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Can I Lose My Drivers License Due to Distracted Driving Citations

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Distracted driving has become a growing problem everywhere, including in Joliet and Will County. According to a press release issued by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois motorists received over 18,000 citations and warnings for distracted driving , mostly for the use of handheld phones/electronics, during the inaugural Distracted Driving Awareness Week in April 2017.

This law enforcement crackdown was motivated, in part, by statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing that in 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers . Because of this increased scrutiny toward distracted driving, drivers should be aware of the consequences to their driver’s license that can result from a citation.

Illinois Penalties for Using Hand-Held Devices While Driving

In Illinois and Will County, the fines for using a hand-held electronic communication device while driving, whether you are talking, texting, or just looking at it, are relatively small: $75 for a first offense and up to $150 for a repeat offense. While the first offense will not be considered a moving violation, subsequent offenses will be recorded on the driver’s record as moving violations, per Illinois law that went into effect in 2014. Drivers should also be aware that the Illinois Secretary of State has the power to suspend your driver’s license if you have more than three moving violations within a 12-month period.

Can All Drivers Use Their Phones in Hands-Free Mode?

While most drivers have adapted to the hands-free rule, two types of drivers are prohibited from both hand-held and hands-free device usage: drivers under the age of 19 and bus drivers.

Is Distracted Driving as Bad as Drunk Driving?

Some lawmakers think the penalties for distracted driving should be higher and more similar to the penalties for driving under the influence. That is because the consequences of distracted driving can be as severe as when a driver is impaired by intoxicants. For example, a distracted driver may not realize that he has been veering in and out of his lane while looking at his phone. He may not be able to react in time to a stopped vehicle or other obstacle in front of him.

In July 2017, for example, a 36-year-old distracted driver using a cell phone caused the injury of two construction workers on Interstate 80 when his pick-up truck struck a digital sign board. That driver was arrested and charged with aggravated reckless driving and aggravated reckless conduct. The seemingly small matter of using his phone while driving ultimately led to this man being taken to jail and held until he could post bail.

Protect Your Rights with a Skilled Joliet Traffic Defense Attorney

Illinois police are cracking down on distracted driving with increasing focus. If you are cited for distracted driving or other serious traffic violations, you need an experienced Will County traffic violations lawyer by your side to aggressively defend your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation; phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.

Chicago Teen Arrested Twice in the Same Weekend

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When a juvenile is arrested on the suspicion of committing a crime, he or she is often charged and then released into the custody of a parent or another family member. In many cases, this is a reasonable approach, as teens tend to be cowed by the reality of being arrested and facing consequences for their alleged crimes. Sometimes, however, a juvenile will shake off the arrest like nothing happened and go right back to doing what he or she was doing before. Such seems to have been the case for a Chicago teen who was arrested twice in a single weekend related to two separate carjackings.

Teens Tried to Steal Retired Cop’s Car

This past Friday evening, news outlets report , a retired Chicago police officer parked in front of a Streeterville hotel and began unloading his bags before checking in. The retired officer—who now serves as a Texas Marshal—says he saw a young male get into the driver seat and attempt to drive off in the car. According to reports, the man chased the car, pulled the teen out, and held him on the ground. Two other teens allegedly then got into the car and tried to run the man over, but witnesses blocked the car.

All three teens—aged 14, 15, and 17—were arrested and charged with felony vehicular hijacking and attempted aggravated battery. The teens were released to their parents, but the weekend was just getting started for one of the boys.

The Chicago Police Department reported that one of the three—the CPD declined to say which one—was arrested again on Sunday night. This time, the teen was caught in a stolen car in Englewood, and he was carrying a gun, according to a police spokesman.

Juveniles and Carjackings

Coincidently, the boy’s second arrest occurred on the same day that CPD announced the formation of a new task force designed to address the city’s increasing carjacking problem. In the first month of 2018, there has been a 20 percent spike in carjackings compared to last year, and police officials say that juveniles are responsible for a large number of incidents. CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson acknowledged that the department is trying to figure out how to deal with juvenile carjackers. Johnson expressed concern that “a slap on the wrist” sends the message that “we’re not serious about holding them accountable.”

Is Your Child Facing Charges?

While the purpose of the juvenile court system is to educate and rehabilitate young offenders, there are situations where more serious punishments may be appropriate. If your son or daughter has been arrested and charged with a crime, contact an experienced Will County juvenile defense attorney for guidance. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule a free, confidential consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.

Repeat Offenders

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Once a person is apprehended in the commission of a crime, charged, and sentenced, it is difficult for many to understand why the defendant might repeat the crime. However, when a pattern emerges or habits are repeated, especially regarding criminal acts, an individual may find themselves facing felony criminal charges and a possible prison sentence. This point is illustrated by a recent story involving a certain woman who apparently just cannot stay away from airplanes or airports.

Stowaway Charged with Theft

In what is one of the strangest cases of repeated criminal behavior occurring recently, an Illinois woman has made multiple appearances in court for flying without paying for a ticket. In the latest stowaway incident , the defendant boarded a plane and flew to London. She is believed to have flown from Chicago without paying for a $2,400 plane ticket. Upon her arrival, she was detained, returned to Chicago, and subsequently charged with felony theft and misdemeanor criminal trespassing. The judge, upon releasing her, warned her to stay away from both the O’Hare and Midway airports. The story, however, does not end there.

Although the defendant was originally ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device, that order was rescinded when it was determined that such supervision was not possible, since she resided in a different Illinois county. The defendant allegedly exploited that loophole, and she once again returned to O’Hare Airport in Chicago just nine days after being banned from there by a Cook County judge. Police recognized the recently released woman and arrested her. This time, she was charged with criminal trespassing on state land and violating the terms of her bail .

The woman, who was charged and sentenced for similar crimes in 2016, is believed to have committed the act no fewer than eight times in the past. The question of how she continually bypassed airport security remains unanswered.

Retain an Experienced Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, it is natural to feel frightened and isolated. The uncertainty of what will happen next can often lead one to make bad decisions that could have a negative impact on their future. In an effort to protect your freedom and ensure your rights are protected, it is recommended that every criminal defendant rely on the professional knowledge of an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney . At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, we provide clients with an aggressive and thorough defense, allowing them to enter the courtroom with the confidence that a fully-prepared legal professional is on their side. Call our offices at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free initial consultation, during which time you can ask any questions and discuss the options available to you.

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