Traffic Violation Archives - Chicago Criminal Defense Blog
The red light camera on the corner of Van Buren and Western, which is not far from our Chicago office, caught more than 10,000 drivers in just one year! The red light camera program has been put under fire recently, but a traffic ticket is still a traffic ticket.
Fines are a daily occurrence in Arlington Heights and Chicago. As Chicago Traffic Violation Lawyers, we want to help. Check out the five best reasons to hire a lawyer to fight traffic tickets.
You Have the Right
The Constitution enshrines your right to the due process of law. This means that the government must operate within the law, and provide fair procedures. Legally speaking, you have a right to defend yourself from accusations placed against you. As an American citizen, you should fight for your rights.
You Can Get the Ticket Reduced
The State of Illinois allows citizens to request a court hearing. In these hearings, you may ask your judge to have your fine reduced. In addition, you can sometimes discuss a monthly payment plan, or request an alternative punishment like community service. When you get your ticket, there often are instructions for this on the back.
You Can Get the Ticket Thrown Out
If you think you have received a ticket unfairly, you can fight to have it thrown out. A little bit of preparation can go a long way. There are many different ways that can help improve your chances for a dismissal.
Although law enforcement officers are not required to show the method used to detect speeding, there are often techniques by which a good traffic lawyer can challenge the technology, whether it involves radar, laser or some other method. This is due to the fact that speeding tickets often rely on someone’s perception. That perception could be false.
If the law enforcement officer used radar, it is entirely possible that the radar was calibrated incorrectly, or the device is inaccurate. Some officers are not trained on how to use these devices, and may be reading it incorrectly. Finally, many different factors, such as water in the air or other cars in the area, may make the reading incorrect.
If your lawyer successfully uses these defenses, the ticket may be dismissed without further punishment. You will only have to pay your lawyer.
Insurance Will Go Up if You Do Not
Many people think that they can get away with just paying whatever the cost of the ticket is. But while it’s true that they may save on the cost of an attorney, there are other costs associated with a violation. Even if you are a first-time offender, you may wind up paying up to $1,000 in higher insurance premiums over the course of several years.
You Can Maintain Your Driving Privileges
If you accumulate too many traffic tickets over time, your driver’s license may become suspended or revoked. People who are found guilty over and over may therefore have a hard time keeping their license. But if you have multiple traffic tickets thrown out or if you receive court supervision, your driving record will look better.
Mitchell Sexner & Associates LLC are experienced Chicago traffic violation lawyers. Call us today at (800) 996-4824.
Drivers in Illinois can have their licenses revoked for a wide variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is DUI. After your license has been revoked, you may feel ostracized, frustrated, and unable to do much.
If you are dealing with a license revocation in Chicago, Sexner & Associates LLC can help. Check out our guide to learn what you can do after your license has been revoked.
Understanding Your Revocation
The state revoking or suspending your license are two different actions, though they may seem similar at first. A suspension means that you will eventually have your driving rights returned. A revocation is ‘indefinite’. This means that there is no formal end to your revocation.
You are not automatically granted your driving rights back, but that does not mean that you will never drive again. After a certain period of time, you become eligible for reinstatement. You have to appear before the Secretary of State of Illinois to petition for your driving privileges back.
The Next Steps
If you are going it alone, you should understand that it is an uphill battle. A formal hearing has a very low rate for a successful appeal. Should your license get revoked, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer. They have the know-how to help you get through your case successfully.
If you have only committed one offense, then you may be eligible for an informal hearing. Compared to a formal hearing, this is often a relatively quicker and easier procedure, but you should not rely on this being the case.
If your driver’s license was revoked for a non-fatal offense, a single DUI, or multiple minor moving violations, you may be eligible for an informal hearing. At this hearing, you may be granted a restricted driving permit or get your license reinstated completely.
When you have committed more than one serious offense, you carry a massive burden of proof. The evaluators are always very skeptical, and there are many hoops to jump through. You will need to show, at the very least, that you have completed an alcohol evaluation, when the cause of the revocation is alcohol or drug related.
In addition, you must show that you are not dependent on alcohol or drugs. One of the ways you can show this is through participation in groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
After you have received your hearing request and have made the necessary fee payment, you will be mailed a Notice of Hearing with your scheduled hearing date. If you do not speak English, you are responsible for bringing your own interpreter. Those who are hearing impaired can request that the Secretary of State provide a sign language interpreter.
