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Illinois May Ease Laws on Driver’s License Suspension

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Over 80 percent of Illinois residents drive their own car to work. To stay employed, having a valid driver’s license can be almost as important as a person’s skills and experience. Yet current Illinois law allows the Secretary of State to suspend your driver’s license for many different reasons, ranging from unpaid traffic tickets to driving under the influence .

According to a recent report, Living in Suspension, published by the Chicago Jobs Council , license suspensions can “force people to choose between unemployment, bankruptcy, or risking going to jail for driving on a suspended license.” To remedy the hardship imposed by license suspensions, the Illinois legislature is considering changes to the state laws that govern driver’s license suspensions.

The License to Work Act (SB2411) was introduced in January 2018 and could take effect as early as July 2019. If passed, this proposal would eliminate driver’s license suspension as a penalty for:

• Unpaid tolls and related fines;

• Theft of motor fuel;

• Chronic absence from school by a minor under age 18 (truancy);

• Being adjudged to have a mental disability or disease;

• Underage purchase, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages (section 6-20 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934 or a similar local ordinance), unless the person was an occupant of a motor vehicle at the time of the violation;

• Possession of medical cannabis in a motor vehicle in violation of Illinois Vehicle Code sections 11-502.1(b and c), which require containment in a sealed, tamper-evident medical cannabis container; and

• Certain misdemeanor offenses involving a motor vehicle if the accused “did not exercise actual physical control of the vehicle in the commission of the offense,” such as criminal trespass to a parked vehicle (720 ILCS 5/21-2) or theft of parts from a parked vehicle (625 ILCS 5/4-102).

The proposed law would also:

• Reinstate driver’s licenses that were suspended or revoked due to the offenses listed above;

• Eliminate the broad right of the Secretary of State to suspend a person’s driver’s license for “failure to pay any fees, or civil penalties owed to the Illinois Commerce Commission, or taxes due;” and

• Require local authorities to “conduct a hearing to determine an individual’s ability to pay and impose a payment plan before requesting suspension of a license” for unpaid parking tickets.

Fight Back with a Will County Driver’s License Reinstatement Lawyer

A license suspension is costly: you will pay up to $500 to get your license reinstated, your car insurance fees can go up, you could lose your job, and you will face stiff fines and other penalties if you are caught behind the wheel during your suspension period. An experienced Joliet driver’s license reinstatement lawyer can help you fight a DUI-related suspension and also help you get a suspended license reinstated as quickly as possible. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation to discuss your situation.

Common Crimes Committed by Teens

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While children committing crimes is not uncommon, it does not happen nearly as often as adults committing crimes. According to the FBI , there were 681,701 juveniles arrested and 7,799,901 adults arrested in 2016, which makes juvenile crime only eight percent of all crime in the U.S. Of those juveniles arrested, the majority of them were teens, with 491,126 juvenile arrests, or 72 percent, made to those who were between the ages of 15 and 18. While law enforcement has seen some disturbing increase in violent crimes committed by juveniles , there is a general trend for the types of crimes that teens tend to be arrested for.

Theft/Larceny: Over 107,000 juvenile arrests in 2016 were made because of theft/larceny charges. These charges include general theft charges and shoplifting charges. General theft occurs when a person takes possession of property that is not their own without permission from the owner. Shoplifting occurs when a person takes possession of an item that is for sale in a retail establishment. These charges can be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of the stolen items.

Vandalism: This is also a common crime for teenagers to commit. According to the FBI, over 31,000 teens were arrested for vandalism in 2016. Vandalism is committed when a person damages, destructs, defaces or otherwise destroys the property of another person. Most of the time, vandalism committed by teenagers is graffiti or tagging of property.

Alcohol/Drug Offenses: In all 50 states, the minimum age to legally consume alcohol is 21. In states where recreational marijuana is legal, the minimum age is also 21. In the state of Illinois, recreational marijuana is illegal . Most alcohol or drug offenses committed by teenagers are underage drinking or marijuana possession offenses.

