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McHenry County criminal defense attorneyMost people drive on a daily basis. Losing your driving privileges can be a huge inconvenience. Many people subject to driver’s license revocations and suspensions are worried that their inability to drive will interfere with work and family responsibilities.

However, driving any vehicle is unlawful when your license is suspended or revoked. Driving on a suspended or revoked license can lead to criminal charges and significant penalties.

Understanding Driver’s License Suspensions and Revocations

An individual’s driver’s license may be suspended if he or she is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or receives three or more moving violations in a 12-month period. Possession of a fake driver’s license, leaving the scene of an accident, and several other offenses may also be punished by driver’s license suspension. Driver’s license suspensions eventually end and the driver can reinstate their license at the end of the suspension period by paying a moderate fee.

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Posted on in Traffic Offenses

crystal lake criminal defense lawyerSpeeding is often perceived as an innocuous traffic violation that results in a fine. There is some truth to this notion, but not all speeding violations are alike, and, like every other crime, context matters. Although most speeding violations are not serious criminal manners, they can be in certain circumstances. The State of Illinois considers speeding 26 miles per hour over the speed limit a criminal offense. In legal terms, it is known as aggravated speeding, misdemeanor speeding or excessive speeding.

What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Speeding?

The penalties for aggravated speeding are determined by how much the driver exceeded the speed limit.

If they exceeded the speed limit by more than 26 mph, the violation is considered a class B misdemeanor. If they were over the limit by more than 35 mph, it is considered a class A misdemeanor.

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Crystal Lake IL speeding ticket attorneyOut of all of the various traffic offenses you could be charged with, speeding is by far one of the most common offenses committed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 1,031 traffic deaths in Illinois in 2018, and 42 percent of those deaths were due to speeding-related traffic accidents. Speeding is a dangerous driving habit, which is why many states—Illinois included—have strict laws regarding speeding. Some speeding tickets result only in a fine, but there are some instances where a speeding ticket could also result in more serious misdemeanor charges upon conviction.

Speeding Offenses in Illinois

Most of the time, being pulled over for speeding will usually just result in a speeding ticket that comes with a fine of a couple hundred dollars. If you do not agree with the officer that you were speeding, you can contest the ticket, but it often costs more and is more of a headache to contest it than to simply pay the ticket.

However, if you are pulled over for speeding and the officer found that you were driving 26 mph or more over the speed limit, they can choose to charge you with a misdemeanor crime. If you are speeding 26 mph or more, but less than 35 mph over the speed limit, you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. If you are speeding 35 mph or more over the speed limit, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

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McHenry County traffic defense lawyerBy now, we have all seen and heard the campaigns encouraging us to put our phones down while driving. Over the last few years, safety groups and even the cell service carriers themselves have consistently reminded drivers to stop texting while driving. Unfortunately, the public does not seem to be heeding these warnings. A law that was passed last year, however, made it possible for Illinois drivers to lose their driving privileges for illegally using their phones while driving. If you are a person who struggles to put your phone down behind the wheel, you should know the potential risks of such behavior.

Disappointing Texting and Driving Statistics

State Farm, an insurance industry leader, recently conducted a survey to gauge attitudes among the general public about using a cell phone while driving. The results of the survey suggested that most people realize the dangers, but far too many drivers use their phones anyway. Over 80 percent of respondents reported that they knew that using a handheld cell phone to make or receive calls was dangerous, but fully one-half of respondents acknowledged they used a handheld device for calls while driving. Nearly all of the survey’s participants—95 percent—said they knew that texting while driving was dangerous and distracting, but more than one-third—35 percent—said they text in spite of the dangers.

In the state of Illinois, it is and has been against the law to use a cell phone or another electronic device to send and receive messages, use apps, and access internet sites while driving. Talking on a cell phone without using a speakerphone or a hands-free function is also illegal. The penalty for a first-time violation is a fine of $75, and a second offense will result in a fine of $100. The fine increases to $125 for a third violation, and a fourth or subsequent offense is punishable by a fine of $150.

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What Are the Risks When Refusing a Breath Test in Illinois?As the state of Illinois continues to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, more and more people are starting to venture to the state’s bars and restaurants once again. This means that patrons again have access to establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. If you decide to go out and enjoy a few drinks with a small group of friends, you should know that police departments around the region are on the lookout for drunk drivers. As a result, you could be stopped and asked to take a breath test to make sure that your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is under the legal limit. Regardless of how much you have had to drink, refusing a breath test under certain circumstances could lead to serious consequences.

Illinois’ Implied Consent Laws

When you drive on the public streets and highways of Illinois, state law presumes that you have given your “implied consent” to submit to BAC testing. In the course of a traffic stop, the officer may request a preliminary breath test as part of his or her efforts to determine if there is probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence (DUI). If the officer establishes probable cause and arrests you, you will be asked to submit to an evidentiary BAC test.

There is an important distinction between the two types of testing. Preliminary BAC testing is not generally admissible as evidence in court, and you can refuse a preliminary BAC test with no formal consequences. Of course, your refusal is likely to make the officer look a bit harder for other indications that you are intoxicated. Once you are arrested, however, things change dramatically. If you refuse an evidentiary BAC test subsequent to an arrest on suspicion of DUI, you will almost certainly lose your driver’s license.

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