CDL, Kane County traffic violations attorneyCommercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders go through a difficult process to obtain their licensure. Such drivers are held to a higher standard within the community, both on and off the clock. Whether in a company vehicle or a personal vehicle, their attention to their driving must be impeccable at the risk of losing their license, jeopardizing both their employment and their future. What are some of the top mistakes made by CDL holders that can result in traffic violations and put their licensure in danger?

Attempting a Difficult Parking Spot to Avoid the Extra Walk

Did you know that most trucking accidents occur at truck stops? Some of these do involve truckers trying to pull into a closer and tougher parking spot than utilizing the ample space often available a few feet away. Large trucks do not have a small turning radius, and because of this, you should allow yourself the proper room for maneuverability to avoid a collision. While one accident may not lose your licensure, several just might. Remember that truck and trailer often move on different tracks, and the costs of repairing someone else’s vehicle may be upwards of $15,000 depending on the amount of damage.

Taking Downhills Too Fast

This mistake is one that even seasoned truckers make on occasion. Between the weight of the truck and load and the pitch of the downhill slope, vehicles become fast-moving projectiles. Luckily, many roads prone to this issue are equipped with runaway truck ramps. However, it helps to remember that it is better to go too slow than too fast in the beginning because you can always upshift, but never downshift in a slope. Not only can this cause an accident, failing to maintain a proper speed for the road conditions can result in a citation.

Failure to Maintain Proper Following Distance

Much of this also has to do with other drivers on the road cutting off truck drivers, but it is the responsibility of the driver then to back off to maintain a reasonable stopping distance. Large 18-wheelers have the ability to haul tens of thousands of pounds, not to mention the weight of the steel truck as well. Drivers must give themselves plenty of room to stop, and it is important to be aware of open spaces at all times in case you need an escape route to avoid catastrophe or a ticket.

Improper Vehicle Maintenance

Part of operating any vehicle is to make sure that the equipment is properly cared for and is in safe operating order before every trip. During an unexpected inspection, a citation may be issued for faulty equipment. Additionally, a tire blowout can cause a disaster on the roadways. Everything from the engine to the tires and the load being carried must be in proper order to ensure that your truck is not the reason for an accident.

An Attorney Can Help

You of all people understand how much your livelihood depends on your licensure. Dependant on your company policies and regulations of drivers, one accident or citation may put your career at risk. If you have received a citation against your CDL, contact an experienced Elgin CDL violations defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola today.



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marijuana-drugged-driving-pot-DUILate last month, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in conjunction with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, released a report that looked at fatal crashes from 2015 for which toxicology information was available. According to the report’s findings, illegal and prescription drugs were involved in 43 percent of crashes that resulted in the death of the driver while alcohol was involved in 37 percent of such incidents. This marks the first time since the issue has been thoroughly researched that drugged driving surpassed drunk driving as a factor in fatal accidents.

Study Limitations

The report acknowledged that the numbers are not quite as complete as the researchers would have liked, but the data in question is not always made available. Much of the study’s information came from the Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) utilized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to FARS statistics, less than 60 percent of fatally injured drivers in 2015 were tested for drugs. The numbers were slightly better for alcohol testing with nearly 71 percent of fatally injured drivers tested. In addition, FARS statistics rely on individual states to file reports regarding deadly accidents which does not always happen as expected.

Rise of Marijuana Use

While there is a widely accepted legal limit for the amount of alcohol in a driver’s system, the same is not true regarding drugs. With marijuana becoming increasingly available through medical cannabis programs and legalized recreational use in certain states, this presents a level of serious concern for safety officials. The GHSA’s report indicated that more than a third of drivers who tested positive for drugs were found to have marijuana in their systems, a far greater percentage than any other single drug. The next most common was amphetamine at just over 9 percent.

Seek Legal Help

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the consequences that you are facing could be serious and long-lasting. Contact an experienced Kane County DUI defense attorney to discuss your situation and to get the help you need. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola today.