Disorderly Conduct: This crime is committed when a person creates a scene, makes a fake call to 911, makes a threat to a public place or otherwise disrupts the peace. For teenagers, this can mean fighting in a public place or public indecency.

Tobacco Offenses: In all 50 states, you must be at least 18 years old to purchase tobacco or nicotine products. It is a crime to ask an older person to purchase these products for you if you are underage, use these products or possess a fake ID to purchase these products.

Curfew Violations: Most states have in place a curfew, or time in which those under a certain age must be at home. In Illinois, minors cannot be in a public place during curfew hours, which are between midnight and 6:00 a.m. on weekends and 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. during the week.

Get Help From a Will County Juvenile Defense Attorney

If you or your child has been charged with a crime, you need the immediate help of a Joliet juvenile defense lawyer . Even if the crime is seemingly insignificant, it will remain on your child’s record if he or she is convicted. To help your child start out as an adult with a clean record, contact the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. today. Call 815-740-4025 and schedule your free initial consultation.

How to Fight a DUI-Related Driver’s License Suspension

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Did you know that you can lose your driver’s license just for being arrested for driving under the influence , even if you are not convicted of the crime of DUI?

Failing or Refusing DUI Testing = Automatic License Suspension

If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe you have been driving while intoxicated, you will be arrested and taken to a police station. Once there, you will be asked to submit to alcohol and/or drug testing, such as a breathalyzer test. If you either fail or refuse this evidentiary chemical testing, you will be handed a notice that your Illinois driver’s license is being suspended. This is an administrative penalty imposed by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office and is known as a statutory summary suspension .

“Failing” drug/alcohol testing means that you tested over the legal limit for alcohol, THC (marijuana), and/or other drugs.

“Refusing” means that you refused to complete a breath, blood, or urine test (whatever the police ask for). If you refuse, the police can either accept your refusal or they can request a warrant from a local judge to do a blood draw without your consent. A warrant will probably be requested if you caused an accident while driving impaired, particularly if someone was injured or killed. For a first offense, the length of your suspension will be six months for failing or 12 months for refusing the chemical test. For a second or subsequent DUI within five years, your license will be suspended for one year for failing or three years for refusing.

How to Fight a Statutory Summary Suspension in Illinois

You have the right to contest the suspension of your driver’s license ( 625 ILCS 5/2-118.1 ). To do this, you or your attorney must, within 90 days of your arrest, file a petition in the circuit court for the county where you were arrested. This petition must state the legal grounds for challenging your suspension. A circuit court judge must hear your case within 30 days of your filing or on the first court date for the criminal charges.

At the hearing, the burden is on you and your attorney to show why the suspension should be dropped (the legal term is “rescinded”). Valid grounds include:

• Insufficient probable cause for an arrest on DUI charges;

• Improper arrest or issuance of ticket for DUI;

• Law enforcement failure to provide the required warning regarding the consequences of submitting to versus refusing the evidentiary drug/alcohol testing;

• Law enforcement claim that you refused testing, but you did not refuse. (For example, you tried to complete the breathalyzer test as directed but were unable to, and the police took that to mean you were refusing the test.); and

• Whether the test results actually show that you were over the legal limit for alcohol or other intoxicants.

If the judge finds in your favor, the court will order the Secretary of State’s office to rescind (cancel) the suspension of your driver’s license.

A Will County DUI Defense Attorney Can Help You Fight Your Suspension

A license suspension is very costly: you must either not drive at all for six months or longer, or pay hundreds of dollars to get a “blow-to-drive” device installed in your car. If you or a loved one got a DUI ticket and driver’s license suspension notice, call an experienced Joliet DUI defense lawyer right away. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we will help you fight the statutory summary suspension as well as the DUI criminal charge. Contact us 24/7 at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation.

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