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Seeking Expungement for Your Criminal Record in Illinois When a person has a serious criminal charge on their permanent record, their life can be impacted in a number of ways. Not only will the perpetrator face the initial legal ramifications of the charge (potential jail-time, fines, and a loss of their driver’s license), but also potential difficulty securing housing, employment, or loan opportunities. If a previous conviction is having a significant impact on your life, it is time to explore your options. With many criminal convictions, expungement or sealing may be an option. 

What Is Expungement?

Expungement is the process of having a criminal offense removed from one’s permanent record. The ability to hide a previous conviction from prospective employers can be life-changing. There are a few important things that all clients should understand about expungement:

  • Not all people are eligible for expungement.
  • While an expungement will destroy all official records related to the criminal offense, it will not have any impact on previous news clippings or other forms of media related to the initial crime. 

All that being said, expungement can be life-changing as you look to secure a job, get admitted into a school, or secure a loan.  

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Understanding How a Reckless Driving Charge Can Impact You In Illinois, reckless driving is considered one of the most serious traffic violations a driver can commit. Reckless driving is defined as the act of operating a motor vehicle in a manner that displays a disregard for human safety. If convicted, a reckless driving charge usually constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. According to Illinois state law, a Class A misdemeanor charge can lead to up to 364 days in prison and fines as high as $2,500. Below we will examine a few of the violations that can lead to a reckless driving charge and the ways in which reckless driving can impact you. 

What Constitutes Reckless Driving?

A driver can be charged with reckless driving due to a number of dangerous traffic violations. The most common form of reckless driving is traveling at reckless speeds. In order for a speeding violation to constitute a reckless driving charge, a driver has to be apprehended while traveling 25 miles per hour faster than the posted speed limit. Recklessly passing other vehicles can also lead to a reckless driving charge. If a law enforcement official sees a driver aggressively tailgating, illegally passing (passing vehicles on a bridge or in a no-passing zone), or weaving in and out of traffic, the officer is likely to charge the driver with reckless driving. Less common forms of reckless driving include racing other vehicles, attempting to flee law enforcement, and knowingly driving a vehicle with hazardous issues such as faulty brakes. 

The True Impact of Reckless Driving

As mentioned above, a reckless driving charge constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. The implications of a reckless driving charge can go much further than the initial criminal charge. For commercial vehicle drivers, a reckless driving charge can lead to a suspension or complete loss of employment. For any driver, a reckless driving charge can lead to significant increases in insurance rates. It should be noted that there are a number of factors that can lead to a reckless driving charge being elevated to a felony charge. A felony conviction can lead to difficulty in securing employment, housing, or loan opportunities. If you have been charged with reckless driving, seek out the assistance of a legal professional immediately. 

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The Implications of Driving with a Suspended LicenseIn the state of Illinois, there are a number of traffic violations that can result in a license suspension or revocation. A driver can lose their license due to failing to pay tickets or child support or failing to show up to a court date. Yet, the most common reason for a license suspension or revocation is a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to Illinois state law, a first-time DUI conviction constitutes a Class A Misdemeanor and a one-year license revocation period. If a person is caught driving with a suspended license, the legal ramifications can be significant. Below we will take a deeper look at the aforementioned consequences. 

The Legal Ramifications of a First Offense

Driving with a suspended or revoked license is always a risky proposition. In Illinois, a first-time offender will likely be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, which can result in:

  • 10 days in prison or 30 days of community service; and
  • Fines as high as $2,500.

The license suspension or revocation will also be increased due to the transgression. For DUI offenders driving on a revoked license, their revocation period will likely be increased by a year. If you are charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license, speak with your attorney immediately. 

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How to React to a License Suspension or Revocation in Illinois There are a number of traffic violations that can result in loss of driving privileges in Illinois. From aggravated speeding or reckless driving charges to a charge of driving under the influence, it is important to understand how to react to a traffic violation. Having your driver's license suspended or revoked can significantly impact your livelihood. In the event of a DUI conviction, the likelihood of revocation of some length is very high. If you face charges for driving under the influence, speak with a quality attorney right away. 

Driving Permit Options 

According to Illinois state law, a first-time DUI offender faces an automatic minimum license revocation of one full year. Fortunately, a first-time offender can qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. (MDDP). In order to secure an MDDP, a person must install a blood alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) and camera into their vehicle.  

The BAIID will ensure that the person cannot start their vehicle with any traces of alcohol in their system. The camera gives local law enforcement officials the opportunity to view the driver taking part in the breath test. It should be noted that a driver with an MDDP can operate any vehicle with a BAIID and drive to any location. If a person is apprehended while driving a vehicle that is not equipped with a BAIID, they could face substantial fines and potential jail-time.  

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DuPage County criminal defense attorneysIf you or a loved one are stopped for a traffic violation and suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol (or for any other criminal offense), you will have several opportunities to make it either easier or more difficult for the police to gather evidence and the District Attorney to nail you with a “guilty” verdict. Remember, the goal of the police is to find evidence of your guilt.

Here are some tips to protect yourself against common police tactics related to vehicle searches, which are purposely employed to intimidate, mislead, or lure you into self-incrimination.

If Police Ask to Search Your Car Without Probable Cause, You Can Refuse

If you are stopped on a traffic violation, that does not give the police an automatic right to search your car.

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