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arlington heights speeding lawyerWith the new school year just around the corner, police will be on the lookout for speeders and other dangerous behavior on the roadway. It is not only a way to keep school zones safe, but also a way to raise awareness of traffic laws in general. Perhaps, one of the most common traffic violations you may encounter is speeding. The consequences of speeding in a school zone can be particularly harsh.

Speeding In A School Zone

Under Illinois law, you could be ticketed for driving faster than 20 miles per hour through a school zone during a school day. The law is fairly straightforward, but like most things, the devil is in the details. 

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, a school is defined as a public or private building meant for primary, secondary, or nursery school. However, there must also be signage posted to designate the area around the school as a school zone. 

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IL DUI lawyerGetting pulled over by a police officer while you are driving can be a stressful ordeal. However, even if you believe the police officer made a mistake by making a traffic stop, it is important to remain calm and not lose your temper. If you do not keep your composure, the situation could end up escalating and instead of a potential traffic violation, you could be facing criminal charges.

Things to Avoid Saying to an Officer During a Traffic Stop

During the traffic stop, the officer will ask you for your license and registration in order to confirm your identity and conduct a background check to make sure there are no outstanding warrants or other issues. Some stops may resolve quickly, while in other situations, it may feel as if the officer is extending the stop unreasonably. No matter what the situation is, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Rude comments - Once the officer has conducted the background check, he or she may also ask you questions, such as where you are driving to or from. You are under no obligation to answer those questions, however, how you choose to answer can make a difference. Although it is not against the law to make a rude comment to a police officer, doing so could cause the officer to become more inclined to find some reason to place you under arrest. Police cannot arrest you simply for making an insulting comment, but they can claim your behavior was uncooperative or created probable cause to search your vehicle.
  • Confessions - Under no circumstances should you confess to a crime when a police officer pulls you over. For example, if a cop stops your vehicle because he or she is suspicious that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, you should not admit to anything. Even if you are guilty of the crime the officer is accusing you of, you should not give any kind of statement to the police until you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney.
  • Breathalyzer tests - If a police officer pulls you over because he or she believes you were driving drunk, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). There are a few factors to keep in mind before deciding to submit to that test. Illinois has an implied consent law. When you were issued a driver’s license, your acceptance meant you were consenting to submit to a breathalyzer test if requested to do so by law enforcement. While there is no law that says you must take the test, refusing to do so means an automatic summary suspension of your license, even if you are ultimately found not guilty of DUI in criminal court. A first offense is a loss of license for one year. Second and subsequent refusals are for five years. There is no right or wrong answer on whether a driver should submit to a breathalyzer test and ultimately depends on the circumstances of the traffic stop, whether the driver has been drinking, and whether the driver has any prior DUI convictions.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Lawyer

If you were recently pulled over and arrested by a police officer, you should speak to a Rolling Meadows, IL criminal attorney. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law will assess your case and inform you of your legal options. Call 847-253-3400 today to schedule a free consultation.

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Arlington Heights, IL traffic crimes defense attorney

We all know what a construction zone looks like -- orange cones everywhere, blinking lights on reflective signs, men and women in hardhats working on the scene. Most states have specific traffic laws that must be followed when driving through a construction zone, including Illinois. In most cases, these laws are more strict than typical traffic laws. This is because these laws were put into place to protect the construction workers themselves, and also the drivers on the road. The most common construction zone violations are speeding violations, which are taken seriously by the state. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were, on average, nearly 5,200 construction zone crashes each year between 2012 and 2016. Of the 683 fatal work zone crashes reported in Illinois in 2016, more than 27 percent involved speeding as a factor. Because of the increased risk in a construction zone, penalties for breaking the law in a work zone are typically also more serious than regular speeding penalties. 

Construction Zone Speeding Ticket Penalties

In Illinois, the first and second time you are issued a speeding ticket in a construction zone, it is considered a petty offense, meaning you face fines, not jail time as a punishment for your ticket. You face a minimum fine of $375 for a first offense of speeding in a work zone, with a possible maximum fine of $1,000. For a second speeding ticket in a construction zone, a minimum fine of $1,000 is imposed. The Illinois Secretary of State will also suspend the driver’s license of anyone who commits a second offense of speeding in a construction zone within two years of the first offense for at least 90 days.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney traffic violation

Cell phones have proven to provide many benefits and much convenience, but as they become more prominent in our daily lives, they have also become more prone to have issues. The past couple of years have shown an upward trend in the number of cases of distracted driving across the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 2,800 people died in distraction-related accidents while an estimated 400,000 people were injured in distracted-related driving accidents in 2018, the latest year for which data is available. In recent years, more states have passed laws making cell phone use and distracted driving illegal, as is the case in Illinois.

Illinois Cell Phone Laws

In Illinois, drivers are forbidden from using what the state defines as “electronic communication devices.” According to Illinois law, electronic communication devices include cell phones and any other small computer or handheld electronic device that is not integrated into your vehicle. The state of Illinois does not permit the use of electronic communication devices while driving. However, there are a few exceptions to that rule.

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Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney traffic violation

With a legendary athlete in the news recently due to a serious car accident and with him having a history of being charged with reckless driving, it is an opportune moment to discuss this further, whether Tiger Woods is charged with any traffic violations or not. Overall, it is easy to shrug off most traffic violations as minor, but the truth is many of these violations can be considered from within the purview of criminal law; in fact, certain traffic violations, if serious enough to result in imprisonment, can result in either a felony or a misdemeanor. One of these crimes in Illinois would be reckless driving. Read on to learn the Illinois definition of reckless driving and how you can avoid driving recklessly.

Reckless Driving: Defined by Illinois State Law

With varying degrees of severity and different, more specific definitions of reckless driving with a diverse set of penalties and criminal classifications depending on the circumstances, it can be difficult to understand the Illinois law for reckless driving. In general, though, one of the following two facts must be true in order for the traffic violation to be considered the criminal act of reckless driving:

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