Archive for the ‘traffic violation’ tag

New Traffic Laws 2017

May 8th, 2017 at 10:09 am

traffic laws 2017, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerThere are a number of changes to the traffic laws in Illinois—changes of which to be aware because, unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not a defense. The laws encompass areas including:

  • When you are required to switch lanes or reduce your speed;
  • The distance you have to come to a complete stop in front of a railroad crossing;
  • The kind of lights a motorcycle can display for their rear stop lamps; and
  • Penalties resulting from a conviction for driving without insurance.

The laws take effect this year in 2017, and some have already been implemented and applied. Traffic violations may seem minor; however, violations can carry hefty consequences for an unsuspecting motorist. Moreover, traffic violations can result in the loss or suspension of a license and increased insurance rates. Additionally, depending on the severity, traffic violations can even result in jail time.

Changing Lanes and Decreasing Speed

For a long time it has been a law that when an emergency vehicle approaches drivers with its lights on, drivers are required to changed lanes and pull over to allow the vehicle to pass. HB 6006 now demands that, whenever possible, drivers change lanes when approaching any disabled vehicle on the road with hazard lights flashing. Also, when it is not possible to change lanes, drivers must decrease their speed.

Distance You Have to Stop Before a Railroad Crossing

SB 2806 is a new law that changes the distance you have to stop before approaching a railroad crossing where there is a posted stop sign. As of January 2017, any motorist who fails to stop within 50 feet from the nearest rail will be guilty of a petty offense with a $500 fine, up from the $250 fine it used to be for a first offense. For a second offense the fine is $1000.

Changes to Traffic Laws Involving Motorcycles

HB 4105 now allows for motorcycles to be equipped with blue lights on the rear of the motorcycle in conjunction with the motorcycle’s rear stop lamp. The blue lights increase visibility from longer distances and thus increases motorcycle safety during night time operation.

Penalties for Driving Without Proof of Insurance

Any vehicle that you operate must be insured—being pulled over without proof of insurance can prove costly. However, HB 5723 aims to ease the burden for those unlucky enough to not have proof of insurance at the time they are stopped. It is now a petty offense for first time offenders who are pulled over and do not have proof of insurance. Again, this only applies to first time offenders.

How to Avoid a Traffic Violation

If you find yourself a defendant in a traffic violation matter, speak with the skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley. Call 847-394-3200 to schedule your consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=6006&GAID=13&SessionID=88&LegID=95513

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=2806&GAID=13&GA=99&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=96116&SessionID=88

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=4105&GAID=13&SessionID=88&LegID=90325

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=5723&GAID=13&SessionID=88&LegID=95177

 

Changes to Illinois Traffic Laws For 2017

February 22nd, 2017 at 7:00 am

Illinois traffic laws, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney,Every so often traffic laws are changed, and new laws are enacted by the state legislature to better address problems that are being experienced on the roads across Illinois. The year, 2017, is no exception.

A handful of traffic laws have been changed and Illinois drivers need to be aware of these alterations. A violation of these new laws can lead to a traffic citation, even if you did not know that you were breaking the law. Ignorance of the law is no excuse or defense to making a violation of the law. The laws have been changed to help improve driver safety in Illinois.

Scott’s Law Has Been Expanded

Illinois retains a law known as Scott’s law, which requires drivers to move over to the opposite side of the road when they are passing emergency vehicles and law enforcement vehicles that are on the side of the road. The purpose of law is to give law enforcement and emergency personnel the space that they need to safely render aid or do their job while on the side of the road.

In 2017, Scott’s law has been expanded. Now, in addition to moving over for emergency vehicles and law enforcement on the side of the road, Illinois drivers are also required to slow down and move over to the opposite side of the road when there is a vehicle parked on the side of the road with its hazard lights flashing.

Have You Been Caught a Second Time Driving Without Insurance? Now Your Car Will Be Towed

Driving without valid and up-to-date automobile insurance is a problem in Illinois. Another change to Illinois traffic laws in 2017 authorizes law enforcement to tow the vehicle of anyone who is stopped on the side of the road and is found to be driving without automobile insurance after already having a conviction on the books for driving without insurance. This new law only applies to drivers who are caught driving without insurance for the second time in a 12-month period after their earlier conviction.

While 2017 is not a significant year for changes in traffic law, the few changes that have been made will be strictly enforced by the police in Illinois. Therefore, it is important for drivers to be aware of these new changes. If you are issued a traffic citation for a violation of these laws or any other traffic law violation, you need to get in touch with an experienced traffic citation lawyer as soon as possible. Traffic citations need to be dealt with, and you can fight the charges that are being pressed against you by challenging them in traffic court.

Let Us Help You Today

When it comes to handling your traffic violation, you need a strong defense and a tenacious lawyer to fight the charges against you. Please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help with your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-907

Evidence in Your DUI Case: Breathalyzer Testing Results Invalid

December 16th, 2016 at 9:47 am

breathalyzer testing, Rolling Meadows DUI lawyerWhen a person is stopped by law enforcement for a traffic violation, and the officer who made the traffic stop develops a reasonable suspicion that the driver of the vehicle is intoxicated by alcohol, the police officer can request that the suspected drunk driver submit to a breathalyzer test.

