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Could I Face Criminal Charges for Violating the Move Over Law in Illinois?

 Posted on April 11, 2023 in Traffic violations

IL defense lawyerThere is an ongoing effort in Illinois to better educate drivers about navigating emergency zones. Just last month, a semi-truck blew through a construction zone and plowed into the back of an Illinois State Trooper’s car. There are an increasing number of crashes involving Scott’s law violations commonly referred to as the “Move over Law,” which is designed to protect first responders and other emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. Depending on the circumstances of this traffic violation it could be considered a criminal offense.

What Constitutes an Authorized Emergency Vehicle?

Under Scott’s Law, when other cars approach a stationary police or emergency vehicle on the side of the road that has its emergency lights on, other vehicles must proceed with caution. The law has evolved and requires that motorists move over when they are approaching any disabled vehicle with its hazard lights on. Vehicles that are commonly classified as authorized emergency vehicles include the following:

  • Police vehicle
  • Ambulance
  • Fire station vehicles
  • Tow truck
  • Pound vehicle
  • Maintenance vehicles
  • Construction vehicles
  • Municipal vehicles


Under Scott’s Law, drivers who fail to drive with care around emergency vehicles when emergency lights or disabled vehicles have their flashing lights on can be prosecuted. Penalties vary depending on whether or not a property is damaged or worse if someone is injured or killed because you failed to move over. In such cases, you could be facing criminal charges. Here are some of the legal repercussions for violating the “Move over Law:”

  • A conviction for violating Scott’s law that leads to personal injury or death is punishable by one to three years behind bars.
  • Causing damage to another vehicle could lead to one year in jail and you could lose your driver’s license for three months to a year.
  • The driver’s license will be suspended for a longer period of time if the driver caused injury or death.
  • First-time offenders could see a fine of $250 up to $10,000 or more.
  • For second-time offenders, the fine is $750 up to $10,000 or more.

Contact an Elgin, IL, Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are caught violating Scott’s law and it leads to someone’s injuries or death you need an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney who can help you minimize the legal consequences. At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we will discuss your case and give you an honest assessment. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.


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