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DuPage County traffic violations attorneyThere is more than one way to lose your driving privileges in Illinois; in fact, there are dozens of ways you could have your driver's license taken away for either a specific or indefinite period of time. Even actions unrelated to driving, such as not paying child support or failing to obey a court summons, can affect your ability to drive freely. Perhaps one of the most common ways for Illinoisians to lose their driving privileges is to accumulate too many points on their driving record because of traffic violations.

The Illinois Points System

Most states have a driver’s license points system that applies to everyone who holds a driver’s license, and Illinois is no exception. In Illinois, each time you are convicted of a moving violation, a certain number of points is added to your driving record. The number of points added depends on the specific violation you were convicted of. Typically, more serious violations will result in a higher number of points added to your record, while lesser violations are not worth as many points. Common moving violations and their corresponding points are as follows:

  • Speeding: 5-50 points, depending on how fast you were going over the limit

  • Passing a school bus illegally: 25 points

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DuPage County reckless driving charges attorneyThere are scores of traffic violations you can commit from behind the wheel -- speeding, running a stop sign, not using your blinkers -- the list goes on. One of the more serious traffic offenses you can commit is reckless driving. In Illinois, reckless driving can result in significant consequences, because reckless driving is not just a traffic ticket -- it can result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on your circumstances. If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important that you understand the charges and related penalties.

What is Reckless Driving?

According to Illinois traffic laws, reckless driving occurs when a person either:

  • Drives any vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property; or
  • Knowingly drives a vehicle and uses an incline in a roadway -- such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach or hill -- to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

There is no one particular action that can get you charged with reckless driving in Illinois. Rather, it is up to the discretion of the arresting law enforcement officer and judge (and possibly a jury) to determine whether your actions on the road constitute reckless driving. 

Consequences for Reckless Driving

In its most basic form, reckless driving is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious class of misdemeanor. This means a reckless driving charge can result in up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

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IL defense attorneyIt is illegal to text and drive in most states, including Illinois. Many drivers continue to use their cell phone while driving even though we all know better. Multitasking drivers are often identifiable by their weaving driving pattern, hesitation at traffic lights, and their tendency to stare into their laps. Although these indicators frequently mean the driver is texting and driving, they are often not enough evidence to prove guilt. Many Illinois residents wonder, “How do they know if I am using my cell phone?”

One Hand on the Steering Wheel

When police watch for drivers illegally using their cell phone, they often look for how many hands are on the wheel. In driver’s education, they always teach to keep two hands on the steering wheel, at “10 and 2.” This hand-positioning allows the driver to maintain control of the vehicle at all times; however, not many drivers obey this rule of thumb. Even though one-handed driving is prevalent, it still causes watchful officers to judge the placement of your other hand.

A Mysterious Glow

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IL defense lawyerWhen is the last time you checked the validity of your driver’s license? For most people, your license is in good standing. We assume that if our license is suspended, we would know. However, many Americans drive around daily with a suspended license without any idea that they are breaking the law. The Illinois Secretary of State suspends driving privileges for a variety of reason, and in some cases, there is no reason for anyone to let the driver know. Driving with a suspended license becomes a legal predicament if an officer pulls you over.

How Licenses Become Suspended

Your driving privileges may be temporarily withdrawn or suspended for a period of time. In many situations, the suspension is due to an unpaid fine, traffic violation or other driving-related infraction. Yet, there are reasons for suspension that have nothing to do with driving at all. These are a few of the offenses that may result in an invalid license:

  • DUI;
  • Fleeing a police officer;
  • Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL);
  • Repeated vehicle collisions;
  • Failure to Appear;
  • Parking suspension;
  • Failure to provide proof of insurance;
  • Automatic traffic violations suspension;
  • Failure to pay fine;
  • Tollway violations or evasions; and
  • Failure to pay child support payments.

How to Verify License Validity

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DuPage County criminal law attorney, license suspensionMistakes occur regularly. Sometimes we forget to do something extremely important, like renewing our car registration on time or paying a ticket. Occasionally, we can become lost in thought and miss a speed traffic sign. However, if these things are overlooked time and again, the suspension of your driver's license or even the revocation of your driving privileges may result. Therefore, it is important to understand the various circumstances that, if handled incorrectly, could result in the loss of all driving privileges, either for a short time or indefinitely.

How Suspension Occurs

In Illinois, there are a variety of reasons that may result in the suspension of your driving privileges. Moreover, it may be surprising to discover that violations do not necessarily need to occur while you are driving, nor do they have to be vehicle related at all. A driver’s license may be taken away for the following reasons:

  • Traffic Violations: Three or more violations are received within a 12 month (one year) period;
  • Failure to Appear in Court: or otherwise take care of your traffic citation on or before your court date;
  • Parking Violations: 10 or more parking violations;
  • Failure to Pay Child Support: The “Deadbeats Don’t Drive” Act makes it possible for your license to be suspended due to non-payment of court ordered child support payments;
  • Tollway Violations: If you do not pay your tollway fees, you will be susceptible to violations and more than five violations, you may be facing suspension;
  • Safety Responsibility: If the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) finds you at fault for an accident and you do not have liability insurance, you may then face up to two years of license suspension;
  • Underage Drinking: The legal drinking age is 21 years of age; 
  • Use of a Fake ID: This is a serious charge and may result in suspension among other consequences; and
  • DUI: A conviction of a DUI either due to alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication can be penalized with a suspension. 

Penalties

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