A breathalyzer test is a chemical test that analyzes the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath and then determines whether the person has a blood alcohol concentration that is over the legal limit of 0.08. Under Illinois implied consent law, drivers are required to submit to a breathalyzer test upon a police officer’s request or else face consequences, such as the automatic suspension of their driver’s license. But remember: you do have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test.

Even if you are pulled over and you do submit to breathalyzer testing, there are many things that could render your breathalyzer testing results invalid. It is well established that breathalyzer tests are not foolproof and there can be any number of procedural mistakes that could make your test results invalid. Invalid breathalyzer test results cannot be used against you in a DUI case against you. A few examples of things that can make your breathalyzer test results invalid include:

  • The breathalyzer machine malfunctioned during your test;
  • The breathalyzer machine was not properly calibrated before you took your breath test;
  • The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not follow proper protocol;
  • The police officer who performed your breathalyzer test was not properly licensed or trained to conduct breathalyzer test in the field;
  • The breathalyzer machine used to perform your breath test it was not of the type that is an approved testing device;
  • The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not conduct the required observation period before conducting the breath test;
  • The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not record the breathalyzer device certification tests of the simulator solution (used to calibrate/test the device before the suspected drunk driver uses the breathalyzer machine); or
  • You have a medical condition that influences your breathalyzer test results.

If you have been charged with a DUI and you have submitted to a breathalyzer test, a skilled and experienced criminal DUI defense attorney can help fight your charges by attacking the validity of your breathalyzer testing results based on any of the above identified reasons. DUI charges can result in serious consequences if you are convicted, such as costly fees, jail time, mandatory drug and alcohol educational classes, and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle, for which you have to pay. Your driving privileges will also be suspended, and you will have to get your driver’s license reinstated. A lawyer can help you with your driver’s license reinstatement as well.

Let Us Help You Today

If you are facing DUI charges and there is chemical testing evidence in your case, an experienced DUI lawyer will know when this evidence should be challenged. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately. Our passionate attorneys are eager to help you today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Consequences of Pleading Guilty To A Traffic Citation

September 20th, 2016 at 11:07 am

Consequences of Pleading Guilty To A Traffic CitationMany 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.

Source:
http://www.ilga.gov/JCAR/AdminCode/092/092010400000200R.html

Illinois Traffic Stops Must be Based on a Reasonable and Articulable Belief of a Traffic Violation

June 8th, 2016 at 11:08 am

Illinois traffic stops, Rolling Meadows DUI LawyerA 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.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-601

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K12-603.1

Illinois Drivers Get Some of the Most Expensive Tickets in the Country

April 11th, 2016 at 8:50 am

Illinois drivers speeding, Rolling Meadows Traffic Offenses LawyerWhen Illinoisans receive a ticket for a traffic violation, they often consider it as an inconvenience. It means a ticket that they might have to dispute, and a fine. However, few people who get a ticket really understand the long-term impact that a ticket can have on their wallet.

There are hidden costs associated with getting a ticket in Illinois that cannot be overlooked and need to be considered when deciding whether to just pay the fine or to fight the ticket.

Illinois Tickets Are Some of the Most Costly in the Country

KMOV.com recently reported on a national study which revealed that traffic tickets have one of the biggest impacts on Illinois drivers, due to the long-term costs associated with getting a speeding ticket. While the initial cost of the traffic ticket might not be too high, after several years of auto insurance hikes, a ticket can be quite costly. There are a handful of Illinois communities—a majority of which are located in Cook County, including Harvey, Cicero and Park Ridge—where getting a ticket can cost individuals $1,000 more over a five-year period than a ticket would cost other Americans.

The study found that the average speeding ticket in Illinois runs about $120. However, a speeding ticket in Illinois often translates to an average increase in auto insurance rates of $124 per year. Increases in insurance rates due to speeding tickets last for five years. That results in a cost over five years that is approximately six times the initial ticket amount.

The point of the increased insurance rates after a driver receives a ticket is to discourage the driver from engaging in such behavior while behind the wheel in the future. The hike in rates is a deterrent. Extra insurance costs are not something that many drivers think about when they get a speeding ticket, but it is the reality of the situation. Therefore, it is important to fight your traffic ticket. An experienced traffic offense lawyer can help you fight for your rights.

Options After a Speeding Ticket

When a driver receives a ticket for a traffic offense, he or she has several options on how to proceed. The driver can decide upon the following:

  • Pay the ticket, which is the same as pleading guilty to the charge. The driver will pay the fine and receive a conviction for the offense that was committed by the driver;
  • In some cases, a driver can pay the ticket, receive the conviction, and attend traffic safety educational classes; or
  • Dispute the ticket and fight the charges that are pending against the driver, often with the help of a criminal defense lawyer who has experience handling traffic ticket cases.

