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IL defense lawyerWhen most people think of the consequences of a traffic violation, they envision a ticket and a possible minimal rise in their insurance rates. While that may be the case with many minor traffic violations, there are a number of serious violations that can cost you much more. Whether you have been charged with reckless driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is important to understand the potential legal consequences of a conviction.

Driving Under the Influence

In the state of Illinois, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can come with legal consequences that can lead to jail time, significant fines, and even potential jail time. A first-time DUI offender will face Class A Misdemeanor charges. If convicted, fines can be as high as $2,500 and can result in a one-year prison sentence. The driver will also give a one-year license revocation period and will only be allowed to drive with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), throughout the duration of that time.

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IL defense lawyerHere in the state of Illinois, a reckless driving charge can come with serious legal ramifications. According to Illinois state law, a reckless driving conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, a Class A misdemeanor can come with up to $2,500 in fines, a maximum prison sentence of one year, and marks against our license. If a driver accumulates 3 traffic violations within a 12 month period, they will likely face a license suspension. It is important to note that reckless driving resulting in injuries to another party, come with more severe legal ramifications. If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important to take the offense seriously. In the event of a traffic violation, contact a legal team that you can believe in.

What Reckless Driving Looks Like

It should come as no surprise that reckless driving charges are taken incredibly seriously here in the state of Illinois, considering the amount of fatal car accidents throughout the state. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, an alarming 1,090 people died in motor vehicle collisions throughout the state, in 2017 alone. Due to the high number of statewide traffic fatalities, law enforcement officials across Illinois, are cracking down on reckless driving. Listed below are some of the most commonly cited forms of reckless driving violations.

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Lombard speeding ticket lawyerSpeed limits are designed to keep drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users safe. Unfortunately, neither safety nor consequence may deter some drivers from speeding. For some, the risks are not relevant. For others, the means justifies the decision. In all cases, there are costs and consequences. This remains true, even if the driver is never caught driving over the speed limit. Yet those who do get caught are often the ones who stand to lose the most. The following explains.

General and Daily Consequences of Speeding

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School Zone Speed Limit Reminder

School is back in session! As a result, we wanted to remind you once again to watch out for those special school zone speed limits because a ticket for speeding in a school zone carries with it severe consequences.

So long as you have been properly notified by a sign or flashing signal, the speed limit in a school zone on school days is 20 miles per hour. Pay attention to the notification posted because the conditions under which the speed limit changes varies among cities, towns and villages. In some instances, the speed limit only drops to 20 mph if children are present during school hours. However, in some school zones, the speed limit is 20 mph on school days regardless of whether children are present, during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. In some areas, the school zone speed limit only applies if a flashing light is activated. When in doubt, it is better to reduce your speed near a school to avoid being pulled over and ticketed. Police officers, prosecutors and judges take these tickets very seriously due to the risk of harm to young children. That is why you cannot receive court supervision even for a first time offense, which means unless you beat the ticket altogether, a conviction will go on your record.

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Illinois Case Law Update: Aggravated Speeding

Illinois Supreme Court rejects challenge to mandatory convictions for aggravated speeding in People v. Rizzo.

A Cook County judge ruled that a motorist's inability to receive court supervision for aggravated speeding (driving 26 mph or more over the speed limit) was too harsh when compared to other class A misdemeanors. Driving 26-34 mph over the speed limit is a class B misdemeanor, while driving 35 mph over the speed limit is a class A misdemeanor. The Cook County decision reasoned that the penalty for aggravated speeding was "cruel and degrading" when compared to other class A misdemeanors that allow for a court to grant supervision, such as Driving While License Revoked, Driving While License Suspended, and DUI, even when involving bodily harm or death. Nonetheless, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned the Cook County decision ruling that a driver's inability to receive court supervision for aggravated speeding does not violate the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution. The "collateral consequences of conviction...do not qualify as part of the 'penalty' for purposes of proportionate penalty analysis." 

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