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identity theft, Elgin criminal defense attorneyIdentity theft crimes involve using sensitive personal information to steal money or property in a variety of ways, often remaining undetected until the victim discovers inconsistencies in his or her financial records. By the time this happens, the damage is usually already done and may take a significant amount of time to repair. Even when victims discover fraudulent charges or accounts they never opened early on, a great deal of work may be necessary—along with more than a few headaches—to dispute the charges and restore their standing with a financial institution.

How Stolen Identities are Used

Using someone’s identity allows a thief to open new accounts under the victim’s name, make charges on his or her credit cards, and even make withdrawals from his or her bank accounts. Other common scenarios involve tax-related theft, where a person’s refund is stolen, or medical-related theft, where the victim’s identity is used to acquire medical treatment under his or her health insurance plan.

The scope of these crimes can range greatly. Some might result in a few minor fraudulent charges that end up costing the victim nothing after dispute. Others include the theft of much larger amounts of money that end up severely damaging the victim’s credit and bank balances.

Reasons You May Be Accused of Identity Theft

If you are under investigation for being involved in an identity-related crime, chances are your name has somehow been tied to an activity that was discovered by the victim through methods such as:

  • Mysterious medical bills: Identity theft victims will often receive medical bills or statements for services they never acquired that are in their name. Alternatively, the victim’s health insurance provider may reject medical claims when the record shows that he or she has already reached the benefits limit.
  • IRS notifications: When more than one tax return is filed under someone’s name or when the IRS reports that a person received income from an employer they never actually worked for, the identity theft victim may eventually discover the crime when the IRS sends them notices informing them of the information on record.
  • Debt collector calls: It is also common for victims to discover their identity was stolen when they begin receiving relentless telephone calls from debt collectors about debts they never incurred. Once they are aware of the mysterious debts, they often turn to their credit report and begin an investigation from there.
  • Strange bank withdrawals: Whether it be a checking or savings account or charges on a credit card account that cannot be explained, strange bank withdrawals of any kind usually alert victims right away that their identity has been compromised. In some cases, the fraudulent activity may not be discovered immediately, as a victim may not notice such activity until skimming their monthly bank statements after some time has passed.

If you have tampered with someone’s personal information or have involved yourself in any way with an identity theft crime, you are at risk for being prosecuted under federal law. If you feel the accusations brought against you are unjust, it is imperative you speak with an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your reputation. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola today.



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DUI, Kane County DUI defense attorneyFamilies who are expecting a child have high hopes for the future. If that future happens to be snatched away during an accident with an intoxicated driver, the end result can be catastrophic. A family loses a child they were planning for, and the intoxicated driver is left to deal with the guilt and consequences of their actions. In such a case, the consequences could include a felony DUI conviction.

Illinois Considers an Unborn Fetus a Life in DUI Accidents

Paying the price for an unborn fetus might seem unfair, but the state of Illinois considers it a life. This means you could potentially face the very same charges for the death of a fetus as you would have for the death of another human being. In short, you could be charged with an aggravated DUI, which is a felony charge in the state of Illinois.

Consequences of a Felony DUI in Illinois

In addition to having a DUI conviction on your driving record, suspension of your license, fines, administrative fees, and lost time from work, those facing felony DUI charges may experience a prison sentence, probation, and mandatory community service. They may also be required to pay restitution to the victim’s family. Further, having a felony on your criminal record can make it difficult to obtain housing and employment once you are released from prison. A felony DUI conviction also remains on your record for the rest of your life.

Avoiding the Potential Consequences of a Felony DUI

Living with the guilt of your decision is not an easy task. It is only made all the more difficult when you realize that you could spend a great deal of time in jail and that the course of your entire life may be forever altered. You should not have to deal with both. Instead, fight back against your DUI charges and seek experienced legal assistance. Though every situation is different, and outcomes will vary, it may be possible to mitigate the consequences and reduce the severity of your situation.

Contact a Kane County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you love is facing felony charges for an aggravated DUI, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Elgin.  At The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola, we have the knowledge and skills to help you protect your rights and your best interests. No matter how serious the charges against you may be, we aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your free consultation by calling 847-488-0889 today.



