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What You Should Know About Reckless Driving in Illinois

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While many people consider traffic violations to be minor offenses, the truth is that traffic violations can result in serious punitive consequences. Being accused of reckless driving can result in heavy fines and even jail time. A reckless driving charge is not something to take lightly. Read on to learn about Illinois reckless driving law and what you can do to defend against such charges.

What Constitutes Reckless Driving?

According to Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-503, reckless driving includes:

• When a driver is “willfully or wantonly disregarding the safety of other persons or property while driving their vehicle;” and

• When a driver purposely uses an incline to make their vehicle become airborne.

The first scenario is much more common than the latter. An individual who is traveling at a very high speed may be charged with reckless driving. Behaviors like swerving back and forth between lanes without signaling and driving erratically may also be considered reckless driving. Negligent driving, or driving without consideration for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians, is often considered reckless driving as well.

Reckless Driving Penalties

If you are convicted of standard reckless driving in Illinois, you will be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and $2,500 in fines. Additionally, one point is added to your driver’s license. If anyone was injured as a result of your reckless driving, the penalties you are facing are more severe. Reckless driving which causes serious injuries to another person is called aggravated reckless driving. This crime is a class 4 felony which is punishable by one to three years imprisonment, up to 30 months on probation, and a maximum of $25,000 in fines. Reckless driving that results in death will most likely lead to reckless homicide charges.

Possible Defenses Against Reckless Driving Charges

Illinois law says that reckless driving must be “willful.” This means that you must have knowingly driven in a way that was reckless. If you and your legal counsel can convince the judge or jury that your behavior was not intentional, the charges against you may be dropped. The difference between a speeding violation and reckless driving violation may only be a few miles per hour. In cases like these, a defendant may be able to argue that the speedometer did not accurately reflecting the vehicle’s speed.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with reckless driving, our skilled Joliet traffic violation defense lawyers can help. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

The Differences Between Assault and Battery in Illinois

joliet assault battery lawyer

Most people are not familiar with the criminal justice system. Often, the first exposure people do have with the criminal justice system is when they get themselves into trouble. Most people’s knowledge about the criminal justice system, crimes and punishments comes from what they see and hear on television and movies and what they read in news stories about crime. This can lead to much confusion about what actually constitutes specific crimes and how they are prosecuted. Assault and battery are two separate crimes that many people often confuse for one another, as their definition can differ depending on the state bringing the charges. If you have been charged with assault, battery or both in Illinois, it is important that you understand what these crimes are and what kind of punishments they may result in.

Assault Charges

According to Illinois law , assault occurs when a person knowingly engages in conduct which places another person in apprehension of receiving a battery. Basically, assault occurs when a person makes another person reasonably believe that they will be physically harmed. Assault is a Class C misdemeanor when it is basic assault, though the charges can increase up to a Class 3 felony for aggravated assault. This means that you could face up to 30 days in prison and up to $1,500 in fines for “regular” assault. If the judge does not sentence you to incarceration, you could be required to serve between 30 and 120 hours of community service.

What is Battery?

Battery occurs when a person knowingly and unlawfully causes physical harm to another person or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. For basic battery, it is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning you could face up to a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Aggravated battery can be sought if certain conditions apply and charges can go up to a Class X felony in serious situations. This means you could face up to 30 years in prison and $25,000 in fines for aggravated battery.

Our Joliet Violent Crimes Defense Attorney Can Help

Assault and battery are two crimes that are taken seriously because of their violent nature. Thankfully, there are defenses to these crimes that can help to reduce the severity of your punishment or drop the charges completely. If you have been accused of assault or battery, hiring a skilled Will County violent crimes defense lawyer is your best bet at a favorable outcome. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we will try our best to reduce the charges, keep you out of jail and avoid a conviction at all costs. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

Understanding the Difference Between Bail and Bond

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If your loved one has been arrested, you may be wondering what steps you should take next. Perhaps you have heard that you need to come up with a certain amount of money for “bail” and that in order to do this you need a bail bond. The words “bail” and “bond” often appear to be used interchangeably, but there are important differences between these two terms. The best way to protect your rights after a criminal arrest is to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney

Bail is a Form of Security to Ensure the Defendant Appears at Trial

After a defendant has been arrested, the judge may require a form of collateral to ensure that the defendant appears for his or her trial. The trial date for a criminal offense is usually several weeks or months after the original arrest. Defendants arrested on criminal charges may stay in jail while they wait for their trial, but for an innocent or wrongly-accused defendant, staying in jail can be agonizing. Posting bail gives the defendant the option to leave the jail while waiting for his or her trial.

When a judge sets bail, he or she will choose the required amount based on the seriousness of the alleged crime. The flight risk, or risk that the defendant will flee, is also taken into consideration by the judge when setting the dollar amount of bail. Bail payment amounts can vary significantly. Some defendants only need to pay a few hundred dollars while other defendants may have a bail requirement of up to millions of dollars. When he defendant appears at his or her trial, he or she is entitled to a refund of bail payments made on his or her behalf.

Posting Bond in Illinois Differs from other States

If your loved one was arrested and is being offered to leave jail on bail, you may be concerned about how to come up with the money. Many individuals who have been arrested do not have the financial resources to pay an expensive bail. Fortunately, there is an option for defendants to avoid remaining in jail for the weeks and months leading up to a criminal trial. A defendant facing bail may be able to come to an agreement with the court that they will appear for trial. This agreement, called a bond, requires the defendant to pay ten percent of the total bail amount.

In other states, a bail bond is often issued by a third party called a bail bondsman. However, Illinois law disallows private bail bonds. Instead, all bail bonds in Illinois are created through the state. In some cases, the judge may hold a criminal defendant without bail, but this option is usually reserved for the most grievous crimes.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, speak with an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. Contact us at 815-740-4025 today for a free consultation.

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