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IL accident lawyerBeing involved in a car accident can be a scary thing especially if you are the one who caused the collision. However, it is important that all persons involved in the crash remain at the scene so that police can arrive and take statements as to what happened. Fleeing the scene of a car accident is a crime in Illinois which can lead to fines and/or jail time. If the offending driver was under the influence at the time of the collision, they will also be charged with a DUI and can have their driving privileges suspended.

What Does the Law Require?

Illinois law says that all drivers involved in a crash must:

  • Stop their vehicle immediately
  • Check the other drivers and passengers for injuries
  • Move their vehicle - if it can move - to the side of the road
  • Turn on hazard lights so other cars can avoid the stopped cars
  • Call the police to report the collision

A driver will not be breaking the law if they move their car off of the road and into a safe location such as a parking lot or a less-trafficked side street.

If a driver does leave the scene, they can be found if the other driver involved can take their license plate and report the accident to the police. If caught, the driver will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable with:

  • Up to one year in prison
  • Fines of up to $2,500

In addition, the victim of the collision can petition for compensation for damage done to their vehicle as well as any injuries caused by the accident.

How to Defend Charges for Fleeing the Scene

Unless the victim of the car accident can clearly identify the driver of the fleeing vehicle before it is gone, it would be hard for the prosecutors to determine who was behind the wheel at the time of the incident.

A common defense that the owner of the car involved in the collision can use is claiming that they were not behind the wheel at the time of the crash. Other defenses include:

  • Not being aware that a collision occurred
  • The other driver became enraged making you uncomfortable in staying
  • The offending driver stopped in a safe spot that was farther away than they realized
  • Unable to stop immediately, but called the police after arriving somewhere safe

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

A car accident is a traumatic event that should not be made worse by charges issued after the fact. If you have been involved in a car accident and are now facing charges for fleeing the scene, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola who can make sure your rights are not compromised. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-402

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IL defense lawyerIt is against Illinois law to knowingly drive on tires that are old and worn out. The result of traveling on worn tires could be having a blowout and losing control of your vehicle. This is why driving with worn tires can be punishable as reckless driving.

The knowledge of the tires being worn out is what will convict a person of reckless driving. This is because the offending driver knew they were driving a vehicle that was unsafe, thus putting other drivers at risk of a crash.

How Do I Know if My Tires are Worn Out?

On average, a tire should be replaced every three or four years. If a driver does not remember when they changed their tires last, they can either refer to Illinois’ vehicle code regarding tire requirements or use the penny test.

If a driver inserts a penny into one of the grooves of the tire with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the tread does not cover Lincoln’s forehead, it is time to replace the tire. According to Illinois law, tires are considered “unsafe” if:

  • Any part of the ply or cords are exposed
  • The tread is cut or cracked enough to expose cords
  • The tire is bulging, knotted, or separated in places
  • Depth of tread grooving is less than 2/23 of an inch
  • The tire bears any markings which identify it as a tire not to be driven on the highway
  • The tire has been regrooved past the original depth

Illinois police officers have the right to stop any vehicles they believe should have their tires inspected. If the tires are found to be unsafe, the officer can issue a reckless driving citation.

Reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Punishments include up to one year in prison and fines of up to $2,500 not including court fees.

If a driver causes a collision after worn-out tires malfunction on the road, the charges could potentially be worse. If a victim is injured in a crash, the driver could face charges of vehicular assault. Even worse, if a victim is killed, the driver could face reckless homicide charges that - if convicted - lead to up to five years in jail.

The driver will also be responsible for compensating a victim for damages to their vehicle and medical bills for any injury sustained in a crash.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

The best defense an alleged reckless driver could use when facing charges is to hire a lawyer to represent them in court. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola have experience defending drivers from a variety of traffic charges. To schedule an appointment with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.safemotorist.com/Illinois/Vehicles/tires.aspx

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

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IL defense lawyerDrivers should always be aware of the legal speed limit when they are driving. Illinois roadways are usually thorough about posting speed limit signs to make drivers aware of what speed they should not exceed.

Simple speeding is a traffic violation that is punished with a ticket to be paid, but aggravated speeding comes with heavier penalties because it is a more serious crime. It is an act that puts the driver and others around them in danger of a collision; therefore, it is possible to serve a jail term after a conviction of aggravated speeding.

Simple Speeding Versus Aggravated Speeding

Illinois law says that aggravated speeding is when a driver operates their vehicle in excess of 26 miles per hour over the legal limit. Everything lower than that - but still over the speed limit - is considered simple speeding.

Police officers patrol and enforce the speed limits with a handheld radar gun which uses wind speeds to measure the rate of a vehicle’s speed. Depending on the miles per hour over the limit, the traffic citation will be costly:

  • Speeding not more than 20 miles per hour over the limit is punished with a fine of $120
  • Speeding over 20 miles per hour, but less than 26 miles per hour over the limit is punished with a fine of $140
  • Speeding at 26-34 miles per hour over the limit is considered a Class B misdemeanor act of aggravated speeding.
  • Speeding over 35 miles per hour more than the limit is considered a Class A misdemeanor act of aggravated speeding

Both misdemeanor aggravated speeding violations come with prison time - up to six months for a Class B misdemeanor and up to one year for a Class A misdemeanor. Fines also become heavier against aggravated speeding violators - up to $1,500 for a Class B misdemeanor and up to $2,500 for a Class A misdemeanor.

