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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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Rolling Meadows, IL CDL traffic violation lawyer

Speeding is a rather common traffic offense in Illinois and throughout the United States. It is easy to speed, because in many cases, a person does not even realize they are going over the speed limit. Traveling over the speed limit may seem like a victimless offense, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding killed more than 9,700 people in 2017 alone, or around 26 percent of all people killed in traffic accidents that year. Because of the danger speeding poses, Illinois laws can be rather serious when it comes to punishing violators. Any person who speeds is technically breaking the law, but those who have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may face other consequences that could potentially damage their careers.

Speeding Laws in Illinois

If you are driving a designated amount over the speed limit, you may face criminal charges. These speeding laws are the same whether or not you hold a CDL. If you are going 26 mph or more over the posted speed limit, but not more than 35 mph over the limit, you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. This means you will face up to six months in jail and up to $1,500 with a minimum fine of $75. If you are caught going 35 mph or more over the posted speed limit, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, meaning you will face up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

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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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