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A Useful Guide for Understanding Illinois Traffic ViolationsAt some point in your life, you have likely been pulled over by a police officer. Maybe the violation was minor, like rolling through a stop sign or going five miles per hour over the speed limit. Perhaps the officer suspected that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In order to measure the severity of your traffic violation, Illinois has instilled a point system that is connected to your driver’s license. This is what the officer looks at, among other things, when they ask for your license and registration and then go back to their vehicle. It is important to understand the basics of the Illinois point system and your rights as an Illinois driver to have a general idea of what your record looks like in the eyes of the law.

The Point System

Maybe you remember learning about the traffic violation point system while you were sitting in your driver’s education class as a teen, but more often than not, drivers are oblivious to how these violations are tracked and what they can do to your record. Every traffic violation that you can think of has a certain number of points assigned to them. Minor offenses have lower points while more severe penalties hold more weight in points. Common examples include:

  • Speeding 1-10 miles per hour over the speed limit is 5 points.
  • Disregard for a traffic light is 20 points.
  • Driving with an open (alcoholic) container is 25 points.
  • Reckless driving is 55 points.

As you can see, the point allocation varies greatly depending on the violation that you have been accused of. Your total points become relevant if your driver’s license is suspended. In Illinois, your license will be suspended if you are convicted for three moving traffic violations within 12 months. If you are younger than 21, you are allowed only two violations. Some violations result in an immediate suspension, such as a DUI. Your points will determine how long your suspension will last. For instance, having 15 to 44 points will result in a two-month suspension.

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Illinois restraining order, Wheaton Criminal Defense LawyerRestraining orders are a protective measure intended to help prevent domestic violence and protect victims of it. However, false allegations of domestic violence or criminal activity can result in restraining orders as well as actual allegations of criminal activity, resulting in unfair punishment and long-lasting effects for those accused.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Only by working with a qualified professional at the onset of the case is it certain that you will be able to present the best possible defense, especially in cases that involve allegations of domestic violence—some of the most notoriously difficult to absolve.

Perhaps one of the most surprising statistics about restraining orders is in that roughly half of all cases involving a court-ordered restraining order, there is no allegation whatsoever of physical violence. Restraining orders can be filed against a person who is accused of harassment that allegedly causes any time of emotional distress. This can include repeatedly calling someone on the telephone or creating a disturbance or a scene in a public place. It can also include the mere threat of violence—if a person is accused of threatening to commit physical abuse or harassment, he or she may be slapped with a restraining order.

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Posted by on in Sex Crimes

sexual assault in Illinois, DuPage County criminal law attorneySexual assault is not defined as just rape or forced sexual activity. There are several types of sex crimes that one can be accused of. Also, some people are all too aware that accusations of sexual assault can lead to serious legal consequences and even ruin someone's life. It is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been falsely charged with a sex crime.

Different Types of Sexual Assault

One form of sexual assault is acquaintance or date rape. This is sexual assault perpetrated between two people who know each other. They were perhaps out together with the understanding that their relationship had the potential to move in the direction of physical intimacy.

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Since the late 1990s, the number of death sentences in the United States has been on the decline. In each of the last three years, however, nearly 80 individuals have been sentenced to death in the United States. Recent numbers seem to be holding steady despite the fact that 18 states, including Illinois and the District of Columbia, no longer utilize the death penalty.

Opponents of capital punishment have long maintained that the one of the dangers inherent to state-sanctioned execution is the possibility of condemning an innocent person. Recent cases in which decade-old convictions have been overturned based on new evidence or information seem to support the idea that, despite a lengthy appeals process, a conviction may have been flawed. Earlier this year, a team of a researchers led by Dr. Samuel Gross, professor of law at the University of Michigan, sought to quantify the rate at which death row inmates may have been falsely convicted.

Dr. Gross’s study noted a 2006 opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in which Justice Scalia made reference to an error rate in American felony convictions of 0.027 percent.  While such a low rate of error would be, indeed, good news, Gross considers the method which produced the estimate to be silly since it compared exonerations in a small number of murder and rape cases to all felony convictions including non-violent and white-collar crimes.

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Illinois fake IDs, Wheaton criminal defense lawyerA new effort is underway to curb use of fake IDs in Illinois. A letter released by Secretary of State Jesse White outlining his office's public awareness campaign has recently been published. While there are no recent changes to the existing law, Secretary White hopes that by emphasizing the risks and consequences of using a fake ID, Illinois will see a reduction in underage drinking and safer citizens.

In the last two years, over 1,200 people have been caught using fake driver’s licenses or identification cards. Their goal may be as simple as getting into bars, said Secretary White, but using or just possessing a fake ID is a serious offense that carries significant penalties. A conviction will result in a one-year suspension of driving privileges, up to three years in prison or 50 hours of community service, and a maximum $25,000 fine. In addition, the individual may face charges related to fraud and identity theft, which could potentially remain on the person’s record indefinitely.

The Office of the Secretary of State also reminds Illinois residents that by seeking to obtain a fake ID, individuals place themselves in danger of falling victim to identity theft as well. Secretary White noted that the internet has made getting a fake ID easier than ever, but can easily result in identifying information ending up in the hands of rather unethical people. The price a person pays for a fake ID can go extend far beyond the nominal fee if the supplier, who is already participating in one illegal activity, then uses the personal information in ways regularly associated with identity theft.

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