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Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows traffic violations attorney’ tag

Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities During a Traffic Stop

March 28th, 2019 at 3:56 pm

Illinois traffic offenses, Illinois traffic stops, police search, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, searches and seizuresMany people do not have much interaction with the police. If they do, the chances are good that it is going to happen during a traffic stop. Even then, many people will only get pulled over two or three times while they are behind the wheel. When it happens, it is often very stressful. People imagine the worst as they sit in their car and watch the officer approaching.

In these cases, people are sometimes prepared to cooperate with the officer and do whatever they ask. These individuals do not understand that they have rights, and are not required to comply with everything an officer may request. Still, others may think they do not have to follow anything an officer instructs them to do at a traffic stop. These individuals may become belligerent or aggressive at a traffic stop.

So, what rights and responsibilities do people have when they are pulled over for a traffic stop?

Drivers Are Required to Pull Over

Any time a driver sees the flashing lights of a law enforcement vehicle, they must pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. In a few cases, a police officer may ask a driver to pull over, such as if the two vehicles are at a stop light, or if an officer walks up to the driver’s window while the vehicle is stopped. In either case, it is important that the driver complies with the officer’s request.

Under Section 11-204 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, failing to pull over for a police officer is considered fleeing the police, and it is illegal. Even if a driver simply takes too long to pull over, the officer may believe they are trying to evade the police. When this is the case, the driver will face penalties that are likely much more serious than the penalties they would face for the initial traffic violation.

Drivers Must Remain Calm

This is not written into Illinois law, but it can prevent the situation from escalating. When a driver can remain calm and speak politely to a police officer, it is less likely that the situation will develop into anything more. When drivers are aggressive and rude to police officers though, it could lead to further charges than they would have faced from the traffic stop alone. Police can misinterpret even small gestures such as the driver reaching for something in the vehicle. Due to this, it is always best if the driver keeps their hands visible and only gets out of the vehicle if the officer asks them to.

Drivers Are Not Required to Answer Questions

Drivers are required to provide a police officer with their driver’s license and registration if they are asked. However, they do not have to answer any questions the officer asks. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows individuals to refrain from answering questions that may incriminate them in a crime. This includes traffic stops.

Officers often ask a lot of questions during a traffic stop. They may ask a driver if they knew how fast they were going, or if the driver knows why they were pulled over. It is often advised that even when a driver feels as though they have done nothing wrong that they refrain from answering these questions. Anything a driver says can be held against them later on.

Drivers Do Not Have to Consent to a Search

Just because a driver has been pulled over does not give police officers the right to search the vehicle. Drivers can refuse this search, although officers are also given quite a bit of leniency during traffic stops. If they have reason to believe there is evidence of a crime in the vehicle, they can perform their search without the driver’s consent. For example, if an officer noticed drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, they might search the vehicle.

In order to search a vehicle, police officers must have probable cause. Due to this, drivers can ask police what they are searching for, or what probable cause they have.

Did You Get Into Trouble at a Traffic Stop? Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that can Help

Traffic stops may seem minor, but they can quickly become a much more serious situation. When this is the case, drivers should contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer for help. If you were pulled over and it led to serious charges or you feel as though you were treated unfairly, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 today. We understand you have rights that may have been violated, and we will help make to correct that situation, ensuring those rights are upheld. Do not try to handle your case on your own. Call now for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-204

New Year, New Rules of the Road in Illinois

February 12th, 2019 at 12:04 am

IL traffic lawyerMost drivers believe they know the rules of the road. These rules include driving under posted speed limits, stopping at traffic lights, and following all road signs, such as school crossings. However, many new traffic rules will come into effect over the course of 2019. Drivers need to ensure they are familiar with these rules as well. If they are not and are found in violation of these new laws, they could be facing hefty fines and other penalties.

New Texting and Driving Laws

Perhaps the most important law that will be introduced later in the year is the new penalties imposed on drivers found in violation of texting and driving. This law, which stems from Illinois House Bill 4846, will come into effect on July 1, 2019.

Texting and driving has been illegal in Illinois since 2014. The new law though, will now consider texting and driving a moving violation rather than a non-moving violation. Moving violations are entered into a person’s driving record. When a person is convicted of three moving violations within a 12-month period, their licenses are also subject to suspension. A first offense carries the same penalty of $75.

Children Under Two Must Ride in Rear-Facing Car Seats

Before January 1, 2019, Illinois law required that all children under the age of eight be restrained in a car seat. Previously, the law did not state which way that child restraint system had to face in the vehicle. Under the new law, which took effect on New Year’s Day, all children under the age of two must ride in rear-facing car seats. Children under the age of two and taller than 40 inches in height, or weighing more than 40 pounds, may sit in a front-facing car seat.

Those found in violation of this law will be subject to fines and penalties at the discretion of the officer that pulls them over. These penalties could include $75 for a first offense and up to $200 for a second offense.

Driver Curriculum will Include the “Dutch Reach” Method

While not necessarily a new law, those reading the Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual will now be encouraged to use the “Dutch Reach” method after parallel parking. This method states that when exiting a vehicle, drivers and passengers alike should reach across their body to open the door. This, it is believed, will help prevent more instances of “dooring,” as it will remind those in vehicles to look first for pedestrians and bicyclists that may be in the path of the door.

School Bus Signs Must be Covered

According to Illinois House Bill 3292, when school buses are not being used to transport school children under the age of 18, for religious purposes, or for any other activity not affiliated with a church or school, the “School Bus” sign must be covered or concealed.

In addition, the signal arm and the flashing lights of a school bus should not be operated when the bus is being used for the same types of activities. This law also came into effect on January 1, 2019.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer 

Too many people believe that if they are pulled over and found in violation of certain laws, they have no choice but to pay the fines and face other penalties. This, however, is not the case.

If you are found in violation of any new traffic laws, or any other traffic law, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic attorney that can help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can provide you with the legal defense you need to ensure you are not at risk for losing your license or paying large fines for violations you did not commit. Contact us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4846&GAID=14&LegID=110209&SpecSess=&Session=

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=3293&GAID=14&LegID=105016&SpecSess=&Session=

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