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elgin traffic lawyerThe Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White issued an announcement this week reminding drivers in the Land of Lincoln that you can replace your damaged license plates for no cost. 

White explained his office launched the defective plate replacement program to ensure older license plates with greatly diminished reflectivity are replaced. “When license plates are unreadable, It poses a safety concern for the vehicle owner, other drivers, and law enforcement,” he said. 

With nearly 9 million registered passenger vehicles in Illinois, replacement plates will be offered to registrants with older plates first. This year, the Secretary of State is replacing license plates manufactured in 2008 and 2009. Additionally, drivers can report lost or damaged tags by phone or online. 

The replacement plate program, which costs taxpayers nothing, started in 2017 and is expected to take until 2027 to complete. Once it is completed, however, the government plans to renew the program every 10 years in order to keep passenger vehicles up-to-date. 

Of course, in the announcement, White also reminded you that if you do have a damaged plate (and opt not to upgrade), you could be stopped for a traffic violation and a fine. 

Illinois License Plate Laws

The Illinois Vehicle Code defines all the matters related to how you should display your vehicle registration and how often. A missing license plate is a big red flag for most police officers and gives them immediate probable cause to pull you over. If you are ticketed for a registration display violation, you could be fined $164. 

Under Illinois law, you, as an Illinois resident, must display registration plates on the front and back of your vehicle. The registration must either be the standard metal plate or you could use digital registration plates. Additionally, if you have a lost, damaged, or stolen license plate or registration sticker, you must report it to the Secretary of State and immediately apply for another, according to state law. 

You might be asking yourself, “What does a damaged license plate look like?” Well, it is really up to the discretion of the officer, but a good rule of thumb is if you cannot make out the registration numbers, your license plate is damaged. 

Contact a Kane County Traffic Attorney

If you have been ticketed for a registration violation or some other traffic infraction, contact an Illinois traffic attorney for help. Brian J. Mirandola has spent his entire decades-long career serving the suburbs of Chicago. Contact the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today by calling 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.ilsos.gov/news/2021/september/210913d1.pdf

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K3-413

 

https://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K3-417.htm

 

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elgin defense lawyerIllinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation last month expanding Scott’s Law, a traffic law that requires drivers to move over and slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped on the road. The governor said the three bills he approved will provide first-responders with “the protection and resources they need to make their work safer.”

Scott’s Law

Illinois lawmakers wrote Scott’s Law, also known as the “move over” law, in 2001 after Chicago firefighter Scott Gillen was hit by a car while responding to an accident and later died of his injuries. The driver failed to slow down or drive cautiously around the crash site despite efforts by first-responders to protect the scene. 

Scott’s Law allows authorities to prosecute drivers who fail to drive with care around emergency vehicles when emergency lights are on. Penalties vary if you are convicted of violating Scott’s Law, but they increase if you damage property, injure or kill someone, or are found to be impaired. You could be fined up to $10,000 and lose your driving privileges for up to two years. 

According to the Illinois State Police report, law enforcement issued more than 5,800 citations for Scott’s Law violations in 2019. That figure increased by about 705 percent from the year before because of the formation of the Move Over Task Force, which prioritized Scott’s Law enforcement. 

Scott’s Law Expansions

Last month, three measures were signed into law: Senate Bill 1913, House Bill 3656, and Senate Bill 1575. They are slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, except for SB1575, which goes into effect immediately. 

Senate Bill 1913

SB 1913 expands penalties for Scott’s Law violations. The measure permits the court to order community service as a form of punishment.

House Bill 3656

HB 3656 does a few things. First, it makes using a cell phone while driving through an emergency zone an aggravating factor. Second, it adds specific language to Scott’s Law detailing how you should respond as you approach an emergency scene on the road. 

Lastly, it creates the Move Over Early Warning Task Force to study how to better educate drivers about navigating emergency zones. The task force is supposed to report its findings in early 2023. 

Senate Bill  1575 

SB 1575 aids first responders by creating an online resource page, which will contain a collection of mental health resources. The list will include services that assist in everything from wellness to trauma to suicide prevention. The Illinois Department of Human Services will lead the effort. The page’s target launch date is January 2022. 