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attorney, Kane County criminal defense attorneyWhen you are up against a criminal charge, the attorney you hire can have a massive impact on the outcome of your case. So, knowing this, how do you choose? How do you ensure, beyond all doubt, that your criminal defense attorney will represent you effectively and protect your interests? It all starts with performing your due diligence. Of course, the decision is always up to you, but following information may be able to help you find the attorney that is most suited to your specific needs.

Hire the Right Type of Lawyer

First thing is first: it is important that you hire an attorney who has experience with your particular situation. As an example, hiring an attorney who works only on divorce or immigration issues when you are facing drunk driving charges is probably a poor choice. Instead, turn to an attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience with sensitive criminal matters. These attorneys are more likely to recognize and plan for the unique challenges that may arise in your case.

Determine Competency to the Best of Your Abilities

Unless you have a degree in law, it may be a little difficult to discern for certain whether or not your prospective attorney is competent. However, you may feel as though something is “off.” For example, if it feels as though your attorney is sidestepping your questions or having difficulty explaining things in a way that you can understand, he or she may not know the answer. Likewise, if they are unable to effectively communicate with you—which also requires listening on their part–they may not be as well-versed in the law as you would like.

Also, do your homework. Research the attorney’s reputation and where they went to school. Look at their overall background. Have they won any specific awards? Are they affiliated with the local, state, or national bar association or other legal organization? Do they participate in community action and serve as an advocate for more than just their clients? None of this can give you a complete answer, but your gut instinct is often correct. In a matter as serious as this, it is often best to err on the side of caution.

Let Us Help

At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we understand that the attorney you choose when facing a criminal matter is important. We welcome your questions and will work with you in determining if we are the right legal team for your case. To learn more, contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney today. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.



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felony, Elgin criminal defense attorneyWhen you are charged with the criminal offense of driving under the influence (DUI), it has the potential to change your life forever. Regardless of whether you are ultimately convicted, your license can be suspended, leading to difficulties keeping your commitments—including work. If you are convicted, you could even spend time in jail.

Basics of DUI Offenses

Just your first DUI offense can result in the loss of driving privileges for up to six months. In many cases—especially if it is your first offense—you are likely to qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit which allows you drive legally while your license is technically suspended.  Participation in this program, however, means that you must install a Breath-Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in your vehicle. Before your car will start, you must use the BAIID to prove that your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is below the acceptable limits set by the program.

Illinois is an implied consent state which means by driving on the streets and highways of the state, you agree to submit to BAC chemical testing when you are suspected of drunk driving. If you refuse when asked, your license will automatically be suspended for the maximum time of 12 months for a first offense. While there are many factors that may come into play, the average cost of a DUI in Illinois is approximately $16,000 when all is said and done.

Felony DUI Charges  

If that seems like a devastating situation, it is hardly comparable to that of a felony DUI conviction. A felony conviction, as you might expect is even worse, bringing with it harsher punishments and higher fines in most cases.

Every year in the state of Illinois, roughly 300 people die in alcohol-related crashes. As such, it is understandable that the state would have enacted strict laws for the most serious situations. You could face charges of aggravated DUI—always a felony—if you were driving under the influence and caused an accident which resulted in serious injury or death to another person. Felony DUI charges may also be applicable if you have previous DUI convictions on your record. In Illinois, a third DUI offense is automatically a felony charge.

You could also be charged with a Class 4 felony DUI even for a first offense if a minor under the age of 16 was in the car at the time of the incident and the child was injured as a result.  If this occurs and the driver has a previous DUI conviction, the charge may be elevated to a Class 2 felony.

Seek Legal Help

If you have been charged with a DUI of any class or severity, contact an experienced Kane County DUI defense attorney. We can help you explore your options and work with you in making the best choices for your future. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola today.



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drugs, Kane County drug crimes defense attorneyIllinois has fairly strict laws about drug possession, distribution, and trafficking. The latter two are decidedly more serious, as one might imagine, but many become confused when dealing with the prosecution process. There are state and federal charges, with varying degrees of severity, and those unfamiliar with the law may have trouble determining which regulations apply to them and which do not.