What Happens If I Drive with a Revoked License?
If you drive on a revoked license, you will greatly reduce any chance of getting your license reinstated. The Secretary of State will not look kindly upon this.
When someone drives while their driver’s license is revoked, the exact punishment depends on the crime. According to Illinois law, it is usually a Class A misdemeanor to drive while your license is revoked, which can land you up to a year in jail. You may also see a fine of up to $2,500. If your license has been revoked due to reckless homicide or for any number of other reasons and you continue to drive, you may be charged with a Class 4 or even higher felony. Consequences for this are far more severe.
We do not recommend driving with a revoked license. It can land you in serious legal trouble.
When you need assistance with your license revocation in Chicago, we can help. Sexner & Associates LLC has an experienced, aggressive, and resourceful team that is ready to fight for you. Call us today at (800) 996-4824.
In recent years, much controversy has occurred over encounters between law enforcement and civilians during traffic stops. The officers expect compliance with their requests and their demands, but sometimes civilians may not comply as readily as the officers would like. Tempers can flare and a routine stop can become elevated into a more serious encounter. People have been hurt or even killed in some of these encounters gone wrong.
In order to address this growing problem, our Illinois Legislature passed a new law, which essentially requires all driver’s education programs, whether in a public school, private school, or a driver’s education company (for driver’s under 18 years of age) to include to address these issues, in Chicago and across Illinois. In their courses of study, they now need to include instruction concerning police procedures during traffic stops, including a demonstration of the proper actions to take, and how to properly interact with police during a traffic stop. This law is to take effect during the 2017-2018 school year for public and private schools, and June 30, 2017 for driver’s education schools when teaching someone under the age of 18.
Whenever anyone is operating a bicycle on a state highway (which means any publicly maintained roadway, street, avenue, etc.), it has always been the law that the Rules of the Road, as they apply to automobiles, also apply equally to bicycles and their operators. But apparently, our legislature felt that the law needed clarification with respect to right of way issues as detailed in Article IX of the Vehicle Code, chapter 625 ILCS 5/9-101. In an amendment to Section 11-1502 of the vehicle code, which originally stated that the vehicle rules of the road already apply equally to bicycles, the legislature added some additional language. It is intended to remind us all that at an intersection, crosswalk, traffic merge, etc., the rules that require one to yield, or that grant one vehicle the right of way over another, apply equally to bicyclists as they do to motorists.
Years ago, an emergency responder was tragically killed when a driver crashed into him while he was responding to a roadside emergency. The result is known as “Scott’s Law,” and it requires that, whenever an emergency vehicle has its hazard warning lights activated, be they blue, red or amber, upon any highway with at least four lanes of traffic, of which no less than two go in the direction of the hazard vehicle, that any approaching vehicles must either move over to a non-adjacent lane, or greatly reduce speed to pass with caution. Violations of this ordinance are considered a business offense punishable by a fine of $100.00 up to $10,000.00, and can result in suspension of driving privileges upon a conviction.
Currently, there are three classes of speeding offenses in Chicago and across Illinois:
- Petty offenses
- Class B misdemeanors
- Class A misdemeanors.
Convictions for speeding offenses may have serious consequences on a person’s life and impact their ability to obtain driving privileges in the future. Fines and costs for speeding offenses can be quite high and can cause severe financial hardship as well.
Recently, a local man, previously convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs on two occasions, was arrested for a third such offense after he allegedly drove the wrong way down a one way street directly in front of a marked police cruiser. Apparently, he had been coming from a family Thanksgiving dinner, where he perhaps may have had a little too much to drink, when he committed the remarkable traffic move right in the presence of police officers.
Chicago’s red light ticketing camera program has received a lot of bad press over the years. This controversial program has been linked to bribery, unfair ticketing, and overall mismanagement. Even the original vendor is accused of obtaining the contracts fraudulently and is facing a lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago over their operation of the program.
But in a recent decision that questioned the constitutionality of the program, a judge ruled that the program is in fact constitutional. The hope for the lawsuit was that it would force an end to the program and reimburse those who paid tickets received in relation to the program, but the class action lawsuit was dismissed with the judge ruling that the City of Chicago acted within its powers to establish the program. Furthermore, in supporting her decision, the judge claimed that the state legislature had approved the red light camera program in 2006, and none of the plaintiffs in the case had even received any red light tickets before that time. Read the rest »