine of $375, with a $1000 fine for the second such offense, in addition to a possible license suspension for additional violations. Car accidents that result in work-zone deaths may involve felony criminal charges for reckless homicide.

Despite the increased speed limit, the posted speeds in work-zones are 55 miles per hour, and 45 miles per hour if workers are present. Photo-radar vans are one tool law enforcement uses across the state to ensure speed limits are followed in work-zones. The vans are capable of capturing images of both the driver of a vehicle and the vehicle’s license plate, record the vehicle’s speed, and post the time and date. There are signs to warn drivers that such vans are being used, and the vans are distinguishable by their markings. Troopers send tickets to offenders through certified mail.

Additional Safety Measures

The Illinois Department of Transportation continues to use electronic message boards to alert drivers of construction zones and traffic, and is exploring other ways to inform drivers of traffic patterns through technology. However, frontline flaggers remain as a basic early warning system to identify erratic drivers, get drivers’ attention, and warn of a backup in traffic or other events motorists should be aware of while approaching a work zone. The Department plans on exploring other safety measures and making changes as necessary when the effects of the higher speed limit can be more accurately measured.

If you have been charged with a traffic offense…

It is advisable to contact an attorney experienced in traffic ticket cases. Contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley in Rolling Meadows today for a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients charged with traffic offenses ranging from speeding tickets to accident related fatalities.

 

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