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Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadow defense attorney’ tag

Child Abandonment

October 8th, 2018 at 6:48 pm

abandonmentOver 25 years ago, a St. Charles couple decided to go on vacation to Mexico for nine days. They decided not to bring their children along, and while Home Alone II was playing in theaters, these two real-life parents left their nine- and four-year-old daughters home alone intentionally. They were arrested and their story gained national media attention, eventually leading to the creation of Illinois’ child abandonment law. Today, child abandonment is a serious criminal offense that can be penalized as a Class 4 felony, which carries a prison sentence of one to three years and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Characteristics Defining Child Abandonment

Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/12-21.5 defines child abandonment as the following:

A parent, caregiver, or other guardian who currently has physical custody or control of a child under 13 years of age leaves that child without “supervision by a responsible person over the age of 14” for 24 hours or longer. This statute does not include those who legally relinquish a child in accordance with the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act. In order to determine whether or not the child’s mental or physical health or safety or welfare was disregarded, the following will be taken into consideration;

  • Child’s age;
  • Number of children left alone in the location;
  • Potential special needs of the child;
  • Length of time the child was left alone;
  • Condition and location of the place the child was left;
  • Time of day or night the child was left alone;
  • Weather conditions when the child was left alone, and whether the child had proper protection from natural elements;
  • The location of the parent or guardian when they left the child and the physical distance between the child and parent during the time they were left alone;
  • Was the child’s movement restricted, such as being locked in a room?
  • Was the child provided with a phone number of a responsible person to call in the event of an emergency? Was the child able to make such a call if need be?
  • Were food and other provisions made accessible to the child?
  • Was leaving the child caused by illness or economic hardship of the parent, and did they make a good faith effort to provide safety and health for the child?
  • Age and mental and physical capabilities of the person left to look after the under-13-year-old child;
  • Whether or not another person was left to supervise the child; and
  • Other factors that could cause danger to the child.

Call an Attorney at Once

Leaving a 12-year-old child alone for a day because you had to attend to your dying mother’s needs at a nearby hospital will be looked at much differently than if you left your five-year-old alone for a week to go gambling in Las Vegas. Every case is different, and you need an experienced attorney to help prove your qualities as a parent. If you are facing child abandonment charges, you may also be charged with child neglect and potentially child abuse. Combined or alone, any of these offenses can cause you to lose custody of your child, place you behind bars for months or years at a time, and essentially ruin your entire life. We urge you to contact the skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the office of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/news/ct-abn-home-alone-schoo-impact-st-1215-20171221-story.html

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/methnet/laws_legislation/bodharm_09.html

When Can a Summary Suspension Be Rescinded?

January 4th, 2016 at 2:58 pm

Ililnios drunk driving lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerWhen an individual is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and refuses to submit to chemical testing or submits to a chemical test that reveals a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, that individual will be subjected to a statutory summary suspension of his or her driving privileges under Illinois law. This can be a terrible situation for an individual who needs to be able to drive. If you have been subjected to a statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license in Illinois, you need to consult with a criminal defense attorney to see if there is any way for your suspension to be rescinded.

Summary suspensions can be rescinded (meaning taken back or canceled) for a number of reasons, if a petition to rescind is filed within 90 days of the service of the notice of summary suspension. A skilled DUI defense attorney can identify any potential reasons why your summary suspension should be rescinded and can help you file your petition within the statute of limitations for a rescission.

Procedural Failings

There can be a number of errors, shortcomings or failings in terms of the procedure surrounding your summary suspension that could be a grounds for rescission of your suspension. For instance:

  • No hearing, no summary suspension. You are entitled to a hearing on your summary suspension within 30 days of your rescission petition filing. If your hearing is not conducted within the 30 days, your hearing has not been timely provided to you, and thus the suspension cannot stand and must be rescinded.
  • When requests to admit and requests to produce go unfulfilled. The state prosecutes you in a criminal DUI case, and that means that the state is required to participate with you by answering any requests you might put forth, such as a request to admit or a request to produce evidence during discovery. When the state does not cooperate, it is a grounds for rescission of your summary suspension.
  • Pleadings are deficient.  Pleadings are required to contain certain elements, and must comply with certain legal requirements. When pleadings are incomplete, improper, or inconsistent with logic or chronology, they may be deficient, which warrants rescission of your summary suspension.

