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IL defense lawyerOne of the biggest ways to celebrate the Fourth of July is to light off and/or watch a fireworks display. However, if you were caught setting off fireworks in Illinois, you are most likely currently facing misdemeanor charges.

Illinois is one of only six states in the country that have banned consumers from purchasing and lighting fireworks on their own. The crime is punishable by a Class A misdemeanor enforced by a fine of up to $2,500 and a prison term of one year.

What Is Acceptable in Illinois?

While larger fireworks are not legal for purchase in Illinois, those who want to celebrate on July 4th can legally buy novelty items. The American Pyrotechnics Association reported that Illinois residents can celebrate with sparklers, smoke machines, snappers, and party poppers among other items that are less likely to cause injury.

Items that are illegal in Illinois include, but are not limited to:

  • Handheld fireworks
  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers
  • Skyrockets
  • Missiles
  • Pinwheels

Illinois policy reported that in 2017 there were over 12,000 firework-related injuries in the state. They reported that as “less than the number of injuries resulting from tipped furniture and children’s toys” but they are injuries that could still be avoided if the law was unbroken.

The report went on to name the most common item which leading to injury, sparklers - an item on the legal list of novelty tools. This begs the question: should sparklers also be made illegal since they can cause injury?

Alternatives to Lighting Fireworks in Illinois

The quickest and easiest solution if you really want to light fireworks legally is to travel to the next state over. Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Michigan all allow consumers to purchase and set off their own fireworks - of course while following their specific safety instructions.

The only other states besides Illinois to have a ban on fireworks excluding sparklers and novelty items are Ohio and Vermont. States that have a complete ban on any and all firework-related items are New Jersey, Delaware, and Massachusetts.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you know was caught lighting fireworks in Illinois this July 4th, hire a lawyer from the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola to build a defense strategy and help you avoid misdemeanor charges. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-one-of-few-states-limiting-freedom-to-choose-fireworks-on-independence-day/

https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Fireworks-Whats-Legal-Whats-Not-in-Illinois-511960851.html

 

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IL DUI lawyerEvery state has different rules when it comes to DUI convictions . There are punishments such as fines, jail time, and suspension of licenses after a conviction is made. In Illinois, first-time offenders - and subsequent offenses - are required to drive with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).

The purpose of a BAIID is to stop offenders from drinking and driving. The device is installed into the automobile and drivers will have to breathe into the tube to start their car. This is similar to a breathalyzer used during a traffic stop. If someone has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.025, the car will not turn on. Anything lower than 0.025 will allow the car to start without a problem.

In the past, DUI offenders would have someone else breath into their BAIID in order to start their vehicle. So, along with the device, a camera will also be installed into the car to capture images of the driver performing their breath test.

Why Is a BAIID Mandatory?

The device is required mainly for the driver’s benefit because, after a conviction, the driver’s license will be suspended or revoked. In order to apply for a restricted license, the driver’s vehicle will need a BAIID to regulate safe driving.

The down-side to needing a BAIID installed is that the driver will be responsible for all of the monetary fees involved with acquiring the device:

  • Installation fee of $85.
  • Monthly rental fee of $80.
  • Monthly monitoring fee of $30; paid to the Secretary of State.

When Can a License be Reinstated?

Along with the BAIID, a driver looking to reinstate their license will be issued a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) which allows the offender to drive their car while they pay their suspension term. As long as the offender obeys the driving laws during the time their license is suspended, it will be returned when the time has been served.

However, there are further punishments that can be enforced if a driver violates the terms of their MDDP. The most common offense is driving without their BAIID installed. If a violation occurs, the driver can expect a letter from the Illinois Secretary of State asking for an explanation. If the letter is ignored or the explanation is not good, the driver’s license will be suspended for an extended three months per violation:

  • Three extensions will result in the driver’s car being impounded for 30 days.
  • Four extensions will result in the seizure of the driver’s car.
  • MDDP can be revoked if only one violation occurs.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Defense Attorney

Fighting back against DUI charges can seem tough when you try to go through it on your own. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola to help build a strong defensive strategy. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County DUI defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/BAIID/baiid.html

 

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IL defense lawyerChildren living in a split-parent environment are more likely to be abused by a step-parent than a biological parent. However, it is not inevitable that a step-parent will abuse or neglect a child that is not theirs. Parents who are not living full-time with their children may be more protective and just want to know that their child is not suffering any domestic violence or neglect. If signs of possible abuse are detected, a parent can call the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) to start an investigation.

According to Illinois law, a parent is required to report possible abuse when the evidence is present. The law also requires doctors, teachers, law enforcers, day care workers, and any other persons close to the child to report possible abuse so that the child can be protected. If the abuse is not reported, those who failed to do so can face Class A misdemeanor charges.

The Reality of Domestic Violence

The Illinois DCFS has already reported a statewide total of 80,505 investigations of child abuse for the fiscal 2019 year. This number is just 1,000 less than the 2018 fiscal year, but is well over previous years.

This number gives parents a good reason to want to make sure their child is always safe when not under their protection. The best way to guarantee safety is to communicate with the child’s full-time parent. If there is a step-parent involved with the child, both biological parents can make sure there is no inappropriate conduct made between step-parent and child.