Classifying Drugs

The Illinois Controlled Substances Act sets forth information on which drugs are classified under which schedule, and grants the state of Illinois the authority to reschedule any drug if it is rescheduled under the corresponding federal law. There are five schedules, with Schedule I including the most dangerous drugs and Schedule V listing the least dangerous.

There are a number of factors that go into federal and state authorities classifying a drug under a certain schedule, including but not limited to the potential for abuse, the degree to which the drug can be used for legitimate medical purposes, and potential long-range effect on individual and public health. This is relevant in terms of assessing distribution and trafficking offenses because public health is a concern. A drug may be is placed on a certain schedule due to widespread fear of abuse or belief in its potential to cause long-term effects, distribution or trafficking of the drug can cause significant harm to public health.

Distribution vs. Trafficking

What many people fail to grasp is that distribution and trafficking are different offenses, even though the two words may be colloquially synonymous. Distribution is generally referred to in Illinois law as delivery, and as such, money does not have to change hands for a distribution charge to be warranted. In some cases, charges of ‘possession with intent to distribute’ have been brought when someone has a large quantity of drugs in his or her possession or many of the tools needed to distribute—such as a large supply of bags or a quantity of cash—even if no sale or delivery to someone else has been made.

Distribution becomes trafficking when state lines are crossed—not necessarily physically, as trafficking charges can be brought against those who mail controlled substances if knowledge and intent can be proven. The relevant statute permits extremely harsh sentences and monetary fines for those convicted of such an offense. The law requires that anyone convicted of trafficking be sentenced to no less than twice the minimum possible amount of time, which can add up if the type and amount of drug trafficked are significant. Simple distribution does not cross state lines.

Ask a Knowledgeable Attorney

Being charged with drug distribution or trafficking is extremely serious, and in such a situation, it is imperative to enlist the help of an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola today.



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dui, Kane County DUI defense attorneyA conviction on charges of driving under the influence (DUI) is likely to have costs that extend beyond fines, license revocation, and jail time. It can mean, among other things, ineligibility for federal welfare benefits, an increased possibility of deportation, ineligibility for reductions in car insurance rates, and mandatory alcohol education counseling. If you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge, it is essential to understand the full consequences of a conviction.

Compromised Civil Liberties

After two DUI convictions, any further conviction will be classified as a felony. A conviction for a felony offense not only means more severe sentencing requirements, but also the loss of civil liberties, such as the right to vote, the right to possess a firearm, and the right to get a passport. Some of these can be eventually restored but the process of doing so may be difficult and expensive.

Child Custody

DUI charges can also affect a person’s parental rights regarding his or her child. When determining parental responsibilities—also known as child custody arrangements—courts examine the moral fitness of each parent, and a DUI conviction can have a negative impact on the court’s decision.


A DUI conviction can also make it more difficult to find and maintain employment. Employers will often conduct background checks before hiring. Court records are generally available to the public, and so employers will be able to see a potential hire’s criminal history, including DUI offenses. Repeated offenses, in particular, can endanger or destroy an offender’s chances at getting a job.

Further, many jobs, such as notary public, nurse, motor vehicle dealer, or private investigator, require professional licensing. Criminal convictions, such as for DUI offenses, can cause professional licenses to be denied or restricted, whether as a result of state law or because of a private licensing board’s policies or discretion.

Driving Restrictions

Another employment issue affected by a DUI conviction is transportation. Because DUI convictions mean temporary suspension or revocation of the offender’s license, just getting to a workplace or school can become difficult. Illinois provides for a petition for a restricted driving permit, which allows a person to drive on a limited basis, usually to and from the workplace, school, medical treatment, or other essential locations.

The advice and expertise of an experienced DUI defense attorney can prove invaluable in learning to deal with the collateral consequences of a DUI conviction. If you have been arrested for or charged with a DUI offense, please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Elgin. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola today.