Violations of Your Rights

Rescission of summary suspension can be warranted if your rights were violated or denied. For example:

  • Service of the notice of summary suspension is improper. You are entitled to service of the notice of your summary suspension, and if service is not proper you are being denied of your rights. This is a grounds for rescission.
  • Denied your choice of chemical test. In Illinois, individuals are not provided the right to choose what kind of chemical testing they will be subjected to after being arrested for a DUI, but if the arresting officer offers you a choice, and then later denies you the testing method you selected, it can be a grounds for rescinding your summary suspension.
  • Denied your right to an attorney. When facing criminal charges, you always have a right to consult with an attorney. Although you are not entitled to an attorney prior to being arrested, if you are permitted by law enforcement to consult with a lawyer, and then law enforcement tries to have you submit to chemical testing, it can be grounds for rescission of your summary suspension.
  • Fourth Amendment violations. You are provided certain rights concerning search and seizure and a violation of those rights by law enforcement officials is a grounds for a suspension to be rescinded.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

There are many reasons why your summary suspension for a DUI can be rescinded, and an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney who is familiar with Illinois case law will be able to identify any potential reasons why your summary suspension should be rescinded. Please contact a reputable Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately by calling (847) 394-3200. We are happy to assist you today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1

When Mistaken Identity Could Be a Criminal Defense

December 29th, 2015 at 10:02 am

illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, defense to a crime,Countless innocent individuals are wrongly accused because they are mistakenly identified as the person who committed the crime. When this is the case, criminal defendants can and should raise mistaken identity as a defense to the criminal charges that they face. Mistaken identity can be a good defense and it is a defense of innocence.

Every defense strategy that is available to you should be utilized when defending against a crime you did not commit. Mistaken identity defenses should be raised in addition to other defenses that support your position and your criminal defense lawyer should attempt to discredit eyewitness’ identification of you, as well as refute the evidence against you.

Why Does Mistaken Identity Happen in the First Place?

Sometimes an eyewitness is available in a criminal case who swears that the defendant is the person he or she saw commit the crime. While the witness’ belief is completely wholehearted (meaning the witness does not believe that he or she is wrong and that the witness is not lying), the witness’ recollection of the defendant simply might be mistaken. A number of factors can affect a witness’ ability to recall what criminal perpetrator looked like. For instance:

  • Lighting conditions at the time of the crime can affect a witness’ ability to see the perpetrator;
  • The distance between the perpetrator and the witness can affect how well the witness can see the perpetrator’s face;
  • Weather could impact a witness’ ability to see the perpetrator;
  • Fear felt by the witness at the time of the crime can impact his or her memory, or ability to remember what the perpetrator looked like;
  • Time could alter the witness’ memory of what the perpetrator looked like, and could morph or distort the memory into someone else who looks similar to the perpetrator; and/or
  • Sometimes cues from law enforcement cause a witness to falsely identify an innocent person as a criminal. These cues are not necessarily overt or deliberate. Rather, police instructions could influence a witness’ memory. Similarly, a line up or photo array might could bias a witness’ memory of what the perpetrator looked like.

Mistaken identity is one of the leading causes of wrongful conviction and that is why it is critically important to raise this defense if it is applicable to your criminal case. Furthermore, if there is any evidence that places you somewhere else at the time of the alleged crime (i.e., you have an alibi), it is important to demonstrate this evidence as well. If you did not commit the crime in the first place, then every possible effort needs to be made to defend your rights. Your freedom and reputation are at risk if you are wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Being mistakenly identified as the perpetrator of a crime is unfortunate. You will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you set the record straight. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We are happy to help.

