Criminal Charges

Some vehicle code offenses are serious and can result in a jail sentence. Generally, the most common criminal charges under the vehicle code are driving under the influence, driving while license suspended/revoked, leaving the scene of an accident, etc.

Accident resulting in personal injury or death with a suspended license: felony

January 9, 2014
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The Illinois legislature changed a section in the Vehicle Code in 2014, establishing severe penalties for driving with a suspended or revoked license. Driving while license suspended, 625 ILCS 5/6-303(a), is in most situations a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for such an offense is up to one year in jail (364 days). But […]

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Article 36 seizure: forfeiture process for vehicles used in the commission of an offense

September 26, 2013
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Drive a vehicle illegally on Illinois roads, and you might not take the vehicle home with you. An obscure law in this state allows the police to seize the vehicle and sell it. And in situations where someone other than the owner was driving, those vehicles can be seized and sold over the owner’s objection. […]

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Temporary Visitor Driver’s License: Illinois gives permit to undocumented immigrants

July 1, 2013
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The Illinois Secretary of State recently announced the ground rules for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. In the last legislative session, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 957, that will allow aliens who do not possess a VISA or Social Security number to get licenses. The Secretary of State calls the new permit a Temporary […]

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New law allows illegal immigrants to get drivers licenses in Illinois: approval pending

November 22, 2012
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Lawmakers in Springfield are drafting legislation that would provide a way for illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses. The bill has not been introduced in the General Assembly, but legislators expect to make the proposal soon. This is not the first time our state lawmakers have tried to legalize undocumented aliens on the road. A […]

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Fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer: sentencing and driver’s license issues

November 9, 2012
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If a police officer tries to pull you over with his siren or flashing lights and you choose to drive away, you could be charged with a serious crime. The law in Illinois says that fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer is a Class A misdemeanor. You could go to jail for up […]

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Operation Rogue Rider: police target motorcyclists on I-94 in Skokie and Lincolnwood

July 13, 2012
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The Illinois State Police and north suburban police departments are teaming up this summer in a traffic enforcement initiative called “Operation Rogue Rider.” The effort will target motorcyclists who are speeding or riding recklessly on the Edens Expressway (I-94) in Skokie and Lincolnwood. I-94 in that area is narrow, with only four lanes traveling in […]

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DUI and the police officer’s opinion under 11-501(a)(1) and (2)

July 9, 2012
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Driving under the influence is one of the very few crimes in which the defendant’s guilt or innocence depends almost completely on another person’s opinion. It is a troubling proposition that a court of law could impose a judgment on someone based on another’s subjective thoughts. But that is exactly what Illinois courts do for […]

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Reckless driving in Illinois: the law and penalties

June 26, 2012
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A traffic ticket for reckless driving in Illinois can cause serious problems. First, the police officer can decide to, rather than ticket the offender, make an arrest and take the driver into custody. If this happens, the police officer will have the vehicle towed. The driver will have to pay a fee to get it […]

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Illinois summary suspension for failing or refusing the breathalyzer

June 25, 2012
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There is something inherently unfair about it law that allows a police officer to suspend a person’s driver’s license for DUI before he is found guilty. But this is the law in Illinois. A police officer can suspend a person’s license for failing or refusing chemical testing. Illinois courts recognize a concept called implied consent. […]

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The rule of strict liability in traffic court

June 24, 2012
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One of the most important rules in criminal cases is that court cannot convict a person of a crime unless the prosecution has proven that the defendant had the requisite mental state. The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to commit a crime. The Illinois constitution prohibits the prosecution from convicting a person of […]

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