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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 traffic citation defense attorney

Traffic courts are some of the busiest courtrooms around, especially in Illinois. There are many different types of traffic citations with which you can be charged, but the most common violations in Illinois tend to be running red lights, failing to have a copy of insurance information on hand, DUI, drag racing, reckless driving, and speeding. While some of these tickets do not require an appearance in traffic court, you can request one if you feel the need to do so. Going to court may seem daunting, but knowing what to expect can help you be more prepared to secure a positive outcome.

Preparing for Your Hearing

Not all citations require you to appear in traffic court. When you received the ticket, the officer should have informed you of whether or not you are required to attend a hearing. If you are required, you should show up to traffic court at the specified date and time. If not, you can request a hearing to challenge the ticket or plead guilty and pay the fine.

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Rolling Meadows, IL traffic crimes defense attorney

There are many different types of traffic tickets that a driver can receive in the state of Illinois. Some traffic citations are considered “fix it” tickets, or correctable offenses, such as a broken headlight. Other traffic offenses are more serious and can result in criminal charges, costly fines, and in some cases, jail time. Some people may think that just paying the fine for the ticket will make it go away, but every time you pay a traffic ticket, you are basically pleading guilty to that offense. Because certain consequences can come from pleading guilty to traffic citations, it could be more beneficial for you to fight your traffic ticket. If you have been cited for any type of traffic offense in Illinois, a traffic violations defense attorney can help you clear your record.

To Fight or Not to Fight?

For some traffic offenses, such as running a red light, it may just be better to pay the ticket, accept the guilty charge, and move on. For other traffic violations, such as aggravated speeding or DUI, it may be better to take the case to court. With this option, evidence can be presented, and in certain situations, law enforcement may have made a procedural error when issuing the ticket. 

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Rolling Meadows, IL traffic violation defense attorney

Every motorist in Illinois is required by law to move out of the way when an emergency vehicle is coming down the street. If you do not move, then you may be issued a serious traffic ticket. What some people may not know is that you are also required to move to the farthest lane if you approach an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road. This is called the “Move Over” law, and it was created to attempt to prevent harm from coming to police officers and other emergency workers when they are responding to a call.

What Is Scott’s Law?

The Move Over law is also known as Scott’s Law, and it is named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver when he was helping at the scene of a car accident on a Chicago expressway. Scott’s Law states that when an authorized emergency vehicle gives a signal or displays flashing lights, all drivers must make an effort to change lanes to one that is not next to the emergency vehicle or reduce their speed and proceed with caution if changing lanes is unsafe or impossible.

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