What Is Scotts Law or the Illinois Move Over Law

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Illinois drivers must start obeying Scott’s Law or face the consequences as the state police step up enforcement of the move-over law. More tickets are expected to be issued this spring and summer due to rising concerns about the safety of state troopers and other emergency services personnel when working roadside traffic stops and accident scenes.

In the first few months of 2019, a record number of state troopers , 16, were struck by other vehicles and two of them were killed. Nearly 500 drivers have already been ticketed for Scott’s Law violations in 2019, more than double the number during a comparable time frame in 2018.

The Penalty for Failing to Move Over

Scott’s Law, 625 ILCS 5/11-907(c) , requires drivers to slow down and change lanes away from a stopped emergency vehicle when they see flashing lights. The penalty for this traffic violation is a fine between $100 and $10,000, plus a driver’s license suspension if the violation results in a collision causing property damage (90 days to one year), injury (180 days to two years), or death (two years).

The State’s Attorneys in several Illinois counties have announced that they will be tougher in their prosecutions of move-over violators. One such State’s Attorney says they will no longer give offenders the option of court supervision, which keeps a ticket off your driving record. Another said they will take it a step further and ensure that offenders pay a fine of at least $500 plus court costs, for a total cost of nearly $1,000.

Increased Enforcement of Illinois’ Move-Over Law

Some law enforcement officers blame cell phones and distracted drivers for the rise in accidents. One county sheriff recounted an incident in which a sergeant and a trooper were both standing by their vehicles on the side of a highway. A distracted driver hit both of their cars, but the officers escaped injury in that case. The Illinois Sheriff’s Association has responded by initiating a traffic awareness campaign to help prevent deputies from being endangered during traffic stops.

One Illinois fire department announced that it will be taking additional precautions when handling serious traffic accidents. Rather than take the risk of being hit by passing cars, they plan to close the roadway entirely in both directions and will call upon law enforcement to assist with redirecting traffic to detours.

Will County Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer

A traffic ticket can be more than a minor nuisance. If you are cited for violating Scott’s Law, you could be facing a serious fine and suspension of your driver’s license. You will need an experienced Will County ticket defense lawyer who can negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduced sentence or possibly even dismissal of the charges. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba for a free consultation at 815-740-4025.

Exploring Plea Bargains and Their Benefits

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Criminal trials are often lengthy, complicated processes. There are many rules and regulations that must be followed during criminal trials. Those rules vary depending on which state you are being tried in and whether or not you are being tried in federal court or state court. The infamous OJ Simpson trial lasted for 11 months before a decision was reached, but other trials have taken years to conclude, costing millions of dollars. One of the solutions prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys have strategically used to help reduce the time of criminal trials is by offering plea bargains. According to the United States Bureau of Justice, around 90 to 95 percent of criminal cases result in a plea bargain.

What is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain is an agreement made between the defendant (you) and the prosecutor (the lawyer representing the local, state, or federal government). The agreement involves you entering a guilty plea to some or all of the charges that are being brought against you, usually in exchange for a more lenient sentence than would be applied following a finding of guilt at trial. Rather than going to trial to determine whether or not you are guilty, you skip that step and plead guilty. A plea bargain might involve reducing the severity of the charges against a person, reducing the number of charges against a person, reducing the severity of the sentence, or a combination of the three.

Benefits of Plea Bargains

Plea bargains have taken root in the American criminal justice system and have benefitted many, though they are thought to be controversial. Benefits of plea bargains may include:

• A reduction in the uncertainty of a defendant’s outcome;

• A reduction in the amount of time it takes to complete the criminal justice process;

• A reduction in the costs associated with a criminal trial; and

• The opportunity for defendants to obtain a more lenient sentence than if they went to trial.

On the other hand, there is concern that the pressure to accept a plea bargain could result in an innocent person pleading guilty to a crime that he or she did not actually commit.

Consult With a Knowledgeable Will County Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

When you are facing criminal charges, it can be a scary experience. There is much uncertainty when you find yourself at odds with the law. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you figure out what your best course of action would be for any criminal charge you may be facing. Jack Zaremba is a former Will County prosecutor, so he has extensive knowledge of the Illinois criminal justice system and can help you negotiate a plea bargain, if appropriate. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 815-740-4025 Today

Adult Redeploy Illinois: Avoiding Jail for a Felony Crime

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A decade ago, Illinois passed a groundbreaking law called the Illinois Crime Reduction Act of 2009. The opening lines of the Act read: “Currently, the Illinois correction system overwhelmingly incarcerates people whose time in prison does not result in improved behavior and who return to Illinois communities in less than one year.” This law created the Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) program with the goal of diverting people who have committed lower-level felony crimes such as DUI , drug possession drug possession, and theft from jail sentences to local rehabilitation programs. In many cases, offenders have been repeatedly arrested and traditional court punishments have failed to impact their future behavior. ARI seeks to break the cycle of crime and help these individuals become productive citizens.

How Does Adult Redeploy Illinois Work?

More than 1,600 people participate in community-based, jail-alternative programs in Illinois each year funded by ARI. These people represent a 25% reduction in the number of offenders placed into the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections each year.

Each Illinois county has its own approach to implementing ARI. In Will County, ARI funding supports all of the problem-solving courts, including drug court, mental health court, veterans court, and an ARI for offenders with longer and more complicated criminal histories.

The goal of ARI is to help offenders address the underlying issues that led them to commit crimes. In some cases, early life trauma has inhibited an individual’s development of moral values, basic life skills, and work skills. In other cases, mental illness or substance abuse disorders play a role. ARI seeks to break the cycle of criminal behavior through the use of counseling, skills training, and medical treatment.

ARI uses behavior modification methods such as anger management training, yoga, ADHD therapy, neuro bio-feedback training, medication-assisted treatment, and more. One component of the program is the Moral Recognition Therapy Group, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy which helps clients work through 12 steps to become aware of their antisocial feelings and behaviors and to convert them into prosocial behaviors. Life skills such as money management and job skills are also taught.

People typically remain in an ARI program for 18 to 24 months. If they successfully complete the terms of the program assigned to them by the court, they will have their felony conviction stricken off with leave to reinstate, which allows fo r expungement of the criminal record .

Contact a Will County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have committed a non-violent crime in Will County, you need an experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer to defend you and safeguard your legal rights. If a conviction appears unavoidable, we can advise you on ways to avoid jail, such as participating in one of the problem-solving court programs funded by Adult Redeploy Illinois. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free consult.


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