Blogs | Law Office of Jack L Zaremba


Traffic Violations Excuses That Will Not Work

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It is a common desire once you have been pulled over to attempt to escape having a ticket written against you. Whether bargaining with the officer on the side of the road or attempting to strike a deal with the prosecutor in court, many individuals wish to avoid the fines, fees, penalties, and higher insurance rates associated with a traffic conviction in Illinois . Some individuals may attempt to make their case more “deserving” of a favorable resolution by offering an excuse or a story. Some of these excuses or stories are less deserving of favorable action, however.

Worst Excuses for Your Traffic Ticket

Some of the worst excuses that you can offer in response to a traffic charge in Illinois include:

• “I really wasn’t paying attention.” Traffic laws are designed to promote attentive and safe driving. Admitting that you were not doing either is not a compelling argument that will encourage most law enforcement officers or prosecutors to give you a break. Even if they do, expect such an offer to come with a hefty price tag;
• “You didn’t/couldn’t have seen me speeding (or whatever you are accused of doing).” Most officers take care to carry out their job duties in a professional manner. This idea that the officer was mistaken is often perceived as an attack on the officer’s ability to do his or her job correctly. As one might expect, this is not the best way to resolve your traffic citation without a conviction;
• “Another driver was going faster than I was. Why didn’t you pull him or her over?” It may be true that other individuals were speeding as much as you were (or engaging in other violations of the vehicle code), but this in no way obviates you of your own culpability and responsibility. Depending on how this “excuse” is phrased, it may even be seen as an admission of guilt.
• “I didn’t know that [some activity] was illegal.” In some cases, not knowing that certain behavior is illegal may provide some defense to criminal charges. In many traffic cases, however, ignorance of the law is not grounds for a dispute. Simply put, it does not matter, in most cases, whether you intended to violate the traffic laws or not.

Building a Good Defense in a Traffic Case

Instead of attempting to offer excuses, one of the best ways to beat a traffic ticket is to enlist the assistance of an aggressive Joliet traffic violations attorney . At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we take pride in assisting drivers in defending themselves against traffic citations, thereby helping them keep their driving record clean and avoid points from being assessed against their license. Before attempting to resolve your ticket yourself, speak with us and learn how the representation of a knowledgeable traffic defense attorney may be able to help you experience a more successful outcome in your case. Call our firm at 815-740-4025 to discuss your traffic ticket today.

What Laws Are in Place to Address Underage Drinking and Driving?

Joliet juvenile drinking lawyer dui

Underage drinking and driving is an ongoing problem all across the country, with a surplus of eye-opening statistics that illuminate the reality that the problem is not going to disappear anytime soon. Sadly, in many cases, minors gain access to alcohol because adults provide it for them. While we cannot always control where or how minors acquire alcohol or stop them from making the decision to get behind the wheel once they have consumed it, we do have the power to do our part to prevent these incidences from happening whether minors are under our direct supervision or not.
Should an adult fail to be vigilant with this issue, or should they choose to willfully engage in an activity that allows minors access to alcohol, they are immediately at risk for criminal charges. Everyone loses under these circumstances: the minor caught drinking and driving, any victim(s) who may be affected by the behavior, and the adult responsible for allowing the behavior to take place.

The Need for Alcohol Possession Laws

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission reports that a myriad of health and social consequences exist where underage alcohol consumption is concerned, in addition to the blatant dangers that accompany driving while intoxicated. For starters, the American Medical Association (AMA) points out that an adolescent’s brain is still developing, and studies show alcohol damage at a young age can have long-term and irreversible effects on one’s brain development and overall health. A greater risk for alcoholism later in life, an increase in physical ailments, and a tendency to be overweight plague youth who drink alcohol underage.

Penalties for Adults Who Break Alcohol Possession Laws in Illinois

The legal consequences for parents who allow underage drinking are severe. It is considered a felony to allow underage consumption at your residence if the episode results in injury or death. The state’s possession laws do not apply to parents only, however. In 2013, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn put the Social Host Law into effect, which holds any adult accountable for allowing underage consumption. Adults guilty of this act are subject to a Class A misdemeanor, fines anywhere from $500 to $2,500, jail time, and possible felony charges if an injury or death occurs.

Underage DUI

Additional laws to prevent underage drinking also apply to minors specifically. For example, the “Zero Tolerance” law enforces driver’s license suspension, potential prison time, and fines for minors found to be intoxicated while driving, and even the transportation of alcohol in a vehicle is strictly prohibited. Any possession, consumption, or purchase of alcohol by a minor automatically results in the suspension of driving privileges, which vary in length according to conviction.
Abiding by the state’s alcohol possession laws is critical in monitoring and preventing unnecessary underage drinking and driving incidences. By doing your part to put a stop to young drivers getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, you can protect more than just yourself from life-changing criminal charges; you can also protect innocent motorists and pedestrians from needless accident, injury, and death.

If you have been involved in an underage alcohol consumption incident and are facing potential criminal charges, make the decision to speak with a knowledgeable Joliet criminal defense attorney . Attorney Jack L. Zaremba can walk you through the necessary steps to protect yourself in a court of law. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

What You Should Know About Assault in Illinois

Joliet assault attoreny

Under Illinois law, there are several types of assault for which a person may face criminal charges. Assault, in any form, is a serious matter, and such charges may carry severe penalties. If you have been charged with assault, it is important to understand the potential implications.

The Basics of Assault

According to the Illinois Criminal Code , assault is defined as the act of placing someone at risk of bodily harm or creating the fear of such harm. This could include verbally threatening someone, or, perhaps, chasing after someone with your fists. It is crucial to recognize that assault charges are not dependent on whether you made physical contact with or injured another person. If you are found guilty of an assault charge without physical harm to the victim, you could still spend up to a month in jail and face up to $1,500 in fines. Your costs may also include legal fees and lost wages for missed work due to court appearances or time spent in jail. You may also be sentenced to up 120 hours of community service to be completed in accordance with the court’s direction.

Aggravating Factors

Aggravated assault is an assault charge that has been elevated because it involves a scenario in which it was not only more frightening for the victim, but carried the potential to be a more severe situation. You may be charged with aggravated assault if you threatened someone with a deadly weapon, for example, or if you were disguised during the time of the assault—wearing a mask or hood, for example. Even if you only committed non-aggravated assault, but the victim happened to be a state employee—such as a police officer, city bus driver, teacher, or ranger—the charge may be considered aggravated. The same holds true if the victim of the assault was handicapped or elderly and was not able, in that instance, to defend him or herself. Aggravated assault charges start as misdemeanors, with punishments including up to a year in jail, and a fine of up to $2,500, but may be elevated to felonies depending on the circumstances.

Charges of Battery

The offense of battery in Illinois is similar in some ways to assault, and many people confuse the two. Battery is simply the illegal act of causing any bodily harm. If the victim suffered suffered great bodily harm or permanent disability, the offense may be considered aggravated battery. Other aggravating factors may include the use of a weapon or disguise, as well as the age, disability, or occupation of the victim.

Seek Legal Help

If you or someone you know is facing assault charges of any type, it is important to have an attorney on your side who understands the criminal justice system. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba to discuss your case today. Mr. Zaremba is a former prosecutor who is prepared to help ensure your rights are fully protected.


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