The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola

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Elgin IL texting and driving defense lawyerWhen you are behind the wheel, you are required to follow a multitude of different driving laws, and these are meant to protect the safety of everyone who uses the roads. Understanding these laws can not only reduce the chances of being involved in car accidents or other situations that put you or others in danger, but it can also help you avoid traffic violations. However, people often make mistakes, and you could find yourself being pulled over by a police officer and facing a traffic ticket for texting while driving or other violations. In these cases, you will want to understand exactly how Illinois law applies to your situation, including the penalties that may apply for a violation.

Illinois Law Regarding Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

In Illinois, drivers are prohibited from using “electronic communication devices” while operating a vehicle on a roadway. Electronic communication devices include cell phones, as well as other handheld or portable computers and GPS or navigation devices that are not integrated into a vehicle. Prohibited uses of these devices include making calls (except in hands-free mode), reading or sending text messages or emails, or watching or streaming videos.

Drivers are allowed to use cell phones in hands-free or voice-operated modes, including through the use of a headset, as long as they can make or answer a call by pressing a single button. Drivers are also allowed to use a phone to report an emergency situation and communicate with emergency personnel, and they can use electronic devices while parked on a road’s shoulder or when they are stopped because of obstructed traffic, as long as their vehicle is in neutral or park.

Use of an electronic communication device while driving is a moving violation that can result in points being added to a person’s driving record. If a person commits three or more moving violations in a single year, their driver’s license may be suspended. Fines for texting while driving or other prohibited uses of electronic devices are $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense.

A driver will face more serious charges if texting while driving leads to a serious car accident. If an accident causes someone to suffer great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement, a person may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, their license may be suspended for up to one year, and they will face a minimum $1,000 fine. If an accident results in someone’s death, a person may be charged with a Class 4 felony

Contact an Elgin Traffic Violation Attorney

Since texting while driving can result in dangerous accidents and serious injuries, this offense is taken very seriously, and drivers can face a variety of penalties that affect their license, their insurance rates, and their ability to continue driving. If you need help defending against these types of traffic violations, The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can help you understand your legal options, and we will work to protect your license and ensure that you can avoid serious penalties when possible. Contact a Kane County traffic ticket defense lawyer at 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K12-610.2

https://will.illinois.edu/legalissuesinthenews/program/new-texting-and-driving-laws-in-illinois

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Elgin IL CDL traffic violation defense attorneyIn Illinois, if you drive a truck or other commercial vehicle, you must possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in addition to a personal driver’s license. Both to earn your CDL and to keep your CDL, you need to meet higher standards than the average driver. The same goes for the laws that you must abide by, and as a result, many commercial driver’s license violations are not as easy to handle as a typical traffic violation. In fact, serious commercial driver’s license violations in Illinois like commercial driver’s license DUI, aggravated speeding, reckless driving, and even failure to report violations from other states can lead to not only driver’s license suspension but also much more serious penalties.

4 Serious Commercial Driver’s License Violations in Illinois

CDL violations are treated quite differently from civilian traffic violations, in large part because the vehicles involved are much more impactful if not driven safely and properly. Here is an overview of some of the most serious commercial driver’s license violations in Illinois:

  1. Commercial driver’s license DUI—A personal DUI is already a serious offense, but when you couple drunk driving with a big rig, you have a mistake that could more likely become a fatal error. The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for commercial drivers is more stringent, at .04 as opposed to .08 for personal drivers. In addition to traditional DUI penalties, a CDL DUI also includes one year of disqualification from having a CDL for the first offense and up to a lifetime of CDL disqualification for subsequent offenses. This means that the CDL DUI conviction could spell the end of your commercial driving career. In addition, a DUI in your personal vehicle can also result in the suspension of your CDL license.

  2. Aggravated speeding or reckless driving—Once again, if you are a commercial driver, odds are you are operating heavy machinery. With such heavy machinery, you cannot afford to speed or drive recklessly due to the increased likelihood of major harm to other drivers on the road. 

