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Arlington Heights reckless driving defense lawyer

Traffic violations are not uncommon. Millions of people each year are issued citations and tickets for breaking traffic laws. Most of the time, these tickets just require the driver to pay a specified fine. In some cases, the driver may have to appear in traffic court to settle the issue. In other cases, a police officer might perform an arrest at a traffic stop if he or she believes the offense was serious enough. One such charge that warrants an arrest in the majority of cases is reckless driving, which is considered a misdemeanor charge in Illinois. But what exactly does the offense of reckless driving mean? 

Examples of Reckless Driving

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, reckless driving occurs when a person does one of the following actions:

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Arlington Heights traffic violations lawyerIf you receive a traffic ticket while driving in the state of Illinois, the police officer who issued the ticket will tell you if you are required to appear in court to settle the ticket. If you are not required to appear in court, you will have three options:

  1. Plead guilty, pay the fine, and receive a conviction on your record.
  2. Plead guilty, pay the fine, attend traffic safety school, and forego a conviction.
  3. Plead not guilty and request a trial.

If you request a trial, or if the officer informed you that you must attend a court date, you are legally required to do so. If you forget about your court date, or if you simply decide not to show up, you could face more severe consequences.

Consequences for Fine-Only Violations

If you receive a fine-only violation, and you ignored the ticket, or if you requested a court date and then did not attend that court date, both the judge and the court will not appreciate this waste of their time. The judge will almost always enter what is called an ex parte conviction (meaning the judge will sentence you guilty, even though you were absent) and require you to pay the fine.

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Illinois traffic violation attorney DUI distracted driving speedingThe winter holidays are generally the busiest time of the year for road travel. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), an estimated 54 million Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holidays in 2018, with 48.5 million of those people traveling by road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2017, 5,667 fatal crashes involving 14,199 people occurred in November and December alone. 

There are certain factors that Illinois state police have attributed to these fatalities, and these are referred to as the “fatal four:” speeding, DUI, distracted driving, and seat belt usage. Getting a ticket for any of these traffic violations can mean hefty fines and, in some cases, more serious punishments like driver’s license suspension or even jail time.

Speeding

Illinois police will be on the lookout for those who are speeding during the holiday season. Speed is one of the biggest factors in fatal crashes, which is why speeding is taken very seriously, especially if you are going more than 25 mph over the speed limit. If you are caught going 26-35 mph over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. If you are caught going more than 35 mph over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

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Rolling Meadows construction zone speeding defense lawyerTraffic laws were put into place for a reason - to keep everyone safe while they are in and around motor vehicles. When someone violates these traffic laws, it can be dangerous for everyone involved, but if they violate traffic laws when driving through a work zone, the results can be deadly. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 6,741 crashes in Illinois work zones in 2016. In those accidents, 765 people were killed, and around 1,893 people were injured. 

Construction zones usually mean that there are more people near the road working, but drivers are actually more likely to become victims of construction zone crashes than workers. Illinois has some of the strictest construction zone traffic laws in the country, so it is important that you follow the rules for the sake of yourself and others.

1. Vehicle Occupants Are More Likely to Be Victims in Construction Zone Accidents

From 2013 to 2017, there were a total of 177 work zone accident fatalities in Illinois. Contrary to what you might think, the majority of those fatalities were not construction workers. In fact, only six workers were killed in construction zone collisions, meaning the other 171 deaths were drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or bicyclists.

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Rolling Meadows traffic ticket attorneyMost states have some kind of points system that affects people’s driver’s licenses. The points systems work like golf--the fewer points you have, the better off you are. Every time you are convicted of a traffic offense, you will not just receive a citation--you will also gain points on your driving record. Each state’s system works differently; some states require you to gain a certain amount of points before action is taken, but others, like Illinois, only stipulate that you must commit three offenses before your license is penalized. Too many traffic violations could result in a license suspension or revocation, which can make life difficult for you.

Illinois’ Points System

The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State has developed a points system in which a driver accumulates a certain number of points each time they are convicted of a moving violation. The number of points that are assigned depends on the specific law that was violated, and the more severe the violation, the more points are assigned. If you are convicted of three or more offenses within 12 months, you could face a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Typically, when you hit that three-offense mark, a judge will make a determination regarding punishment depending on the number of points or the severity of the laws you violated.

High-Point Traffic Violations

Here are 10 of Illinois’ traffic violations that carry the most points:

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