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theft, Kane County criminal defense attorneyThere are two basic types of theft one can be charged in the state of Illinois: petty theft and felony theft. One may sound less severe than the other, but both can have lasting implications for the accused. Learn more about these classifications of theft, their consequences, and what you can do to fight back against the charges.

Defining Theft in Illinois

The Illinois Criminal Code defines theft as intentionally or knowingly depriving an owner of their property. The includes all manner of theft, such as obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over an owner or their property, deceiving another to gain unauthorized control over their property, or using threat or force to obtain control over another’s property. One can also be charged with theft if they obtain or exert control over assets that they knew had been stolen—buying stolen goods, for example.

How Petty Theft and Felony Theft Differ

If the value of stolen goods is less than $500, and it was not taken from the victim’s person, the defendant may be charged with petty theft. On the other hand, any property that has been taken from a victim’s person and the theft of property valued over $500 may result in felony theft charges. Both charges can lead to fines, court costs, jail time, restitution to the victim, and a permanent criminal record, but felony theft carries harsher penalties than petty theft.

Classified as a Class A misdemeanor, a petty theft conviction may include consequences of up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. In contrast, felony theft may result in fines of up to $25,000 and prison time as follows:

  • Property taken from a victim’s person and valued under $300, or property valued between $300 and $10,000 may result in Class 3 felony charges, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison;
  • Stolen property valued between $10,000 and $100,000 can result in Class 2 felony charges, which could lead to a prison sentence of up to seven years; and
  • Theft involving property that exceeds $100,000 is considered a Class 1 felony, and conviction could result in a prison term of up to 15 years.

Fighting Back Against the Charges

While every situation is unique, defendants who employ the assistance of an experienced legal advocate tend to fare better than those who attempt to go it alone. In fact, some suspects may even have a chance at a full dismissal of their charges. To learn more about how an experienced Kane County criminal defense lawyer can assist with your case, contact our office. Call 847-488-0889 and schedule your free initial consultation with us today.



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attorney, Elgin criminal defense attorneySo, you have been accused of a crime; now what? First of all, remember that you have the right to remain silent. You do not need to speak to any police officer or other authority figure about anything relating to your case. Law enforcement officials are skilled at their jobs and have been known to manipulate facts to coax people into admitting guilt. Do not fall for this. Instead, it is vital that you seek the help of a skilled Illinois criminal defense attorney immediately. Criminal charges can be life changing and without assistance, you may find yourself facing severe legal, financial, and emotional consequences. It is important that you hire an attorney with the knowledge and skills required for your specific charges. Finding a quality attorney, however, can be tougher than it sounds, and it starts with asking the right questions.

Questions for Potential Attorneys

Choosing the right attorney could represent the difference between freedom or jail time, so it is important to take some time to review your potential options. Many people work with the first attorney they meet, but keep in mind that you have the power to find the best possible attorney for you, one who has the experience and knowledge needed to handle your case. Start by making sure that any potential candidates are members of the Illinois State Bar Association, and if you are in Chicago, the Chicago Bar Association. Typically, attorneys with questionable practices or backgrounds are not eligible for membership.

Next, ask each potential attorney a variety of questions. You want to be sure that whoever you choose is qualified to handle your case and that they will handle it well. Ask about the attorney’s background, qualifications, and how they would handle your specific case. Use questions like:

  • What similar cases have you handled in the past?
  • Have you had many successful outcomes?
  • What might happen if I plead guilty?
  • What type of strategy would be best for my case?
  • Is a plea bargain possible?
  • What successful strategies have you used in the past?
  • Do you feel confident about my case?

Also, remember to ask any potential candidates about the costs associated with their services. You want to be sure that you can afford the representation you hire. Keep in mind, however, that cheaper is not always better. That said, expensive is not always better either, so it is best to find an attorney you can afford and who you feel is experienced enough to represent you well.

Schedule an Appointment

Are you facing criminal charges in Illinois? Are you looking for aggressive, effective representation from an attorney with a proven track record of success? Contact The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola today to learn more about about the quality counsel we provide. Your initial consultation is free, and we are ready to help you. Call 847-488-0889 to speak to a qualified Kane County criminal defense attorney now.



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