Let Us Assist You Today

Speeding tickets happen, and when one happens to you, you need to fight the ticket since one can cost you a lot more than just the fine associated with your ticket. Your insurance rate is likely to go up if you do not try to beat your ticket. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer immediately. Our attorneys are available to help you today.

Sources:

http://www.kmov.com/story/31381692/illinois-drivers-may-be-paying-more-for-tickets

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/true-cost-speeding-ticket-illinois-il-insurance/

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

Decrease in Speeding Tickets in Cook County

December 22nd, 2013 at 8:24 am

speeding ticketOver the last few years, there has been a decrease in the number of speeding tickets issued in and around Chicago.  Based on data from 2010 to 2012, there was a quarter fewer tickets both in the city and in segments of the surrounding counties.

There are a couple of possible reasons for this decrease.  An analysis completed by reporters from the Chicago Tribune has shown that the state police department is very lenient on the state’s expressways.  Most tickets are written when a motorist is going at least 20 miles over the posted speed limit of 55.  Provided that high threshold, it is not likely to find people to give speeding tickets.

Another reason for the decrease in speeding tickets is state-wide budget cuts.  There are fewer troopers on the road which means there are fewer people to give out tickets.

Illinois State Police Commander Patrick Murphy, who is in charge of training troopers, has his own theories.  He said that there are fewer drivers on the road.  In fact, from 2007 to 2011 there was a near 4 percent decrease in miles driven by vehicles in Illinois.  There was also an almost 2 percent decrease in the number of registered vehicles on the road.

Murphy also said that the fines for speeding have increased so much that drivers are taking notice.  The current fee for speeding up to 20 miles over the speed limit is $120. If a driver is caught driving between 20 to 30 miles over the limit, the fee increases to $140. Over that speed and drivers can face fees of $160. In 2014, those fees are set to increase although the penalties are yet to be settled.

Although the amount of tickets has decreased over the years, that doesn’t mean that it is safe to speed.  Law enforcement agencies are looking at other ways to police highways.  They are using air details that hover over traffic and communicate vehicle speed and license plate numbers to local squad cars.  Parked vans are also placed on roads to catch speeders and mail tickets to their homes.

Speeding tickets are very serious.  If you have more than three moving violations during a year, then you can have your license suspended.  If you have been accused of a crime, then seek legal assistance.  Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Cook County today.

Suspended Illinois Licenses

September 8th, 2013 at 10:59 am

Usually, if someone has a relatively clean driving record and they get a ticket, they have the opportunity to have the points removed from their license. When those points cannot be removed, however, they can add up quickly because they are on your record for at least two years. Once you get too many points, you may lose your license for an extended period.

Lucy If you are unsure whether your license has been suspended, it is important to find out; driving with a suspended license can have stiff penalties. To view your driving record, which will inform you of the state of your license, you can contact your Secretary of State’s office.

The Secretary of State can give you a copy of your driving record online, in person or by mail. If you request one in person or by mail, you must provide your full name, driver’s license number, your date of birth and a $12 processing fee.

A question that many people have when their license is suspended is whether or not it is suspended in all states. The National Driver Register keeps records of suspended and revoked drivers’ licenses so that those drivers cannot get licenses in another state. The Driver’s License Compact also keeps tabs on drivers nationally. The Driver License Compact keeps track of all driving penalties while drivers are in states other than their home state.

Of course, the best way to avoid all of this is to keep your driving record clean whether you are in your home state or somewhere else, even if you have never had any infractions on your record thus far.

If you are ticketed or pulled over for something more than a traffic violation, like drinking and driving, contact a criminal attorney to help you out of those very dangerous points. Attorney Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Ill. can help you keep your driving record clean today.

Reckless Driving Leads to Law Change in Illinois

October 5th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

According to the Chicago Tribune, Lukasz Marszalek, 22, was involved in a fatal crash last year that ended the life of Julie Gorczynski, 17. Marszalek was driving his car almost 80 mph in a 40-mph zone when Julie made a left turn in front of him with her Jeep. She was killed in the ensuing crash.

Marszalek was charged with aggravated speeding, which has a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail. On Tuesday, September 25, Marszalek received the maximum punishment and was sentenced to six months in jail. His original charge was aggravated reckless driving, which is a felony, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor because there was not enough evidence. Marszalek also had previous speeding violations and seven court supervisions, and soon after the crash he got a speeding ticket in Indiana.

A new legislation, called Julie’s Law, that imposes more serious penalties on excessive speeders, was signed in July. Julie Gorczynski’s parents helped in getting the legislation through the Illinois General Assembly. The law prohibits judges from giving court supervision to drivers that are caught driving over 25 mph over the limit on a non-rural road or 30 mph on a highway. Formerly supervision could be granted for drivers traveling up to 40 mph over the limit.

If Marszalek’s supervisions for traffic violations would have been convictions, he might not have had his driving privileges and, in turn, he might not have been driving when the crash took place. In the future, the penalties for traffic violations are going to be tougher. Therefore, it is important to get help from skilled lawyers who can help in these situations and know best how to protect your rights. If you have been charged with a traffic offense, you should contact a dedicated traffic violations defense lawyer in Cook County.