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traffic stop, Elgin traffic violations lawyerMost adults can remember the feeling of independence that accompanied getting their driver’s license for the first time. On the other hand, most can also remember the nearly overwhelming fear that took over when they were pulled over by police for the first time. Getting stopped for a suspected traffic violation is intimidating for many drivers, including those who have been driving for decades. Younger drivers, however, often experience even more stress when they are pulled over, leading to confusing and potentially dangerous situations. Fortunately, lawmakers in Illinois have taken steps to prepare young drivers on how to handle being stopped by the police.

Helping Young Drivers Learn

Around this time last year, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bipartisan measure that requires all driver’s education classes in the state to include a section on how to behave during a traffic stop. The bill’s timing coincided with a number of horrific, headline-making examples of traffic stops that escalated and spiraled out of control—some of them resulting in tragedy. The new law went into effect on January 1, 2017, and affects driver’s education classes at public schools, private schools, and private training programs.

In many such classes, instructors ask a police officer to come in and talk to the students about traffic stops. The idea is to give drivers insight into concerns that the officer will have during the stop—something many young drivers may never have considered on their own. With a new perspective, new drivers will be better prepared if and when that first stop happens.

Quick Tips

It would be easy to list pages and pages of advice on how to handle a traffic stop, but the most important tips can be quickly summarized. If you are pulled over for a possible traffic violation:

  • Be polite and cooperative. Arguing with the officer is not going to get you anywhere. If you disagree with the officer, you can state your disagreement reasonably and politely, but do not expect the officer to change his or her mind about a ticket;
  • Keep your hands visible and move slowly. During a traffic stop, a police officer is prepared for just about anything and may be a little on edge. If you need to move to get your license or insurance card, tell the officer where it is and ask for permission to retrieve it. Moving deliberately will keep you and the officer much safer; and
  • Address any problems later. If you believe the officer conducted an illegal stop or issued a ticket for something you did not do, you will have the chance to contest the ticket later. Your best option is to allow the stop to conclude as quickly as possible, even if it means allowing the officer to do something you know is not right. Calling him or her out on it during the stop is only likely to make things worse.

If the traffic stop results in a citation that you believe is unfair or inappropriate, your next step should be to contact an experienced Kane County traffic violations attorney. We will review your case and help you explore your available options. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.illinoishomepage.net/news/capitol-news/drivers-ed-classes-could-include-traffic-stop-training/509952242

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-drivers-ed-police-stops-illinois-law-met-20160906-story.html

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Posted on in Traffic violations

CDL, Kane County traffic violations attorneyCommercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders go through a difficult process to obtain their licensure. Such drivers are held to a higher standard within the community, both on and off the clock. Whether in a company vehicle or a personal vehicle, their attention to their driving must be impeccable at the risk of losing their license, jeopardizing both their employment and their future. What are some of the top mistakes made by CDL holders that can result in traffic violations and put their licensure in danger?

Attempting a Difficult Parking Spot to Avoid the Extra Walk

Did you know that most trucking accidents occur at truck stops? Some of these do involve truckers trying to pull into a closer and tougher parking spot than utilizing the ample space often available a few feet away. Large trucks do not have a small turning radius, and because of this, you should allow yourself the proper room for maneuverability to avoid a collision. While one accident may not lose your licensure, several just might. Remember that truck and trailer often move on different tracks, and the costs of repairing someone else’s vehicle may be upwards of $15,000 depending on the amount of damage.

Taking Downhills Too Fast

This mistake is one that even seasoned truckers make on occasion. Between the weight of the truck and load and the pitch of the downhill slope, vehicles become fast-moving projectiles. Luckily, many roads prone to this issue are equipped with runaway truck ramps. However, it helps to remember that it is better to go too slow than too fast in the beginning because you can always upshift, but never downshift in a slope. Not only can this cause an accident, failing to maintain a proper speed for the road conditions can result in a citation.

Failure to Maintain Proper Following Distance

Much of this also has to do with other drivers on the road cutting off truck drivers, but it is the responsibility of the driver then to back off to maintain a reasonable stopping distance. Large 18-wheelers have the ability to haul tens of thousands of pounds, not to mention the weight of the steel truck as well. Drivers must give themselves plenty of room to stop, and it is important to be aware of open spaces at all times in case you need an escape route to avoid catastrophe or a ticket.

Improper Vehicle Maintenance

Part of operating any vehicle is to make sure that the equipment is properly cared for and is in safe operating order before every trip. During an unexpected inspection, a citation may be issued for faulty equipment. Additionally, a tire blowout can cause a disaster on the roadways. Everything from the engine to the tires and the load being carried must be in proper order to ensure that your truck is not the reason for an accident.

An Attorney Can Help

You of all people understand how much your livelihood depends on your licensure. Dependant on your company policies and regulations of drivers, one accident or citation may put your career at risk. If you have received a citation against your CDL, contact an experienced Elgin CDL violations defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

https://www.truckinfo.net/trucking/stats.htm

https://www.truckdrivingjobs.com/faq/truck-driving-accidents.html

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/drivers_license/CDL/cdl.html

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Posted on in Traffic violations

fleeing, Elgin criminal defense attorneyFleeing from a police officer is one of the most serious traffic offenses in Illinois. If a police officer tries to pull you over but you do not cooperate, you could face jail time and suspension of your driver’s license, as well as a permanent mark on your criminal record.

Fleeing and Eluding

To convict a person of fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, the prosecution must show three things:

  • That the offender was driving a motor vehicle;
  • That the police officer gave the driver a visual or audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop; and
  • That the driver willfully failed to stop, increased speed, extinguished the car’s lights, or otherwise fled.

