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Category Archives: Traffic Law

DuPage County traffic ticket defense lawyerIn Illinois and many other states, it is illegal to use your cell phone and drive. The reasoning behind the law is that texting or talking on the phone while driving is incredibly dangerous. In 2019, for instance, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,142 people according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Therefore, police prioritize cell phone violations much like they would other serious traffic offenses like DUI.

However, cell phones are one of those modern-day conveniences that are difficult to live without. In addition to using it for communication, a cell phone also gives you directions, and it might serve as a radio for news and music in the car. With phones being more or less a necessity, it is important to understand the limits of Illinois distracted driving laws.

Electronic Communication Devices in the Illinois Traffic Code

In one sense, Illinois law is very clear about using a cell phone and driving. The law prohibits operating a vehicle “on a roadway while using an electronic communication device,” but the law also offers a number of exceptions. While most of them only apply to first responders and walkie-talkies, there are a handful of exceptions for everybody else.

According to the law, you are allowed to use your cell phone in the car if your vehicle is parked or in neutral while on the shoulder or on the roadway if traffic is obstructed; if you are talking to a dispatcher to report and communicate an emergency situation; and if you are using a hands-free device like a phone mount or headset.

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wheaton reckless driving lawyerUnder Illinois law, traffic violations range widely from minor offenses resulting only in fines and driver’s license points, to serious crimes that can result in prison sentences and additional consequences. Reckless driving is an example of the latter. However, it can be difficult to know whether you will face this serious charge after an arrest because of the somewhat vague definition of reckless driving. This makes it all the more important to hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.

Reckless Driving Defined

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, there is one specific offense that constitutes reckless driving: knowingly using an incline on the road to make your vehicle airborne. However, this is far from the only situation in which a person can face reckless driving charges. The definition of the offense also includes any situation in which a driver shows “willful or wanton disregard” for people or property, which may encompass many behaviors related to speeding, ignoring traffic signals, erratically changing lanes, driving in the wrong direction, and more.

A regular reckless driving charge is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that a sentence could include less than one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500. Reckless driving is also one of the most serious offenses in the Illinois driver’s license point system, with a value of 55 points. If you have other traffic convictions on your record within a short time, reckless driving could contribute to the suspension or revocation of your license.

If reckless driving causes injury or great bodily harm to another person, the offender can be charged with aggravated reckless driving, which is a Class 3 or 4 felony depending on the circumstances. This can come with a much steeper sentence, including up to five years in prison. Reckless driving charges are also often accompanied by charges for other serious offenses, including aggravated speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney DUI

There are multiple ways that you could lose your driver’s license. Drunk driving is one of the most common reasons for the loss of driving privileges. A first-time DUI conviction will result in a one-year driver’s license revocation, and longer revocations will apply to second or subsequent DUI convictions. However, even if you are not convicted of DUI, you will be subject to a statutory summary suspension of your license if a chemical test performed after being arrested showed that you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or more or if you refused to take a chemical test. Other potential reasons for license suspension or revocation include receiving three traffic violations within a single year or failing to pay child support.

Losing your driver’s license can create a great deal of difficulty in your life, so you will want to make sure you can regain your driving privileges as soon as possible. This means that you will need to take the necessary steps for driver’s license reinstatement as soon as your period of suspension or revocation has been completed.

The Illinois Driver’s License Reinstatement Process

In most cases involving driver’s license suspension, you will be able to have your license reinstated by paying a reinstatement fee. However, if your license has been revoked, you will need to complete additional requirements and demonstrate that you will be able to drive safely and responsibly once you regain your driving privileges.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney traffic violation

Road work areas are a common sight on Illinois roads. While they can be a nuisance, leading to slow traffic and difficulty navigating unfamiliar traffic patterns, they can also lead to serious consequences for drivers who commit traffic violations. Failure to follow traffic laws in construction zones can result in expensive tickets, and drivers may even face criminal charges in some cases.

Construction Zone Speeding Violations

The speed limit is usually lowered in work zones, and signs will be posted notifying drivers that they must reduce speed and displaying the fines a person may face for speeding in a construction zone. Work areas are often closely monitored by police officers, or photo enforcement may be used to ensure that motorists are taking the proper measures to protect the safety of workers. Drivers are required to follow work zone speed limits even if there are no workers present.

For a first offense of speeding in a construction zone in Illinois, a driver will face a minimum fine of $375. Any subsequent violations will result in a minimum fine of $750. A second offense within two years will result in the suspension of a person’s driver’s license for 90 days.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney aggravated speeding

Getting a speeding ticket is never pleasant, but if it happens to you, you may at least expect that the worst that can happen is you will have to pay a fine. However, in some situations, speeding in Illinois can result in significantly greater penalties, including criminal charges. It is important to be aware of the extent of the consequences you may face for speeding so that you can determine whether you need an attorney to help you contest the charges.

When Is Speeding a Criminal Offense in Illinois?

The severity of possible penalties for speeding depends on how far above the speed limit you were traveling and the area in which the violation occurred. In general, speeding offenses that can result in Illinois criminal charges fall under the category of aggravated speeding, which is defined as driving more than 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Specifically:

  • Traveling between 25 and 35 miles per hour above the speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor, with potential consequences including up to six months of imprisonment and up to $1,500 in fines.

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