  3. Failure to report out-of-state violations—Even if you get cited for a CDL violation in another state, that does not mean that it did not happen. You must report all out-of-state convictions or suspensions to both the Secretary of State in Illinois and your employer within 30 days of the incident. It is against the law to do otherwise. If you neglect to report out-of-state violations, you might lose your driving privileges as a commercial driver.

  4. At-fault accidents or fleeing the scene of accidents—If you are a commercial driver, it is not only your responsibility to humanity but also your responsibility to your profession to stay on the scene of an accident. In addition, if you are the cause of an accident, especially one that results in severe injuries or fatalities, you may face serious charges.

Contact a Kane County Commercial Driver’s License Violations Defense Lawyer

The consequences of a conviction for a commercial driver’s license violation can have a major impact on your life and career. If you are facing charges, you should reach out to an Elgin, IL CDL violations attorney. To protect your CDL, call the skilled team from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://www.illinoisdriverslicensereinstatementlawyer.com/cdl-violations.html

https://www.isba.org/sections/trafficlaw/newsletter/2013/03/sixtipsforassistingthecommercialdri

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K6-514

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Elgin IL reckless driving defense attorneyWhile both aggravated speeding and reckless driving are more than minor traffic violations, they are still separate and different charges, each carrying with them relatively severe penalties. In some cases, the two can be compounded with other charges, making for an especially challenging case to manage and difficult punishments to handle.

What Is Aggravated Speeding?

Speeding may seem like a minor and oftentimes innocuous traffic violation, at least relative to other dangerous behaviors, but there are instances when speeding is not simply a minor infraction. As speed increases, it can become more and more dangerous, and excessive speeds can result in aggravated speeding charges under Illinois law.

According to state law, aggravated speeding occurs when the driver is speeding above the local limit by 26 miles per hour or more. In cases of 26 mph to 34 mph above the limit, the crime is considered a Class B misdemeanor by Illinois law, and in cases when the speeding is 35 mph or more above the speed limit, it is considered the more severe Class A misdemeanor. 

Depending on the severity of the aggravated speeding charge, offenders might face fines of up to $2,500, up to one year in county jail, and suspension of their drivers’ license. Aggravated speeding charges can also lead to higher car insurance rates, and even a permanent mark on the driver’s criminal record that may be ineligible for expungement.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is any driving that puts the safety of people or property at risk. In other words, according to Illinois law, it is the “willful disregard” for the public’s safety while driving. Many behaviors can be considered under this particular charge, including excessive speeding above the local limits, driving drunk, running a red light, tailgating other vehicles, weaving in and out of traffic, and texting while driving. Reckless driving is classified as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Penalties include up to $2,500 in fines and up to one year in county jail.

Can You Ever Be Charged with Both Reckless Driving and Aggravated Speeding?

Aggravated speeding and reckless driving are both very serious traffic crimes, and they are both treated as such; in fact, many times the two coincide and a driver will be charged with both. Since driving above 20 mph can be viewed as reckless driving and driving above 26 mph is considered aggravated speeding, then driving over 26 mph could result in a charge of both depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, such as an accident, an injury, or damage to property. 

Contact an Aurora IL Reckless Driving Lawyer

Whether you are facing aggravated speeding or reckless driving charges, or both, you will need an experienced Elgin IL aggravated speeding attorney to help guide you through the process and advocate for your fair treatment under the law. Call the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-601.5

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

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IL defense lawyerOf all the traffic violations you might face in Illinois, reckless driving is one of the most severe since it can lead to a Class A misdemeanor, requiring you to pay up to $2,500 in fines and to spend up to a whole year in jail. In addition, reckless driving charges might also include other charges, such as DUI. The purpose of laws like those surrounding reckless driving is to keep the roads safe for all motorists and pedestrians. So, what happens when you think you are keeping people safe by wearing a mask due to COVID-19 despite operating a motor vehicle? Doing this brings with it a host of problematic scenarios illustrated here.