Contact an Aurora, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

If you think you have been wrongfully cited for violating Scott’s Law, contact an experienced Illinois traffic lawyer. Brian J. Mirandola has been offering his legal services to DuPage County for more than 20 years. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation with the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola. 

 

Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/news/press-release.23708.html

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-907

https://www.wqad.com/article/news/illinois-state-police-see-major-spike-in-scotts-law-violation-citations/526-9aae3100-8b5d-48f3-ba4c-9580f8d4f519

 

https://isp.illinois.gov/StaticFiles/docs/Directors/LegislationNPublicNotice/Move%20Over%20Task%20Force%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

 

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elgin traffic lawyerThe distinctions between misdemeanors and felonies in regard to traffic crimes can be very vague and confusing. While misdemeanors are generally much less serious crimes than felonies, several variables play a role in determining the severity of the crime and the appropriate punishments. Traffic citations are very common, but drivers should keep in mind that one error can lead to very harsh consequences. Drivers who are facing charges for a traffic crime, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, should understand what penalties they could face and what rights they should be taking advantage of. 

Classifying a Traffic Offense

There is an additional classification of traffic violations that are categorized as infractions or petty offenses. The majority of traffic violations result in an infraction and will not escalate to a misdemeanor unless other humans or property were harmed due to the violation. Although felonies arising from traffic violations are rare, if the defendant is a repeat offender or the violation directly caused fatalities, they will likely face a felony conviction. 

Misdemeanor traffic violations include DUIs, driving without a valid license, driving without insurance, and reckless driving. In contrast, felony convictions are generally saved for much more serious, often violent crimes. However, if the defendant is a repeat offender or if their actions lead to property damage, injuries, or death, the offense will likely be escalated to a felony. For instance, there are many jurisdictions that will escalate these violations to a felony based on extenuating circumstances:

The Differences in Penalties

There is a large grey area when determining when a traffic offense will result in a misdemeanor versus a felony, however, there is a substantial difference in penalties between the two crime classifications. 

Because misdemeanors are typically much less serious crimes, the convictions have less severe punishments. Misdemeanors are usually accompanied by a fine or less than a year of incarceration in the county jail. Similar to non-traffic-related offenses, the defendant will be required to post a bail bond after being taken into custody. Other punishments that could result from a traffic misdemeanor or traffic felony include community service, license suspension or revocation, probation or parole, or vehicle immobilization or impoundment. 

 Felonies result in longer and harsher sentences that are served in a prison, instead of the county jail. In addition to a 1-year minimum prison sentence, the conviction will likely require the payment of substantial fines. 

Contact Our Elgin, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony due to your traffic offense, you maintain your constitutional right to representation by legal counsel. It is evident that there can be very thin lines between the two classifications depending on each unique circumstance. Our Kane County traffic violation attorney will help you to determine what you are up against and how best to fight charges. Contact the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola to schedule your free consultation by calling 847-488-0889.



Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=070501350HArt%2E+1&ActID=3898&ChapterID=50&SeqStart=100000&SeqEnd=500000

 

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elgin traffic ticket lawyerThere are so many rules that you must follow when you are driving, it is not difficult to break one of those rules. If you are caught breaking those rules, however, it is likely that you will receive a traffic citation. Most people have received at least a small citation in their lifetime, but the penalties for traffic violations can vary depending on the specific offense and the seriousness of the offense. In some cases, you may be required to attend a hearing in traffic court. 

Traffic Court Procedure

If you do have to attend traffic court, the officer issuing you the ticket will inform you of this, as well as check a box on your ticket that states this requirement. If you have received a traffic violation requiring you to attend traffic court, here is the procedure you should expect to go through:

  1. Determining your plea: When you are issued a ticket, you must sign the ticket to acknowledge that you have received it, whether or not you agree with the citation. If you are not required to attend traffic court, but you disagree that you are guilty, you can request a traffic court hearing.