 

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/alibi

Strategies for a DUI Trial

December 17th, 2015 at 10:10 am

Illinois DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Many people who are charged with DUI under Illinois law are first-time offenders, and they have no idea what the DUI trial process will be like or even how it should be approached to either get the case dismissed or get the charges reduced. An experienced DUI criminal defense attorney with many years of trial experience can acquaint you with the process, and after developing an understanding of the facts about your specific DUI case, your attorney will be able to help you develop the best strategy for your trial.

The fines and penalties for a DUI conviction are significant and cannot be taken lightly, so presenting your best possible defense to the charges you face is in your interest. You want your DUI charges to go away, and a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to evaluate the options that are available. to you. There are a number of strategies you may be able to utilize. For instance, you may present any of the following:

  • Evidence suggesting innocence or mitigation of your alleged crime. When you can produce evidence that you are innocent of the charges that are pending against you, or that you are guilty of a lesser crime, this evidence can be helpful in your DUI trial.
  • Lack of evidence in support of your charges. On the flip side, if the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence against you for the alleged crime, your DUI case could be dismissed.
  • Witness testimony supporting your defense. Witness testimony that supports your defense is helpful in your DUI trial. If a passenger observed how the arresting officer failed to adhere to proper DUI field sobriety testing or arrest protocol, this testimony could be used to have your DUI case dismissed. You yourself could also be a witness at your own trial, if your DUI criminal defense lawyer thinks this would be a good idea.
  • Expert witness testimony supporting your defense. An expert witness could offer evidence to suggest that the breathalyzer test or other chemical test results are incorrect. You could have produced a false positive blood alcohol concentration, or there could have been factors that contributed to a higher than accurate blood alcohol concentration estimate, and an expert witness could offer medical or scientific evidence to support your defense.

Motions Can Help You

There are situations in which you can use a motion during your DUI trial to get the case or certain evidence thrown out, or to require the prosecution to do, or not do, something. Motions can change the course of prosecution in your DUI case and when used effectively and appropriately, motions can help strengthen your defense.

Motions are written requests made to the court by a movant party (i.e., the party or person making the motion is a movant), and the court will decide whether to grant or deny the motion. Motions are sometimes very complicated, full of legal language, and have to be submitted in a certain format and within certain time limits. An experienced DUI lawyer will know which motions are applicable to your DUI case and whether you should make them in your defense.

Contact Our Office Today

DUI trial strategy is an important aspect of your DUI criminal defense, and an experienced DUI criminal trial attorney can help you through this process. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately if you need assistance with your case. We are happy to help you today.

 

Source:

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

DUI Charges: False Positives for Chemical Breath Tests

December 10th, 2015 at 9:17 am

Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, In Illinois, if you use the highways or roadways, you are considered to have given consent to chemical testing if you are arrested for driving under the influence under Illinois’ implied consent laws. A chemical test can either be a breath test, blood analysis, or a urine test, all of which are used to determine the blood alcohol concentration of a suspected drunk driver. You have a right to refuse to submit to chemical testing, but there are consequences for doing so, such as the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for refusal under 625 ILCS 5/6-203.1.

You would think that if you have not been drinking, then you would have nothing to fear in submitting to a chemical test, but this is not necessarily the case. There are a number of substances you can legally consume that can produce a false positive on your chemical test. Even if you have not been drinking alcohol, a false positive will cause you to be arrested for driving under the influence.

Breath Tests

Law enforcement frequently use a chemical testing method referred to as a breathalyzer test to put an estimate on a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. These tests work by assessing the amount of alcohol in the breath sample – and cannot distinguish the source of the alcohol.

Technical Problems Can Contribute to False Positives

A number of technical problems can produce a false positive breathalyzer reading. These are problems that have nothing to do with the suspected driver’s actions or behavior. Instead, these problems include the following issues:

  • Law enforcement failed to properly administer the breathalyzer test according to protocol;
  • The breathalyzer device malfunctioned; or
  • The breathalyzer device has not been properly calibrated.

