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DuPage County criminal defense attorney traffic violation

It is often said that driving is a privilege, not a right. That is why there are strict laws in place for anyone who operates a motor vehicle. Obtaining a driver’s license is a rite of passage for teenagers once they turn 16 in Illinois. As in most states, new Illinois drivers must complete a driver education course and behind-the-wheel training before receiving a valid driver’s license. For those who are in the working world and in an industry where they are going to be driving a truck, tractor-trailer, or multi-passenger vehicle for their job, they will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). While anyone who violates a traffic law can be subject to criminal penalties, CDL drivers may face harsher consequences.  

CDL Classes 

Under Illinois law, a CDL must be obtained for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that weigh 26,001 or more pounds or that transport hazardous materials or 16 or more occupants. There are three classes of CDLs based on the weight of the truck and/or trailer. Class A refers to tractor-trailers, also known as semi-trucks, big rigs, or 18-wheelers. Class B includes straight trucks, buses, segmented buses, box trucks, and dump trucks. Class C is for double/triple trailers, buses, tank trucks, and HazMat vehicles. It is important to note that CMVs that are operated for recreational, military, or emergency response duties are exempt from the standard CDL requirements. 

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Wheaton traffic violations attorneyThe Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is a state agency in charge of public roadways that are maintained by the state of Illinois. In addition, IDOT provides funding for rail, public, transit, and airport projects and administers fuel tax and federal funding to local jurisdictions in the state. Part of IDOT’s responsibilities include setting regulations for vehicles’ weights while they are traveling on the road. If a truck or commercial vehicle is too heavy, it can damage the highways and tollways as well as local roads and side streets. Under the Illinois Vehicle Code, there are instances where IDOT can issue special permits authorizing the operation of a vehicle or combination of vehicles that exceed the maximum weight normally allowed. For example, you may have noticed those “Oversize Load” signs on trucks or trailers that are moving a mobile home or massive construction equipment or parts. If a driver does not follow the requirements for overweight vehicles, he or she can be issued a traffic violation

Overweight Violations

When a driver is operating his or her vehicle under the authority of an oversize/ overweight permit issued by IDOT, there are specific actions that constitute a violation of the permit. These offenses can include the following: 

  • Incorrect license plate number or state

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Wheaton traffic violations lawyerThe Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that does not receive state or federal funds to operate or maintain its roadways. I-PASS was implemented to avoid traffic delays by allowing motorists to seamlessly travel through the open road tolling lanes. This eliminates idling time, excessive braking, and the need to stop at toll plazas. The cost for each toll is also discounted for those who use an I-PASS, cutting the toll price in half. In addition, account alerts keep users up to date, alerting them if their credit cards on file are out of date or show low account balances. According to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, a person’s driver’s license may be suspended for failure to pay fines or penalties for five or more toll violations or evasions. However, starting July 1, that may no longer be the case. It is important to understand what actions or inactions can lead to a traffic violation if you are a frequent traveler on these Illinois roads. 

Penalties for Not Paying Tolls in Illinois

Motorists on any Illinois tollway are required to pay specified toll amounts at each toll plaza according to designated signs. Failure to pay the tolls may be considered a traffic violation, and it can result in costly fines and even a driver’s license suspension in some cases.

Drivers who miss paying a toll typically have a seven-day grace period to pay them online. Once a notice is received, motorists have 30 days to pay the fines or contest the violations. Penalties may include paying the amount in missed tolls plus an additional $20 per violation.

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DuPage County traffic ticket defense lawyerLaws are put in place to provide for the overall safety of a community and ensure the rights of citizens are protected. These regulations exist at the local, state, and national levels. The state of Illinois saw more than 250 new laws go into effect on January 1, 2020. Ranging from legalizing recreational marijuana to increasing penalties for certain traffic-related crimes, these changes are meant to better protect Illinois residents in a variety of areas. It is important for Illinois motorists to be aware of the significant changes to traffic laws in order to avoid criminal charges that could result from a traffic violation.    

Scott’s Law 

Also referred to as the “move over law,” Scott’s Law requires all Illinois motorists to slow down, change lanes, and proceed with caution while passing emergency or disabled vehicles. This gives first responders whose hazard lights are flashing more room to attend to incidents on the side of the road. It was originally signed into law in 2000 after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunk driver. 

As of January 1, 2020, the fines and penalties for breaking this law have been increased. A first offense carries a fine of $250, and subsequent violations will result in a $750 fine. The Scott’s Law Fund was also created to produce informational materials as well as hire off-duty Illinois State Police officers to enforce this very important law.

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DuPage County traffic violation defense lawyerYou may have heard the phrase, “Driving is a privilege, not a right.” A person must obtain a driver’s license before he or she can legally operate a motor vehicle on Illinois roadways. The privilege of driving is earned by passing a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) test and agreeing to follow the rules of the road. If drivers do not obey these regulations, the Secretary of State can take away their driving privileges by suspending or revoking their license. In Illinois, traffic violations are usually categorized as “petty” or “misdemeanor” offenses. Depending on the alleged violation, a driver may be able to fight the ticket and have the charges dismissed altogether.    

Common Types of Traffic Violations

Disobeying traffic laws can result in serious consequences due to the danger it poses to other drivers or pedestrians on the road. For this reason, law enforcement officers patrol the highways in an effort to prevent accidents due to reckless or negligent driving habits. Depending on the circumstances, a police officer can issue a ticket to a driver who violates these rules. 

Some of the typical traffic violations include but are not limited to the following:

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