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Informal and Formal Driver License Reinstatement Hearings in Illinois

joliet driver license reinstatement lawyer

Contrary to what some people believe, driving is a privilege, not a right. This means that the state that issued your driver’s license has the right to take it away if necessary. There are many situations that can cause you to lose your license in Illinois, but one of the most common reasons people lose their license is as the result of DUI. If your license has been suspended or revoked due to a DUI charge, you have to attend an administrative hearing conducted by the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State to reinstate your driver’s license . These hearings can be formal or informal, but your specific circumstances will determine which type of hearing you must attend.

Informal Hearing

An informal hearing is obviously the more relaxed of the two and the preferential choice when it comes to driver’s license reinstatements, but only certain people are eligible for informal hearings. You can only attend an informal hearing to reinstate your driving privileges if:

• Your DUI charge did not involve a fatality;

• You have only one DUI offense against you; or

• Your license was suspended because of a minor traffic violation.

These kinds of hearings are held on an informal basis, meaning you do not need an appointment to attend your hearing, you just need to show up at an Illinois Driver Services location.

Formal Hearing

If you do not qualify for an informal hearing, you will need to attend a formal hearing . Formal hearings are required if:

• Your DUI charge involved a fatality;

• You have had multiple DUI dispositions; or

• You were charged with a serious traffic offense.

Unlike informal hearings, you must submit a request for a formal hearing and a $50 filing fee before you will be given a hearing date. Formal hearings are also only held in Springfield, Chicago, Mt. Vernon and Joliet.
In order to be prepared for your hearing, you must have a copy of your Alcohol/Drug Evaluation Uniform Report, which classifies you into a risk category based on a number of factors. Your classification level will determine what additional requirements you must meet in order to be considered for driver’s license reinstatement.

An Experienced Will County Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorney Can Help

Everyone needs to drive. While driving is a privilege that can be taken away, your life will probably become very difficult if you are not allowed to drive. If you have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked because of a DUI or other charges, you should contact a Joliet driver’s license reinstatement lawyer immediately. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can help you reinstate your driving privileges and get you back behind the wheel. To schedule a free consultation, call the office at 815-740-4025.

Understanding Illinois Law Regarding Telephone and Electronic Harassment

joliet telephone harassment lawyer

At what point does thoughtless, obnoxious behavior cross the line to become a crime of telephone or electronic harassment ? Consider the following situations:

• A person makes repeated phone calls to another with the intent to harass them, whether the calls involve any conversation, just hanging up, making abusive or threatening statements, or making obscene comments or suggestions.

• A student in the midst of a heated online game battle with other students sends out a text message saying, “We are so going to kill you!”

• A person sends an email to a victim that threatens to beat them up.

• A person sends a “sext” message or email which includes an obscene image or makes an obscene proposal.

Harassing and Obscene Communications

All of the above actions can constitute harassing and obscene communications , which are prohibited by Illinois law. This law defines “harassing” as conduct that would cause a reasonable person emotional distress and does cause emotional distress to the victim. A first violation of this statute is a Class B misdemeanor, while a second or subsequent offense is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum punishment of either 14 days in jail or 240 hours of community service.

This charge can be elevated to a Class 4 felony if the offender:

• Was over 18 years of age and harassed a person under age 18;

• Was over age 16 and harassed a person under age 13;

• Was subject to a court order prohibiting contact with the victim;

• Made a threat to kill as part of the offense;

• Has one or more prior harassment violations involving the same victim or a member of their family;

• Has three or more prior telephone or electronic harassment violations in the past 10 years; or

• Has been convicted of a forcible felony in the last 10 years.

Example Cases of Electronic Harassment

In one recent Illinois case, a high school teacher was convicted of Class B misdemeanor electronic harassment after sending dozens of suggestive text messages and emails to a 16-year-old student. His sentence for this included:

• Six months of electronically-monitored home confinement;

• Two years of probation; and

• Restitution of $5,250 to pay for counseling for the victim.

In a separate McHenry County case, a woman told a man to stop harassing a group of women. The man followed up by using an electronic device to harass the woman, threatening to slit her throat. The 23-year-old man claimed the threat was “meant as a joke” and that he “just has no filter on his mouth.” Nonetheless, he was charged with electronic harassment . Because the man did not menace the woman in person, his behavior did not rise to the level of assault .

Call a Knowledgeable Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with harassment or assault in Will County, seek advice from an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney . At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we will thoroughly investigate your case and vigorously defend you against any misdemeanor or felony charges. Contact us at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation. We respond to calls around the clock.

I Was Arrested But the Police Did Not Read Me My Miranda Rights. Now What?

joliet Miranda rights lawyers

If you have watched police shows or movies, you probably know that you have the right to remain silent if and when you are ever arrested , right? In fact, the officer who arrests you must remind you of that right—as well as a few others—immediately upon taking you custody. While you do have the right to remain silent—as well as a few other rights—many people assume that they know the law when it comes to their Miranda rights. They, however, are often wrong. If you were arrested on the suspicion that you committed a crime but were never read your rights, it is important to understand your available options.

Your Miranda Rights

The series of statements and questions that comprise the “Miranda Rights” are often and more accurately known as the “Miranda Warnings.” Most police departments use the same or very similar wording. There are two specific rights addressed and explained:

1. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

2. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.

An officer will generally conclude the warnings with two questions:

1. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?

2. With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?

The right to remain silent is a restatement of your Fifth Amendment right regarding self-incrimination while the right to an attorney is an explanation of your Sixth Amendment right to counsel during a criminal prosecution. The questions are meant to ensure that there is no ambiguity.

What If I Was Not Mirandized?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no requirement for you to be read your Miranda rights upon arrest. Instead, the police must provide the Miranda Warnings prior to you being questioned while in police custody. So what does that mean? It means that if the police wish to arrest you and bring you to the police station for questioning, they can do so without reading you your rights.

Whoever conducts the interrogation will need to remind you of your Miranda Rights before any questioning takes place. If the interrogator does not do so, any information obtained during the questioning is likely to be deemed inadmissible—not only in court but also for the purposes of obtaining warrants and other aspects of the investigation.

Of course, if there is enough physical or circumstantial evidence without your statements, you could still be convicted even if you were never read your rights. That is, the information gathered during questioning could be thrown out, and you might still be found guilty. If, however, a significant part of the prosecution’s case relies on your confession or statements and you were never Mirandized, the entire case against you could be dismissed.

Call Us for Help

If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with a crime, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney right away. Do not speak with police or answer questions until you have a lawyer present. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-40255 to get the help you need today. We offer free consultations.

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