Any of these technical problems could result in a false positive breathalyzer test reading, which could land you unfairly in jail for driving under the influence.

Substances That Can Contribute to False Positives

A variety of commonly consumed alcohol-based products have the potential to trigger a false positive in a breathalyzer test:

  • Some over-the-counter and prescription cough medicine have a high alcohol concentration, which can vaporize on the breath;
  • Certain mouthwash products and breath sprays have a high alcohol concentration to them;
  • Some alcohol-based acne treatment products that are used around the mouth and lips could contribute to a breathalyzer false positive; and
  • Some cosmetic products used for the lips can have alcohol components that can be detected by a breathalyzer test.

The alcohol in these products can vaporize and be carried with the suspect’s breath into the breathalyzer device, thus artificially inflating the actual alcohol content of the suspect’s breath.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Even if you blow a false positive on a breathalyzer test, you will be arrested for driving under the influence, and you will need to consult with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you believe that your breathalyzer test results were incorrect, your lawyer will need to get to work collecting the evidence to support your claim. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately. The attorneys at the the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are prepared to assist you. You can reach out to us today by calling (847) 394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1

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

Improper Lane Usage Traffic Offenses

October 7th, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois traffic offense lawyer, Illionis criminal lawyer,A host of Illinois residents have certainly received traffic tickets over their lives, but many people do not realize that improper lane usage is a ticketable offense until they are involved in an automobile accident or are pulled over for weaving between lanes. While improper traffic lane usage is only a petty offense, a citation can have a significant impact on your driving privileges and could result in an increase to your insurance. Furthermore, this traffic offense is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to two years of court supervision.

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-709, vehicles driving along Illinois highways and roadways that are divided into multiple lanes that are going the same direction must stay in their own lane as best as possible. A driver can deviate from their chosen lane of traffic only once the driver has deemed it safe to do so. Lane changes are allowed in order to pass another driver who is moving in the same direction as you, but may only be performed once the passing lane is clear and you have a safe distance in which to pass the slower-moving vehicle.

Changing lanes safely means that:

  • You have plenty of room to safely change lanes;
  • You have properly used your turn signal to indicate to the other drivers located around you your intentions to switch lanes; and
  • You have checked all of your mirrors and your blind spots to make sure that you can make the lane change safely.

Improper Lane Usage and Accidents

Law enforcement officers responding to the scene of an automobile accident often determine fault for the accident and award a citation for improper lane usage to the party that they believe is responsible or at fault. But the officers’ assessment of the situation might be incorrect. You might not have been at fault and, as such, may have been improperly ticketed. You will need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you fight the citation that was issued against you.

Improper Lane Usage and Suspected DUI

Another common scenario is that law enforcement will use improper lane usage as a pretense for pulling over a driver suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any lane changing could be misconstrued by an officer as being an indication of alcohol impaired driving, and even if you do not show any signs of impairment upon being pulled over, the officer might still issue you the citation for improper lane usage. If your lane changes were conducted safely, then there is no reason why you should be cited for improper lane usage. Fight the citation by hiring a skilled traffic offense lawyer.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have received a citation for improper traffic lane usage after being pulled over or after being involved in an automobile accident, you need to fight your ticket. Please contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.

 

Source:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-709.htm

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign in Full Swing in Illinois

October 5th, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Illinois dui attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney,As fall arrives, Illinois law enforcement, through the partnership efforts of the Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have been actively and aggressively implementing the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over traffic safety campaign, a campaign designed to improve awareness and crack down on drunk and drugged driving on Illinois roadways, according to one report. The central theme of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is that drunk driving is preventable, and as such one of the main objectives of the campaign is to raise awareness of this fact.

During the time period between August 24th and Labor Day on September 7th, Illinois law enforcement was out in force, with more officers patrolling the roadways and exercising a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drunk or drugged drivers on the road. There was also an increase in the number of traffic safety checks and officers focused on issuing tickets for seat belt law violators without exception under the Click It or Ticket campaign.

