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Archive for the ‘leaving the scene of an accident’ tag

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Illinois

June 26th, 2019 at 5:33 pm

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyIn early May, a Berwyn woman was taking an Uber home after celebrating her 23rd birthday in Chicago. On her way home, a drunk driver crashed into the vehicle she was in, killing her and injuring three others. The driver fled the scene and was caught shortly after. Now, he faces many charges, including leaving the scene of an accident.

In Illinois, it is law that all drivers stop at the scene of any accident they are involved in. When they do not, they face serious penalties.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage

Even when there is only property damage and no real injury to anyone involved, all drivers must still stop and report the accident to the police. Failing to do this is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Although these are some of the least severe charges a person could face after leaving the scene of an accident, the consequences are still serious. This crime is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a probation period of up to 24 months.

It is also important to understand that drivers must stop at the scene even if the vehicle they hit was unattended, or not carrying anyone at the time. Failure to do this is also considered a Class A misdemeanor that carries the same penalties as if someone had been in the vehicle.

When the property damage to a vehicle is valued over $1,000, the Secretary of State will suspend the driver’s license of the person that caused the accident.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death

Of course, if someone is hurt in an accident and any person involved flees the scene, they will face harsher penalties. This is considered a Class 4 felony that carries penalties between one to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000. Anyone that violates this law will also have their license revoked by the Secretary of State.

Additionally, Illinois statute ILCS 5/11-402 also requires anyone involved in an accident resulting in death or personal injury to report the accident to the police. This must be done as soon as possible, but no later than 30 minutes after the accident took place. Violating this law carries penalties of between three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Do Not Try to Beat the Charges on Your Own; Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Fleeing the scene of an accident is one of the most common crimes people are accused of in Rolling Meadows. While it may not sound serious, law enforcement and the prosecution will not take it lightly. It is for this reason anyone facing charges must call a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, or any other crime, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We will prepare the effective legal defense you need to help get your charges reduced, or even dropped altogether. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://avondaleadvocate.com/man-charged-with-dui-fleeing-deadly-stevenson-crash/11524/

Been Charged with a Hit-And-Run? Defenses Are Available

February 21st, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Illinois defense lawyerWhen someone is involved in an accident, it is natural for the fight-or-flight response to kick in. It is for this reason that many people flee the scene of an accident. This is particularly true if they do not believe there was major property damage or serious injury. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in a hit-and-run charge. Those charged will face serious consequences if convicted. Due to this, it is important anyone charged knows that there are defenses available.

Illinois Law on Hit-And-Runs

The Illinois Compiled Statute, 625 ILCS 5/11-402 explains very clearly that hit-and-runs are against the law. Those charged with this crime in Illinois may be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, a possible license suspension, and even jail time in some cases.

In addition to the state statute, it is also law to report certain accidents to the Illinois Department of Transportation within ten days of the incident. Accidents that must be reported are those that result in death, bodily injury, or property damage over $1,500. This law pertains to contacting authorities. Even when minor accidents do not require reporting, all drivers involved are still required to stop. This is mainly so drivers can exchange information in case an issue from the accident arises later.

Defenses to a Hit-And-Run

Many people feel as though it is difficult to challenge a hit-and-run charge because the facts are typically unambiguous. Perhaps a witness wrote down the license plate number of the person that fled, or video surveillance captured the whole scene. While these facts may be damaging, it is important those charged remember that there are still defenses available.

Mistaken identity is a defense to many crimes, and an instance of a hit-and-run is no different. While witnesses, and possibly even those hit, may have a license plate number, that does not necessarily mean the owner of the car was driving. If it can be proven they were not, that individual is not criminally liable.

In order for a person to be convicted of a hit-and-run, the prosecution needs to prove that the individual knowingly left the scene of the accident. When accidents are severe, such as hitting a pedestrian, it can be difficult to convince a jury that the individual that left the scene did not know they were in an accident. However, there are times when the accident is so minor, it is reasonable to assume a person may not have even realized they were in an accident. This could be the case when a person is backing out of a parking space and hits another vehicle. If the prosecution cannot prove the individual knew they were leaving the scene of an accident, they have no case.

When an emergency situation is involved in the accident, the courts are also sometimes more lenient on those accused. For example, if someone was transporting another person to the hospital for an emergency, hit someone in the process and did not stop, the courts may decide to reduce the charges. They may even drop them altogether depending on the circumstances of the case.

Lastly, involuntary intoxication can provide a defense for hit-and-runs, as well as many other traffic offenses. For example, if an individual was unknowingly drugged or given sufficient amounts of alcohol, they would not be responsible for their behavior behind the wheel because they had no reason to believe they were intoxicated.

It is important to remember that in a hit-and-run case, or any criminal case for that matter, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. This means it is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove the defendant committed the crime, and they must do so beyond a reasonable doubt. These defenses challenge that burden of proof and are often enough to get hit-and-run cases dismissed.

Contact a Hit-And-Run Lawyer in Rolling Meadows That Can Help

Simply knowing the defenses for a hit-and-run charge are not enough. Those accused will face very many specific procedures that must be followed in court and be prepared to go up against very confident prosecutors. They will also be questioned extensively and could be presented with damaging evidence they do not know how to effectively argue in court. It is for this reason that anyone charged with a hit-and-run should contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help. If you have been charged with a hit-and-run, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We know the strategies that can be used in court to reduce your charges or get them dropped altogether. We are the best defense against hit-and-run cases in court, and we want to help you with yours. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-402

 

Getting a Ticket for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Illinois

February 15th, 2017 at 9:01 am

leaving the scene of an accident, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyAll 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.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-402

Consequences of Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

August 26th, 2015 at 7:43 am

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois criminal law,When your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, it can become a significant inconvenience for you. You cannot drive yourself places and may have to rely on others for help.

Some people think that they can drive on a suspended or revoked license, just so long as they do not get caught. However, doing so could, in fact, lead to significant penalties and lasting repercussions on the driver’s life.

Being Caught Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/6-303 prohibits an Illinois driver from operating a motor vehicle while  his or her driver’s license is suspended or revoked. As such, drivers face a number of consequences when they are caught driving on a suspended or revoked license, and penalties for doing so vary based on why the driver’s license was suspended or revoked in the first place, and whether this is a first, second, third or subsequent offense.

As an initial matter, the length of the suspension/revocation is as follows:

  • License suspension: The Illinois Secretary of State will extend the suspension of the driver’s license by an additional and equal period of suspension, i.e., the suspension will be doubled in total length; or
  • License revocation: The Illinois Secretary of State will extend the period of revocation by one year from the date of conviction.

License Was Suspended or Revoked for a Moving Violation, Non-Aggravating Circumstance, or Non-Payment of a Fine

When license revocation or suspension is due to a moving violation, a non-aggravating circumstance, or non-payment of a fine, the driver will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for a first, second, or subsequent offense, and may receive up to one year in jail. Second, third and subsequent offenses also require the driver to complete a community service requirement.

License Was Suspended or Revoked for Leaving the Scene of an Accident or a DUI

When license revocation or suspension is due to leaving the scene of an accident, or for a DUI, the driver will be charged with the following:

  • First offense: Driver will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and if convicted, the driver will receive either a 10-day minimum jail sentence or 30 days of community service;
  • Second offense: Driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and if convicted, the driver will receive either a 30-day minimum jail sentence or 300 hours of community service;
  • Third offense: Driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and if convicted, the driver will receive a 30-day minimum jail sentence; or
  • Subsequent offense: Driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and if convicted, the driver will receive a 180-day minimum jail sentence.

Reach Out to the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, you should do whatever is necessary to get it back as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to discuss your case.

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