Willfully means that the prosecution must show that the fleeing was purposeful. If the driver fled or eluded the officer unintentionally, he or she cannot be convicted.

Additionally, the police officer must be in uniform. If the office is in a vehicle—marked or unmarked—he or she must use the oscillating lights and, if appropriate, the siren, because drivers sometimes may not always see the police car behind them.

Fleeing and eluding is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, up to two years of probation, and a fine of up to $2,500. Additionally, the Secretary of State will suspend an offender’s driver’s license for up to six months. For a second offense, the license will be suspended for up to one year.

A third conviction for fleeing and eluding is a Class 4 felony, carrying penalties of one to three years in prison, up to 30 months of probation, and fine of up to $25,000.

Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding

Aggravated fleeing and eluding is a felony offense. It is committed when a driver commits fleeing and eluding, plus:

  • The driver is going at least 21 miles per hour over the posted speed limit;
  • The driver causes bodily injury to any person;
  • The driver causes over $300 in property damage;
  • The offense involves disobeying two or more official traffic control devices (e.g. a stop light or stop sign); or
  • The offense involves concealment or alteration of the vehicle’s license plate.

Aggravated fleeing is a Class 4 felony, and the offender’s license will be revoked. Additionally, a conviction may result in the forfeiture of the vehicle used in the offense. A second or subsequent offense is a Class 3 felony, which substantially increases the possible penalties.

If you have been charged with fleeing and eluding or any other traffic violation, contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney right away. Call The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/CircuitCourt/CriminalJuryInstructions/CRIM%2023.00.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-204

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-204.1

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Posted on in Traffic violations

traffic, Kane County traffic violations attorneyOver the last several years, the issue of traffic cameras has been a topic of debate throughout the Chicago region. There have been questions about the accuracy and validity of tickets issued by the automated systems as well as concerns regarding the due process afforded those who receive citations. While the discussion about red-light and speed-cameras continues in Northern Illinois, other cities around the country have begun using mobile traffic cameras installed on municipal vehicles. Mobile traffic enforcement cameras are meant to keep the streets and roadways safer, but, as an example from New Orleans shows, they can sometimes have the opposite effect.

New Program, New Problems

According to reports, the city of New Orleans began using mobile traffic enforcement cameras just a few weeks ago. The cameras are mounted on vehicles that are generally parked at a particular location for periods of time. City officials say that the mobile cameras are a temporary measure and will be primarily used at sites scheduled to have permanent cameras installed at a later date. As of now, five such cameras have been put into service, with five more expected later this year.

Earlier this week, however, one such vehicle was parked on a city sidewalk as it recorded the passing traffic. Bystanders were reportedly very amused when the police arrived and ticketed the car. "It was just funny," said one witness. "I mean, one agency ticketing another agency? It’s not something you see every day."

The city claimed that the vehicles are permitted park at any location to deter illegal behavior, but many in the community are not convinced. Following the incident, several local attorneys filed a lawsuit against the city on the basis that the program has been illegally implemented. The lawyers suggest that instead of promoting public safety, the illegally parked vehicle was presenting dangers, including obstructing the view of drivers attempting to pull out of an adjacent parking lot.

Get Help With Your Traffic Citation

While our region does not have mobile traffic enforcement cameras in service as of now, there are many other ways to receive a citation. If you have been issued a ticket for any type of traffic offense, we can help you explore your options. Pleading guilty and immediately paying the fine are not always in your best interest. Contact an experienced Elgin traffic violations attorney today to discuss your case. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

Sources:

http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/judge-red-light-speed-cam-tickets-void-city-violated-due-process/

http://www.wwltv.com/news/local/citys-mobile-traffic-camera-car-gets-cited-for-violation/386849580

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traffic stop, Elgin traffic violations attorneyBeing pulled over by police is a stressful experience for anyone, under any circumstances. The event can be especially nerve-wracking for young drivers who are often uninformed and unprepared to handle the situation. Young drivers are frequently pulled over by law enforcement on the roadways due to careless, distracted driving behaviors, such as texting and talking on the phone or interacting with other passengers. A traffic stop can quickly take a turn for the worst if the teen handles the situation poorly, which is why it is so important for every young driver to have a firm understanding of what to do when an officer directs them to the side of the road.

New Illinois Law Looks to Educate Teen Drivers

Whatever the reason for being pulled over, preventing an already tense situation from escalating is the number one concern for everyone involved. Many young drivers do not know how to act , highlighting the ongoing need to inform drivers about the proper way to handle a pull-over incident. Illinois lawmakers recently passed a measure that mandates that all driver’s education classes include a section on traffic stops for this very reason. The goal behind the law is to show teens the best way to respond and to keep problems during the interaction with police to a minimum.

The Basics

One of the best ways teens can ensure a pull-over interaction does not take an ugly turn is to observe a few simple steps when approached by an officer. Drivers should remain calm and keep their hands visible - preferably on the wheel. Many teens nervously rummage for their wallet or other identifying information as the officer approaches the vehicle, but searching through a bag or purse can actually send a red flag to the officer. Most importantly, the driver should cooperate with the officer’s requests. It is crucial to remain attentive, respectful, and cooperative throughout the entire interaction, as any argumentative behavior or actions that challenge or resist an officer’s direction will only make matters worse.

Should your teen find themselves in a difficult situation when pulled over by authorities, the next step is to consult with a knowledgeable traffic violations attorney in Elgin as soon as possible. Call The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-drivers-ed-police-stops-illinois-law-met-20160906-story.html

http://abc7chicago.com/news/new-law-requires-students-to-learn-how-to-handle-being-pulled-over-by-police/1461899/

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