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traffic stop, Skokie criminal defense attorneyThe U.S. Constitution gives all of us a number of rights that we tend to take for granted. One of the most important rights is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement has to have a reason before they stop you in your car.

Legal Requirements to Make a Traffic Stop

A law enforcement officer must have a reason for pulling you over. The law requires that the police have probable cause to believe that you have violated the law. Probable cause means the police have to have more of a reason than past experience or a gut feeling when pulling someone over.

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reckless driving, aggravated speeding, Illinois criminal defense attorneyEveryone gets speeding tickets once in a while. There are myriad of reasons for it—and while it sometimes may be possible to “talk yourself out of a ticket” with Illinois police officers, if you are pulled over for aggravated speeding, the chance of getting a ticket, and a hefty one, increases exponentially. While a normal speeding ticket may only result in supervision as a sentencing option, if the speed at which you were driving can be categorized as aggravated speeding, Illinois state law allows for a misdemeanor conviction. This is true whether you are found guilty in court or whether you enter a guilty plea for the speeding offense.

So what classifies as aggravated speeding in Illinois? If you are found to be going more than 26 miles over the posted speed limit—regardless of the reason, even if it is a qualifiable emergency—you are subject to an aggravated speeding charge. This charge will stay on your driving record for up to seven years.

The effects of aggravated speeding are not only legal in nature. A person guilty of the charge will likely have a severe effect on his driver’s record and insurance rates. Insurance rates, of course, increase significantly when a person is found guilty of so-called normal speeding. By some estimates, the national average cost of car insurance increases a surprising 22 percent with a reckless driving charge. This is a higher rate of increase than even a DUI charge carries, which averages about 19 percent.

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sign and drive, Illinois Law, Lake County criminal defense lawyerIf you are like most Illinois residents, your driver’s license is your primary form of identification. You have probably been asked to present it while cashing a check, seeking medical care, or purchasing a bottle of wine. Up until recently, however, certain traffic offenses in Illinois could require you to post your license as a bond, ensuring you would comply with the directives of the citation. Fortunately, state lawmakers recognized the inherent problem with that system and spent much of the last two years working to change it. On January 1, 2015, the change became reality as the new “sign and drive” law took effect.

Sign and Drive Legislation

The measure was introduced before the Illinois Senate by Senator Michael Noland, D-Elgin, back in May of 2013. Noland sponsored the bill as an acknowledgement that confiscating a person’s license as bond, rather than as an administrative penalty for wrongdoing created undue hardship for that person. Being found guilty of an offense, such as DUI or failing to comply with court procedures, should certainly have consequences, which may include suspended driving privileges, lawmakers contended. However, “with this bill,” Senator Noland said, “Illinois drivers will be able to keep their driver’s license which is used as a primary form of identification for receiving services related to banking, travel, education, and more.”

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Posted on in Traffic Law

traffic ticket, quota, Northbrook Criminal Defense AttorneyA new law recently signed by governor will go into effect in Illinois January 1, 2015. The new law bans police departments from issuing traffic ticket quotas to officers. It also prohibits departments from including the number of tickets an officer writes when it comes time to determine raises or promotions. The law applies to all state, county and municipal law enforcement officers.

In statements, both the governor and several lawmakers who favored the bill, pointed out that police having traffic ticket quotas often erodes the public trust and that eliminating the quotas will not only restore that trust, but allow police officers to focus on their job of protecting the public.

In his statement, Governor Quinn said, “Law enforcement officers should have discretion on when and where to issue traffic citations and not be forced to issue traffic tickets to motorists to satisfy a quota system. This new law will improve safety and working conditions for police officers and prevent motorists from facing unnecessary anxiety when they encounter a police vehicle.”

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Posted on in Traffic Law

Illinois Traffic and Suspended License Lawyer Matthew R. Gebhardt examines the offenses of driving while your license is suspended or revoked and the penalties under the laws of the State of Illinois.

Driving with a suspended license is typically a misdemeanor in Illinois. There are some aggravating circumstances that can cause it to become a felony, however. Either way, this charge can seriously jeopardize your driving privileges, lead to a lengthened suspension, and may even lead to jail time.

SENTENCING

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