Speeding penalties with a school or a construction zone will be elevated as well. Illinois has a minimum fine of $150 for speeding in a school zone and a minimum fine of $250 for speeding within a construction zone.

Contact an Elgin, IL Aggravated Speeding Attorney

Depending on the violation, a driver could also possibly lose their driving privileges as a result of aggravated speeding. It is best to have a lawyer at your side when defending your rights in court. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola have experience defending against a variety of traffic violations. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/speedlimitenf.cfm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-601.5.htm

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IL traffic lawyerIn 2019, the Illinois State Police issued 5,860 tickets for violators of Scott’s Law. This law protects law enforcement officials during traffic stops by requiring drivers to give enough room when they see stopped police vehicles on the road.

Of the violations in 2019, the ISP reported that 27 police cruisers were struck and three officers were killed. In an attempt to protect Illinois officers, the state government amended Scott’s Law so that punishments are more costly to violators.

How Has Scott’s Law Changed?

Scott’s Law was passed in 2002 to protect Illinois law enforcement officers. This past year, there were more violations than in 2016, 2017, and 2018 combined.

Violators of Scott’s Law used to be fined $100 for first offenses, but this year, fines have been doubled to $250. Subsequent offenses will cost no less than $750. Additionally, each violation of Scott’s Law will be punished with a $250 fine that will fund education of this law.

Lastly, drivers who injure or kill any during a violation of Scott’s Law will be charged with a Class 4 felony; punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison term of 1-3 years.

Scott’s Law is not the only traffic charge that was amended starting in 2020:

  • Speeding through a construction zone will now be punished with a fine of $25,000 - an increase from $10,000.
  • Disobeying traffic signals within a worksite will be punished with a fine of $100-$1,000. This is a new law that started at the first of the year.
  • Passing a stopped school bus with its stop sign extended will be punished by a fine of $300 - increased from $100 - for first offenses. Subsequent offenses are punished with a fine of $1,000 - increased from $500.

Other Roadway-Related Rule Changes

The state of Illinois added several other law changes to make the road safer:

  • The distracted driving law was made more specific by officially including watching and making YouTube videos illegal while driving.
  • Chicago-area interstates will have more video surveillance installed in order to make an investigation of roadway crimes easier.
  • Garage and public parking lot fees will increase - 6% daily and 9% monthly - and funds will go towards Governor J.B. Pritzker’s “Rebuild Illinois” infrastructure project.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

It is still early into the year and not everyone has adjusted to the new laws. If you are fighting traffic charges, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend against major fines. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic offense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-liststory-illinois-new-laws-2020-20191218-k3sjxat7mvgonbbbvyr7anlbja-list.html

https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Illinois-stiffens-penalties-for-Scotts-Law-violators-in-2020-566184421.html

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/illinois-doubling-scotts-law-fines-in-2020/63-d9f1e458-8707-4a81-b54b-44ee8cc7a5c1

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IL defense lawyerTemperatures are dropping which means icy weather is coming soon to the state of Illinois. This means the roads will start to become slick and drivers should adjust their habits to stay safe while traveling. The most common reason accidents happen on the road during winter is speeding when people do not realize they are driving on ice. If a car is traveling at a fast rate of speed and suddenly must stop, it can start to slide, potentially putting others at risk.

Under Illinois law, aggravated speeding is a misdemeanor traffic offense that is punishable with fines, loss of driving privileges and jail time. However, if a driver causes an accident due to their lack of safety on the road, they could also face reckless driving charges, pay compensation to injured victims, or face charges of vehicular homicide if someone is killed.

What Is Aggravated Speeding?

All roads have their own limit to how fast a person can drive. Simple speeding is punished with a traffic ticket and a certain monetary fine:

  • 1-20 mph over the limit: $120 fine
  • 21-25 mph over the limit: $140 fine
  • 26-34 mph over the limit: Class B misdemeanor punishable with $1,500 fine and six months in jail

Aggravated speeding is whenever a driver is traveling 35 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. This charge is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by a one-year jail term and fines of up to $2,500. Furthermore, a person convicted of aggravated speeding may also have their license suspended.

Other Ways to Keep the Roads Safe During Winter

There are several ways to stay safe when the roads are icy and some are the simple tips that should be followed every day: wear a seatbelt, do not drive distracted, do not drive tired, and do not drive drunk.

Other tips that help in bad conditions include:

  • Give snowplows plenty of room because they may not be able to see you
  • Do not use a cruise control
  • Beware of black ice; roads can appear clear, but black ice can still be present
  • Be careful around intersections, exit ramps, and hilly roads

Of course, during bad weather days, it is best to not travel unless absolutely necessary. If one must travel, prepare an emergency kit - complete with jumper cables, a shovel, a cell phone, blankets, and water - to have in the car in case anything happens.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

 

Unsafe driving during the winter months can cause many problems for yourself and for others on the road. If you are facing charges after causing a car accident, the lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defense and avoid harsh punishments. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.idot.illinois.gov/home/winter-driving-tips

https://www.isba.org/sections/trafficlaw/newsletter/2015/06/excessiveaggravatedspeeding

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