Defense Strategies

If a step-parent does find themselves fighting child abuse charges, there are several ways for them to prove their innocence:

  • Kids will be kids: small injuries such as scrapes, bruises or cuts could be explained as “play” injuries. Children enjoy climbing, running around, and other activities that could cause them to fall down to run into an object.
  • Accidental: things can happen if a child is running around a house, backyard or play park. If a small injury is reported, DCFS will look into any accidental falls that may have resulted in cuts or bruises.
  • Discipline: spanking is considered an act of child abuse when there is clear bodily harm done to the child. A light swat of the behind is different than spanking with a wooden spoon.
  • Religious reasons: parents with a sick child could be reported to DCFS if they do not take their child to a hospital for medical treatment. However, if their religion says they cannot seek modern medicine, that defense can be used to avoid charges.

Parents are still urged to report signs of abuse to DCFS even if the injuries were not sustained by the hands of a step-parent - or anyone else. Child safety is important and DCFS will take the time to thoroughly investigate each case.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is a step-parent facing charges of child abuse, the first step is to hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola who can investigate the evidence and build a defense. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County domestic violence defense attorney, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1460&ChapterID=32

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/victims.html

https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/aboutus/newsandreports/Documents/ESS_Protective_Services.pd

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Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense lawyerStreet racing could be described as a symptom of “road rage” in that one driver speeds up to not allow another driver to overtake them, thus resulting in both vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed. There are other reasons people street race. Some just do it as a form of competition and entertainment. Whether for entertainment or due to road rage, street racing is considered reckless driving because it puts people’s lives in danger.

Both drivers of the vehicles caught in a street race are putting themselves in danger if the cars collide, but they also put other drivers and pedestrians in danger. There are other people on the road who may not be expecting two cars coming down the road at a high rate of speed.

What Is Street Racing?

According to Illinois law, street racing is defined as:

  • Operation of two or more motor vehicles driving side by side while accelerating in an attempt to outdistance each other.
  • Driving one or more motor vehicles down a predetermined road to compare vehicle acceleration within a specific distance.
  • Using one or more cars to outdistance or overtake another vehicle.
  • Using one or more vehicles to prevent another car from passing.
  • Operating one or more cars to arrive at a destination before another car.
  • Using one or more vehicles to test the long-distance stamina or the drivers.

Most often those who race for recreation will participate on streets that are less used rather than on the highway or another populated road. However, if a police officer comes upon the race, the drivers will still be ticketed and charged with reckless driving.

Those racing as a result of road rage are more likely to cause an accident because they are driving carelessly around other drivers. If an accident occurs and someone involved is injured, disfigured, or permanently disabled the at-fault driver will be charged with aggravated street racing.

Penalties for Street Racing

In Illinois, those who engage in street racing are not the only ones who can be punished if charged with a crime. The owners of the cars involved in the street race can also be punished if they have knowledge of the race and allow it to happen.

According to the law, street race offenders will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense punishable by a minimum fine of $250. Subsequent offenses will be a Class 4 felony punishable by a minimum fine of $500. Additionally, anyone convicted of street racing will have their license revoked.

Those convicted of aggravated street racing will face a Class 4 felony charge and a punishment of a one- to 12-year prison sentence.

Car owners who allow a street race to occur will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for any subsequent offenses.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Attorney

If you or someone you know are facing reckless driving charges as a result of street racing, the first step is to hire a lawyer who can help build a defense and avoid a negative outcome. To talk to a Kane County reckless driving lawyer from the law offices of Brian J. Mirandola, call 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-506

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IL defense lawyerKeeping a safe distance away from a driver ahead of you is important because you cannot see what is in front of that driver. If the leading driver has to slam on their brakes for whatever reason and you are too close, that could result in a rear-end collision. That type of collision could lead to serious damage or injury depending on the speed of the vehicles.

For this reason, following too closely is considered reckless driving and falls under the Illinois Reckless Driving Law. A violation of this law can result in a Class C misdemeanor conviction punishable by one year in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.

According to Illinois law, no driver should ever be following behind another vehicle too closely. Drivers need to keep in mind the traffic, conditions, and speed of the other vehicle and know that there is a risk of a collision.

To avoid a collision, slower drivers should travel in the right lane to allow faster drivers to pass on the left safely. If the road is only one lane, faster drivers are expected to adjust their speed to keep a reasonable amount of space between the two cars and then pass when it is safe.

Dismissing Traffic Tickets

If a police officer witnesses an act of one vehicle following another too closely, that driver can be pulled over and issued a ticket. After the traffic stop, a driver still has the option to contest the punishment and go to court. There, the driver has a few options for defense strategies:

  • Once you have your ticket, look closely at the information the officer wrote down while issuing the ticket. If there is anything incorrect on the ticket (name, type of car, etc.) you can alert the judge and the charges could be dropped.
  • The driver can attend and complete a defensive driving course to show the judge that they are working to improve their driving faults. This could reduce the charges.
  • If the driver goes to court, the police officer who pulled them over would need to attend as well. If the officer fails to appear, the case is dismissed.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Attorney

There are two sides to every story and if you are facing reckless driving charges, your first step should be to hire a lawyer. The seasoned Kane County reckless driving lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build your defense strategy and avoid a negative outcome. Call the office at 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-710.htm

https://illinoisrecklessdriving.com/law-penalties/

https://www.idrivesafely.com/defensive-driving/traffic-ticket-dismissal/

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