Drunk Driving Is Illegal, and a Moment of Poor Judgement Can Be Trouble

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-501, a person is considered too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or higher. Yet many Illinois drivers still drink and drive. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Some people are normally prudent and safe drivers, but exercise momentary poor judgement during festivities;
  • Some people do not normally drink, but have a few alcoholic beverages during a celebration with friends, and it is too much for them and it impairs their driving more than they expected; and/or
  • Some people drive themselves to a party or barbecue, have a few drinks not realizing how intoxicated they are, and do not have a designated driver to take them home afterwards.

Many people who are pulled over and charged with a DUI are first-time offenders. They are normally great drivers, but have exercised poor judgment and got caught behind the wheel when they were too impaired to drive. Sometimes they were driving because they completely believed that they were sober enough to drive. Even if you are operating your vehicle in a safe and responsible way, if you get caught and your chemical test results show that you are over the legal limit, you will face DUI charges.

It is important to fight the DUI charges that are pending against you. A DUI conviction means that you will be facing time in court, jail time, hefty fines, loss of driver’s license, alcohol and drug educational classes, and a criminal record.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

With Illinois law enforcement so aggressively looking for drunk drivers, there will be an increase in the number of people who are charged with DUI. If you are facing DUI charges, please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation on your case.

 

Sources:

http://patch.com/illinois/naperville/naperville-police-ramping-efforts-nab-drunk-drivers-0

http://www.buckleupillinois.org/default.html

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

Accused of a Crime: Should I Turn Myself In?

September 28th, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,You should never seek to hide from the police or try and avoid getting arrested when you know you have a warrant for your arrest. Evading arrest, revisiting arrest, and obstruction of justice are all serious crimes in Illinois. Turning yourself into the police when you have been charged with a crime is often a wise move, if done properly.

Difference between Being Accused and Being Charged

You may want to do the right thing, but you are not sure if you are required to turn yourself in or not. If you have been accused of a crime, that is, someone has said that you committed a crime, but you have not been charged with a crime, you do not have to turn yourself in.

You have the right to not incriminate yourself. This means even if the police wish to question you, you can remain silent instead of admitting you broke the law. You should still seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney, but you are a free man or woman.

If you have been given a citation, have a court date, or have been indicted, you have been charged with a crime. Most of the time, if you have a court date scheduled you only have to show up for court, there is no need to turn yourself into the police.

However, if there is a warrant out for your arrest – this will usually happen in the case of felonies – it may be in your best interest to turn yourself into the police. It is never okay to try and hide from the police. However, you must first talk with a lawyer before committing to any course of action.

Planning Ahead

While it is a crime to try and evade arrest, it is not a crime to plan ahead for when you are arrested. If you plan on turning yourself in, make sure you have things lined up. You will probably need to post bail. You should have someone who knows you are going to turn yourself in be ready to post your bail so you can reduce the amount of time you spend in custody. Make sure you do not have anything illegal, dangerous, or suspicious on your person when you turn yourself in. This includes drugs and weapons.

You should work out a plan with your attorney for the best time to turn yourself in. Usually early in the week will be better than on a weekend.

What Happens Next

After you turn yourself in you will be arrested. Depending on your circumstances, you may be released after you are booked. You may need to first post bail. You may have to spend some time in custody until you have a bail hearing. A criminal defense attorney can go over your specific circumstances with you.

You do not have to face the police by yourself. If you have been charged or accused of a crime, meet with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. Your freedom could be at stake.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=53&ActID=1876

The True Cost of a DUI

September 9th, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Illinois DUI lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,A driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol charge in Illinois is serious business. Not only does a DUI conviction carry serious penalties, it also carries hefty financial consequences. The consequences for a DUI conviction are laid out in 625 ILCS 5/11-501(c)(1)-(5), which include jail time, fines and mandatory community service. There is also the unfortunate chance that getting a DUI conviction will result in the development of a poor reputation amongst peers and colleagues.