Why Wearing a Mask While Driving Could Get You Pulled Over

As difficult as it might be to believe, people have gotten into car accidents while wearing masks as of late due to the pandemic. In many of those cases, the safety of the driver was the greatest concern as it seemed the mask might have triggered a health problem. But that does not mean that there is no possibility you might get pulled over for driving recklessly if you are wearing a mask. Here are some of the ways a mask can interfere with your driving and cause you to seemingly drive recklessly:

  • Obstruction of Vision—Medical experts agree that the placement of certain masks on the face can obstruct your vision, especially while driving. What is more, if you wear glasses, the lenses inside your frames could fog up, creating even more serious issues for your line of sight. And do not get other officials focused on public safety started on the subtle concerns of hanging that mask from your mirror, right in the center of your line of sight through the windshield. It could be an accident waiting to happen. Such obstructions are the equivalent of texting while driving in terms of how they can prevent you from keeping your eyes on the road.
  • Breathing Issues—If your mask is causing you to struggle to breathe, then you might lose consciousness or become lightheaded enough not to drive your vehicle properly. In many cases, this can be viewed by the arresting officer as the equivalent of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Aggravation of Other Medical Problems—If you already have a heart problem or another medical condition that causes breathing issues, then wearing a mask while driving can further aggravate your condition. Even the anxiety of wearing something on your face can force people to adapt their driving in reckless ways that make the road unsafe for other drivers—and even lead to serious complications for your own health.

For these reasons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you not wear a mask while driving. It could lead to an accident, and it could certainly cause you to be issued a traffic violation.

Contact a Kane County Traffic Violation Attorney

Mask or no mask, if you are trying to deal with a traffic violation, you should give an Aurora IL reckless driving lawyer a call at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. The talented team at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can guide you through the charges and give you the representation you need to overcome that traffic violation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-nj-driver-crashes-care-wearing-coronavirus-mask-20200424-xatumnzsrraynfftvlx2gy4yje-story.html

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/investigations/nbc-7-responds/why-you-shouldnt-hang-masks-from-your-cars-mirror/2378771/

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IL defense lawyerConstruction zone tickets are not just any usual traffic violation ticket; since these types of traffic violations involve the safety of construction workers, they often carry with them steeper penalties and fines. However, getting one of these tickets does not mean you must accept the consequences without question or litigation. There might have been legitimate reasons why you were unable to follow the rules of the construction zone, or maybe the government itself did not properly handle administering the penalties. No matter what your circumstances, here are some of the most common strategies for fighting a construction zone ticket.

Three Common Strategies for Fighting a Construction Zone Ticket

With the right lawyer, strategies like these can be used to successfully defend you against a construction zone ticket.

Prove the Government Did Not Properly Handle Administration of the Penalty: If for some reason the ticketing process did not go as smoothly as it usually does, the authorities might not have handled it correctly. In those cases, much like criminal defense cases, procedural errors can help you defeat these tickets. Examples of the authorities’ failure to comply with their own rules of ticketing include:

  • Neglecting to send the ticket within a specified amount of time (in most cases, 14 days according to the law)
  • Camera functionality issues that did not adequately and fairly capture the violation
  • Flawed construction zone worker testimony or records concerning the case

Establish an Argument About Difficult Driving Conditions: Inclement weather always impacts driving in some way, especially highway driving. In this sense, it is not always entirely your fault for breaking the zone’s rules. For instance, you might have:

  • Missed the signs about the construction zones and the possible penalties due to snow covering them
  • Been unable to see that it was a construction zone due to dense fog
  • Slid on an icy patch that caused your car to veer or speed up beyond the guidelines of the construction zone

Provide Evidence of Sign Legibility Issues: Your lawyer might be able to prove that the signs were not clearly marked, making it difficult for you to be made aware of the construction zone. Possible reasons for the lack of clarity on the sign might include:

  • Graffiti or other vandalism that conceals the messages on the signs or markings on the road
  • As mentioned earlier, weather conditions that also cover the notices about the zone
  • Small print or otherwise unclear markings on the signs due to manufacturer error

Contact an Elgin, IL, Traffic Ticket Attorney

Contact a Kane County construction zone ticket lawyer by calling 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. With more than 20 years of legal experience, the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can offer you key insights and strategies that will assist you in fighting that construction zone ticket and not having to worry about paying hefty fines or dealing with stiff penalties.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.irtba.org/Safety

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