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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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IL defense lawyerThe road is dangerous enough on its own, but when driving through a construction zone, there are many other obstacles to be aware of. Therefore, instead of speeding up, drivers are expected to slow down and be extra alert in case of holes in the road, barricades, and workers doing their jobs.

Speeding within a construction zone is a traffic violation and can be considered reckless driving. This is because a driver who is traveling too fast through a work zone is putting themselves, other drivers, and construction workers at risk of injury or death.

Punishments can be as simple as a traffic ticket for speeding in a construction zone or as serious as facing felony reckless homicide penalties.

Rules of Construction Zones

The Illinois Department of Transportation reported that from 2010-14 there were 4,500 motor vehicle crashes within construction zones. Of that number, 1,100 people were injured and 27 were killed.

The two most common reasons for these collisions are distracted drivers and speeding. Whether there are workers present or not, a car can be pulled over for speeding and be issued a ticket. An appearance in court is mandatory after a violation as well as paying a fine:

  • $375 for first offenders
  • $1,000 for second and subsequent offenders

If a driver commits two speeding offenses within a construction zone in the span of two years, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend the driver’s license for a period of 90 days.

Enforcement in Construction Zones

Of course, there can be police officers posted at construction zones to catch people speeding. There are also photo speed enforcement devices that can be set up in construction zones when no police officers are physically present, but workers are.

These devices capture images of the speeding vehicle including license plates and the rate of speed the car is traveling. Then, authorities have 14 days to mail the ticket or else the driver cannot be charged for the crime.

Severe Results from Speeding in Construction Zones

If a driver is traveling too fast through a work zone, they are less likely to see workers who are doing their jobs. Often, construction zones are full of large equipment that is hard to see around and so motorists should slow down in case a worker suddenly appears from behind a large object.

If a worker is hit and killed by a motorist, that driver can face a Class 2 felony charge of reckless homicide. This punishment is a prison term of 3-14 years.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violation Attorney

Being issued a speeding ticket within a construction zone does not mean the driver will automatically have to pay the fine. Drivers can appear in court with a knowledgeable attorney who can build a defense. The lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can make sure the ticket was not issued unlawfully or that the driver’s right were being violated in any way during the traffic stop. To schedule an appointment with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.idot.illinois.gov/assets/uploads/files/travel-information/pamphlets-&-brochures/workzone%20il%20fact%20sheet.pdf

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b2ap3_thumbnail_stop.jpgOver the years, drivers have become more and more aggressive on the road. A lot of drivers push the speed limits; in a hurry to get where they are going. Others have gotten into the habit of running red lights or not stopping at stop signs. In a recent study by AAA, 939 people were killed nationwide as a result of drivers failing to stop at intersections that require them to stop for other cars or pedestrians. Because of this statistic, drivers who fail to stop could potentially be charged with reckless driving or even reckless homicide in cases where a person was killed.

Why It Is Important to Obey Stop Signs/Lights

The amount of people who travel in cars has also increased year after year, making the roadways a busy place. It is important that everyone obey the rules of the road to avoid collisions that could potentially involve many cars.

In Illinois, drivers are required to come to a complete stop at a red light or a stop sign. If at a light, drivers must remain stationary until the light turns green. At a stop sign, drivers must yield to the right-of-way rule which states that whoever stops at their stop sign first can cross the intersection first. Drivers turning left usually have to wait until other drivers make their turns before they make theirs.

Pedestrians always have the right-of-way at intersections that are marked with stop signs. All drivers must stop when they see pedestrians crossing their side of the road.

The exception to red light stops is for people who are making a right turn at a light. Drivers must still stop before making their turn in order to check on-coming traffic. When it is safe - and there are no pedestrians crossing - drivers can make their right turns.

Otherwise, those who drive through a red light will:

  • Be fined $120 for a traffic violation
  • Be fined $100 if caught by an automatic traffic camera
  • Have 20 demerit points added to their driving record

Reckless Driving Punishments

Illinois law says that reckless driving is the operation of a motor vehicle in a way that puts others on the road in danger. Driving through red lights or stop signs falls under this definition because other drivers or pedestrians are not prepared for someone to continue through an intersection when there is a signal to stop.

Reckless driving is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois with punishments including:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines of up to $2,500 and court fees
  • Suspension of license if a driver already has two strikes on their record

Worse penalties come if a person is killed by a driver running a stop signal. The driver will face reckless homicide charges; a Class 3 felony in Illinois punishable by 3-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Attorney

Sometimes people think they have more time to get through an intersection before the light turns red or they can just ignore the stop sign because there is no one else at the intersection. Or they could just miss the stop sign completely if they are on an unfamiliar road. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can protect you from the more severe penalties to keep your driving record clean. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County reckless driving lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh%2E+11&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=109500000&SeqEnd=134100000

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

https://newsroom.aaa.com/2019/08/red-light-running-deaths-hit-10-year-high/

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Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense attorneyA recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that on a national scale, falling asleep behind the wheel of a car has caused 72,000 crashes - 44,000 injuries and up to 6,000 deaths. Drivers are expected to keep control of their vehicles at all times, so, in Illinois, if someone falls asleep at the wheel, they can at least be issued a traffic ticket. In cases where another person was hurt or killed by a drowsy driver, the offender will face felony charges.

Penalties that Result from Drowsy Driving

It is not safe to drive when you are tired. Drivers who do not only put themselves at risk, but also endangers the lives of others on the road or pedestrians walking along the side of the road.

This is why anyone who causes an accident while driving sleepily will face reckless driving penalties which in most cases means a Class A misdemeanor. There are some exceptions which make the charges felony offenses:

  • Class 4 felony charges are given to those who drive recklessly in a school zone which causes bodily harm to a child and/or crossing guard.
  • Class 3 felony charges are given to those who drive recklessly in a school zone which permanently disables or disfigures a child and/or crossing guard.

Both charges consist of heavy fines of up to $25,000 and jail time ( one to three years for Class 4 felony and two to five years for Class 3 felony).

Illinois law says that drivers could also face charges of reckless homicide if they unintentionally cause the death of another person. Reckless homicide is a Class 3 felony unless:

  • The driver falls asleep in a school zone and hits a child and/or crossing guard. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable with a prison term of three to14 years.
  • The driver falls asleep in a school zone and kills two or more people. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable with a prison term of six to 28 years.
  • The driver fails to obey a police officer or traffic control worker in a construction zone. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable by a prison term of three to 14 years.
  • The driver fails to obey a police officer or traffic control working in a construction zone and kills two or more people. This offense will e a Class 2 felony punishable by a prison term of  six to 28 years.

How to Avoid a Drowsy Driving Accident

Drivers should be aware of their conditions before getting behind the wheel of a car. If someone feels fatigued in any way, they should not drive. Signs to watch out for are:

  • Excessive yawning
  • Blinking frequently
  • Inability to remember events after they have happened
  • Drooping eyelids

Anyone experiencing tired feelings should let someone more awake drive. Or, that person could take a nap before preparing to drive wherever they are going.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Falling asleep while driving is something that could happen to anyone, but no one should have to face the consequences of what happens after. Especially not alone. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defensive strategy to protect offenders from a negative outcome in court. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K9-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowsydriving/index.html

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