Importance of Taking Traffic Violations Seriously

Web Admin - Monday, September 14, 2015

If you have been a driver for a significant length of time, it is likely you have, at the very least, been pulled over by a police officer. In the worst case scenario, you will have been cited for a traffic violation. If this happens, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney to fully understand and protect your legal rights.

Consequences of Too Many Violations

Under Illinois Administrative Code, if an individual is convicted of three or more designated traffic violations in a 12 month period, it will result in a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Some examples of violations that can lead to this include speeding, street racing, or reckless driving. Most of the moving violations are codified in Chapter 11 of the Illinois Code, but not all of them (for example, driving without a valid license is found in Chapter 6).

For moving violations, it may be possible to be sentenced to court supervision that lasts a period of between 90 and 120 days. If, at the end of the supervision term, the driver has not been cited for another moving violation, the ticket is dismissed without a conviction. The driver must also have paid all applicable fines and court costs.

The supervision period begins on the date the driver pleads guilty or is found guilty in traffic court. If the driver is cited for another moving violation during the period, the supervision sentence is revoked and the driver is convicted on the underlying ticket. Additionally, the new ticket also counts towards the three-ticket limit. A person can only be given court supervision twice in one year.

Importantly, equipment violations do not usually count toward the limit of three violations. Examples of equipment violations include driving without a taillight, while not wearing a seatbelt, or with a loud muffler.

Length of Suspension

The length of suspension is determined by how many points the individual has on their driving record and whether he or she has had any prior license suspensions. Drivers accumulate points on their record when they are convicted of a violation. The following table is for drivers with no prior suspensions within the seven-year period from the effective date of the suspension or revocation:                   

                    Number of Points                                      Action                            

                             0-14                                         No Action

                             15-44                                       2-month suspension

                             45-74                                       3-month suspension

                             75-89                                       6-month suspension

                             90-99                                       9-month suspension

                             100-109                                   12-month suspension

                             110 or more                             Revocation

Under Illinois law, driving on a suspended license is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of $2,500. Additionally, the period of suspension will be extended to a like period of time as the original suspension.

While moving violations usually can be taken care of by simply paying a fine, in some cases, there may be additional consequences. As a result, it is important that you treat moving violations seriously. If you would like more information, speak with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney today. Our firm provides representation for communities like Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness, and Deer Park.

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Colin is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Creditors Bar Association. He is currently Vice President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and is a Commissioner for the Village of Arlington Heights. Colin has a 10.0 Attorney rating on Avvo, and was named one of the 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association. 




Using Rumble Strips to Prevent Crossover Accidents

Web Admin - Thursday, September 25, 2014

rumble strips safety, Deer Park traffic accident lawyerIt is a common experience for drivers heading home, especially late at night, only to veer slightly out of the lane and be jolted awake by the rumble strips guarding the center of the road. These concrete ridges, originally invented in Illinois in the 1950s, serve a valuable purpose in preventing crossover accidents. Crossover accidents are some of the most dangerous types of traffic accidents and they occur when drivers, either careless or distracted, swerve out of their lane and into oncoming traffic, resulting in a powerful, head-on collision with another car.

What Crossover Accidents Are

Crossover accidents occur when a car leaves its lane, crossing over the median and into traffic heading the other direction, resulting in a front-end collision. The physics behind these sorts of crashes makes them some of the deadliest types of accidents. The issue is one of speed. In a single car crash or even a crash into the side of another car, most of the accident's force comes from the one car's forward motion. This is not true in crossover accidents because the two cars are heading in opposite directions, so their forces both contribute to the accident. By way of example, two cars colliding in a crossover accident, each traveling 60 miles per hour, would have the same force as a single car crashing into a wall at 120 miles per hour. These sorts of violent collisions can lead to all sorts of severe injuries including whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and in many cases, even death.

How Rumble Strips Help

Rumble strips can be instrumental in preventing these sorts of accidents. They function as an early warning system, alerting drivers to the fact that they are leaving their lane and are about to veer dangerously into oncoming traffic. In fact, a study from the Kansas Department of Transportation and the University of Kansas reports that these sorts of safety device can reduce crossover accidents by as much as 21 percent.

There may be some circumstances in which the absence of these sorts of rumble strips can give rise to a claim against the municipality for failing to properly design or maintain the road. Although such claims are difficult to bring, there are scenarios in which a poorly designed road, such as one lacking in centerline rumble strips, could lead to a traffic accident for which the victims would have a right to recover.

If you or one of your loved ones has recently been injured in a crossover accident or some other type of crash, contact an experienced Illinois traffic accident attorney today. Our firm's team of dedicated professionals protects the rights of clients in towns across the northwest suburbs, including in Deer Park, Arlington Heights, and Crystal Lake.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

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