The total true cost for a DUI depends on a lot of factors, such as whether the DUI is a first-time offense, whether there was any property damage as a result of the DUI (as would be the case of a drunk driving collision), whether anyone was hurt as a result of the DUI, and how intoxicated the driver is at the time of the DUI.

Money Considerations

A DUI is an immensely expensive and the costs add up quickly. For instance, you will have to pay:

  • The DUI fines, which at the minimum comes to $1,500;
  • Court costs;
  • For mandatory remedial substance abuse educational classes, and the corresponding counseling fees;
  • For any alcohol and drug screening;
  • To get your vehicle out of impound, if applicable;
  • The cost of posting bail, if applicable;
  • Fees to get your driver’s license reinstated, which include a restoration fee, a fee for a new driver’s license, and a hearing fee;
  • Insurance premiums after a DUI conviction; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device, and the monthly rental rate for the device, in addition to maintenance and regular calibration costs.

The Cost of Lost Opportunities

In addition to the out-of-pocket costs associated with a DUI, there will also be the cost of lost opportunities. For instance, you might experience:

  • Job loss. People who have a job that requires them to drive as part of their job functions often lose their job after a DUI conviction;
  • Loss of future employment opportunities. A DUI on your record in Illinois is permanent, and having this type of conviction on your criminal record might make it impossible for you to get certain types of work in the future;
  • Unpaid time off from work/missed school. You will most likely miss time at work or school due to the mandatory classes, court appearances, jail time, and community service obligations associated with a DUI conviction; and
  • Loss of driver’s license. A DUI conviction will cost you your driver’s license for a period of up to one year. This means that you will have to rely on others and public transportation in order to get around.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with a DUI in Illinois, it is important that you fight the charges that are pending against you. Feel free to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer immediately. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley for a consultation on your case.

 

Source:

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

The Crime of Reckless Driving

September 7th, 2015 at 8:43 pm

illinois traffic attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer,One of the most common traffic violations is reckless driving since so many of a driver’s actions while behind the wheel could be construed as reckless driving. Illinois law enforcement and the courts are strict when it comes to reckless driving charges because the driver’s actions may have:

  • Put others on the roadway at risk;
  • Resulted in property damage to another; or
  • Caused an accident where another person was injured or killed.

What is Reckless Driving?

 According to Section 625 ILCS 5/11-503, reckless driving occurs when a person drives a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others, or it a person knowingly drives a vehicle so quickly up an inclined roadway, such as a hill or railroad crossing, as to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

The language of Illinois’ reckless driving statute is often broadly construed by law enforcement, and many drivers are ticketed, or even arrested on the spot, after driving at a high rate of speed, swerving between lanes or around other vehicles, tailgating, not using turn signals properly, or aggressively weaving in and out of traffic – all under the pretenses that the driver was operating the vehicle in a way that willfully or wantonly disregards the safety of others on the roadway.

Reckless Driving Charges Are Serious

Reckless driving charges should never be taken lightly. A reckless driving charge is at the very minimum a Class A misdemeanor. However, there are situations where the charges can be upgraded or enhanced. For instance:

  • When reckless driving causes bodily harm to a child or school crossing guard performing his or her crossing guard duties, the reckless driving charges are upgraded to a Class 4 felony;
  • When reckless driving causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of another, the charge is upgraded to aggravated reckless driving, which is a Class 4 felony; and
  • When the reckless driving causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of a child or school crossing guard performing his or her crossing guard duties, the charge is upgraded to aggravated reckless driving, and is a Class 3 felony.

A Reckless Driving Conviction on a Criminal Record

It is important to fight the reckless driving charges that are pending against you because a conviction results in no less than a misdemeanor, which means that you will have a criminal record if convicted. In addition to resulting in a criminal record, a reckless driving conviction can:

  • Result in a year’s worth of jail time;
  • Cost $2,500 in the payment of a fine;
  • Make it so that you are ineligible to have other arrests or charges against you expunged or sealed; and
  • Land you a significant amount of community service.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have received a citation for reckless driving, you need to fight the charges that are pending against you. Feel free to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

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