  2. Prior to your hearing: Technically, traffic court is separate from criminal court, even if the traffic violation can be considered a criminal act. Attending traffic court is nearly the same as attending criminal court and should be treated as such. Dressing appropriately is important, so do not wear shorts, sandals, or a t-shirt. Arrive at the court on time, if not early.

  3. Beginning of the trial: When you first appear in traffic court, most of the time it is only for you to give your plea to the judge. The actual trial portion may take place at another time, though in some cases it may take place the same day you plead. 

  4. During the trial: Most trials that take place for traffic violations are bench trials, meaning they do not have a jury deciding your fate - the judge does. As in criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Violating local ordinances only requires the prosecution to prove that you are guilty by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it is more likely than not that you committed the offense. Violating a state ordinance requires the prosecution to prove their case the same as in criminal trials - beyond a reasonable doubt.

  5. Sentencing for your violation: The penalties for traffic violations can vary greatly. Petty offenses are considered those that only have a fine as their punishment. More serious traffic violations may be charged as criminal misdemeanors or even felonies if the charge is serious enough. If you have pleaded guilty or the judge determines that you are guilty, he or she may order that you pay fines, court costs, attend traffic safety school, perform community service or he or she can order a combination of these penalties.

Get in Touch With a Kane County Traffic Citation Attorney Today

If you have received a traffic ticket and been told that you are to appear in traffic court, you need to hire a skilled Elgin, IL traffic citation lawyer. An attorney who has experience defending against traffic citations can help you through the hearing process and avoid a conviction. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we can help you with any traffic citation you may be facing. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.isba.org/public/guide/illinoistrafficcourts

 

 

 

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Aurora, IL traffic violation defense attorneyThere are multiple ways that a driver may be charged with a traffic violation. In many cases, traffic tickets will result in fines, but a driver may also see their insurance rates increase, and multiple violations within one year could even result in the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. Traffic violations that take place in construction zones can result in more serious penalties. Drivers will need to be sure to understand the laws that apply in these situations and their options for defending against these types of violations.

Types of Construction Zone Violations

Usually, when road construction is being performed, reduced speed limits will apply for drivers who are traveling through the work zone. These limits will remain in effect whether work is being performed in the construction area or not. Automated photo speed enforcement may be used in some construction zones, although it can only be active at times when workers are present.

A construction zone speeding violation will result in a minimum fine of $250 for a first offense and a minimum fine of $750 for a second offense and any subsequent violations. A second construction zone speeding violation will also result in a driver’s license suspension of 90 days.

A driver may face charges of aggravated speeding if they travel above the posted construction zone speed limit by at least 26 miles per hour. A person may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for speeding 26 to 35 miles per hour over the speed limit, and if convicted, a person may be required to spend up to six months in prison and pay a maximum fine of $1,500. Speeding more than 35 miles per hour over the speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor, and if convicted, a person may be required to spend up to one year in prison and pay a maximum fine of $2,500.

Even if a driver is not speeding, they could be charged with a traffic violation if they do not drive safely in a construction zone. Drivers are required to use caution when entering a work zone, slow down to a safe speed, and yield to construction vehicles or people on foot who are performing road work. When possible, drivers should change lanes to leave the lane next to workers clear.

Drivers who violate the safe driving laws in a construction zone may face a minimum fine of $100. However, if a violation results in a collision that causes injuries or property damage, fines can increase to a maximum of $25,000. A person may also face criminal charges for striking a construction worker, and a conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to 14 years. In addition, a violation that results in property damage will result in a driver’s license suspension of 90 days to one year, causing injury to someone will result in a license suspension of 180 days to two years, and causing someone’s death will result in a two-year license suspension.

Contact Our Aurora Traffic Violation Attorney

While all types of traffic tickets can affect your ability to drive, construction zone violations carry even more serious consequences. The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can provide you with legal representation as you address traffic violations, and we will work to ensure that you can maintain your driving privileges and avoid penalties whenever possible. Contact our Elgin construction zone traffic violation lawyer at 847-488-0889 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-605.1

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-908

https://www.illinoistollway.com/projects/work-zone-safety

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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