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Understanding License Suspensions and Revocations in Illinois In Illinois, a person can lose their driving privileges for a number of violations. In the majority of cases, a person will face a license suspension or revocation period when their actions endangered other travelers. Unfortunately, a license suspension can significantly impact a person’s livelihood, due to their inability to drive to and from work, their child’s school, and other necessary locations. Fortunately, a skilled attorney can work diligently to help you regain your driving privileges when facing a suspension. If you are facing a driver's license suspension, there are steps you need to take to regain your driving privileges. 

How You Can Lose Your Driving Privileges 

As mentioned above, there are a number of violations that can result in a license suspension or revocation. The most common violation leading to loss of driving privileges is a DUI. According to Illinois’ Secretary of State’s Office, more than 20,000 Illinoisans were arrested on DUI charges throughout 2018. Of those arrested, 90% of eligible drivers lost their driving privileges. During the court process, the defendant's license will be suspended. If convicted of DUI, the guilty party will face a one-year license revocation period. 

A person will face a one-year license suspension period if they refuse to submit to chemical testing when the acting officer has arrested them on suspicion of DUI. A person can also lose their driving privileges for receiving three traffic citations within one calendar year, as well as failing to pay traffic tickets or failure to appear in court. In some instances, an unrelated violation such as refusal to pay child support can result in a license suspension. 

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Examining the Most Serious Traffic Violations in Illinois When most people think of the ramifications of a traffic violation, they envision a minimal ticket and at most a court date. In reality, some traffic violations can lead to serious criminal consequences. Among other things, a traffic violation that endangers other travelers can lead to significant fines, income loss, potential loss of driving privileges, a mark on your criminal record, and jail time. If you have been charged with a traffic violation, the most important step you can take is reaching out to a knowledgeable legal professional. Here are three examples of serious traffic violations:

  1. Reckless Driving: According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, reckless driving is the wanton disregard for the safety of others while using a motor vehicle. Because of the serious nature of reckless driving, an offender can face life-changing consequences. If an officer apprehends a driver for reckless driving, they have the legal right to take them into police custody, forcing the offender to either post bail or spend some time in jail. Additionally, the driver will have to go to court and fight against the conviction. If convicted of reckless driving, one will face up to one year in prison and fines up to $2,500.
  2. Aggravated Speeding: If a driver is clocked by a law enforcement official while traveling at 26 miles per hour or more over the legal speed limit, they may be facing aggravated speeding charges. An aggravated speeding charge constitutes a misdemeanor due to the fact that disregarding speed limits is a direct example of putting others at risk. If convicted, a person will face up to one year in prison and fines as high as $2,500. It should be noted that there are a number of defenses such as unmarked or difficult-to-see speed limit signs that can help a person avoid an aggravated speeding conviction. 
  3. Driving Under the Influence: In the state of Illinois, upwards of 20,000 people are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol every year. Due to the sheer number of inebriated drivers, it should come as no surprise that police are constantly looking out for signs of intoxicated driving. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is critically important to seek out the assistance of an attorney. A DUI conviction can result in a Class A misdemeanor, a license revocation, and potential jail time. 

Contact an Oak Brook Traffic Violation Attorney

At McMahon Law Offices, we firmly believe that no person should face life-changing consequences due to one traffic violation. Whether you are facing DUI or reckless driving charges, you deserve an attorney that will work diligently to help you avoid a conviction. To schedule a free consultation with a DuPage County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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Understanding Drug Charges with New Illinois LawsWhile the state of Illinois’ stance on recreational marijuana use drastically changed when Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law last January, the state still has some strong policies against the use of marijuana. In reality, a serious drug charge can compromise one’s ability to land a good job, secure housing, or seek education advancement opportunities. If you or a loved one have been charged with a drug-related crime in the state of Illinois, it is time to speak with a criminal defense attorney you can believe in. 

Marijuana and Drug Charges in Illinois

Due to the new state law, an Illinois resident can legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower (marijuana). It is important to recognize that this does not mean that marijuana is legal with no contingencies. Possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana still constitutes a misdemeanor charge and potentially up to one year in prison. Possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana with intent to sell constitutes a felony charge and can possibly result in up to five years of jail time if convicted. It should also be noted that it is still considered an offense to smoke or consume marijuana on public property. 

With the recent legalization of recreational marijuana, police officers statewide have been ramping up the search for high drivers. Law enforcement officials are trained to look for signs of intoxication such as the odor associated with marijuana, bloodshot eyes, and signs of cognitive impairment. If convicted, a marijuana DUI charge constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, fines up to $2,500, and a one-year license revocation period. 

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Reckless Driving Is More Serious Than Typical Traffic ViolationsWhen people think of traffic violations, they usually think of petty fines or points against their license. The reality of the situation is that not all violations are created equal. In the state of Illinois, a reckless driving charge constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. According to Illinois state law, reckless driving is defined as the act of operating a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner that demonstrates a lack of consideration for the safety of others. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to speak with an experienced defense lawyer. 

The Ramifications of Reckless Driving 

A police officer has the legal authority to arrest a driver and take them into custody if there is probable cause that the driver has committed reckless driving. After the arrest, the driver will then have to post bail or go to jail. The driver will have to appear in court and could be sentenced to up to 364 days in prison and be forced to pay fines as high as $2,500. Outside of the fines, the driver may have to pay for the towing service after the arrest, various court costs, and significant rises in insurance rates. A misdemeanor offense can have serious implications on a person’s ability to secure employment, loans, or housing opportunities. It should be noted that much like a DUI charge, a reckless driving charge cannot be expunged or removed from a person’s criminal record. 

In many cases, a judge will choose to put the offender on probation rather than sentencing them to jail. In these instances, the offender will likely be forced to take part in traffic safety courses and possibly community service. While a misdemeanor offense should be taken incredibly seriously, it is also important to understand that some reckless driving charges can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. Most notably, if the defendant’s reckless driving resulted in great bodily harm to another party, they will face felony charges.  

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Examining the Consequences of Traffic Violations in IllinoisEvery single day, hundreds of Illinoisans are cited for violating the state’s traffic laws in one fashion or another. While the vast majority of traffic violations are considered petty offenses, there are a number of violations that can lead to serious legal ramifications for the driver. Below, we will discuss some of the consequences of violating Illinois’ traffic laws and the need for you to hire a knowledgeable attorney if you are facing charges related to a traffic violation

Misdemeanor Offenses 

In the state of Illinois, the overwhelming majority of traffic violations fall under two categories: petty violations and misdemeanors. A misdemeanor charge can vary in severity from Class A to Class C, with a Class A misdemeanor coming with the most serious potential legal consequences. Class C misdemeanors tend to be fairly harmless crimes that are considered more reckless than a petty offense. Class C misdemeanors can include violations such as stealing or destroying a traffic sign and are only punishable by up to 30 days in prison. It should be noted that a person can still be fined up to $1,000 for a Class C misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors come with more serious consequences. They include violations such as speeding anywhere from 26 to 35 miles per hour over the legal speed limit. If convicted, a Class B misdemeanor can result in a six-month prison sentence. 

The most serious misdemeanor offenses are classified as Class A misdemeanors. The most common traffic violation leading to a Class A misdemeanor is a first-time DUI offense. Other common Class A misdemeanors include reckless driving charges, driving with a suspended license, or traveling at speeds over 35 miles per hour over the legal speed limit. A Class A misdemeanor can lead to up to one year in prison and fines as high as $2,500. It is worth noting that a Class A misdemeanor can also impact a person’s ability to land future employment, loans, and housing opportunities. 

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