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IL defense lawyerOne of the most innate human instincts is the fight or flight response. When we are faced with something intimidating, dangerous or scary, there is a split second in which your body decides whether you should stand your ground and fight the obstacle or if you should protect yourself and flee from it. Though we do not have to rely on this instinct nearly as much anymore, some people can still be overtaken by it in stressful situations, say, such as a car accident. Fleeing the scene of a car accident is not only impolite, but it is also illegal and can lead to criminal charges.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property-Damage

Some people may think that they do not have to stop after an accident if nobody was hurt; that is not the case. By law, you must still stop if you get into an accident involving property damage and give the other driver your information, such as your name, phone number, vehicle registration number, and your complete insurance information. Failure to do so can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. If you are convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in prison and a maximum of $2,500 in fines. The Secretary of State’s Office will also suspend your driver’s license if the damage to the other person’s vehicle is estimated to be more than $1,000.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Bodily Injury or Death

If you flee from the scene of an accident that involved death or bodily injury, the consequences become more serious. By law, you are required to stop right away, provide help to anyone who needs it and exchange information with the other driver. You are also required to call 911 if someone is in serious condition and needs medical attention. If calling 911 is not necessary, you are required to report the accident to law enforcement within 30 minutes or risk criminal charges.

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IL defeense lawyerPeople who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are held to higher standards than most other drivers on the road. This is because holding a CDL typically means you are driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) quite often, which is typically very large and heavy-duty. CMV’s are plenty safe when they are used in a correct and safe manner, but they can become extremely dangerous if a person drives recklessly or carelessly. Both state governments and the federal government have the power to create and enforce rules about CDL’s, CMV’s and the people who utilize them. In certain situations, your CDL can be put into danger of being revoked or disqualified if you commit certain acts, such as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Illinois DUI Penalties

If you are charged with a DUI and you hold a CDL, you not only face penalties pertaining to your CDL but also to your standard Illinois driving privileges. A first-time DUI in Illinois is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, meaning you face up to one year in prison, up to $2,500 in fines and a one-year driver’s license revocation.

The Effect of a DUI on Your CDL

According to Illinois law, your CDL can be disqualified for a minimum of 12 months if you commit a first violation of:

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IL defense lawyerOne of the more serious vehicular crimes you can be charged with in Illinois is reckless homicide. Reckless homicide is similar to involuntary manslaughter in that the perpetrator did not intend to kill another person, except reckless homicide involves the use of a motor vehicle while involuntary manslaughter does not. Often times, car accidents that result in the death of someone are the product of a speeding driver, a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or a distracted driver. Reckless homicide charges are felony charges and can result in thousands of dollars in fines and jail time. This is why it is important to hire legal counsel if you have been accused of reckless homicide in Illinois.

What Is Reckless Homicide?

According to the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012, reckless homicide occurs when a person unintentionally kills another person through the use of a motor vehicle without lawful justification. Reckless homicide involves actions that when committed are likely to cause death or great bodily harm and the perpetrator commits them recklessly. You can also be charged with reckless homicide if you kill someone with a motor vehicle while using an incline in a roadway to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

Penalties for Reckless Homicide

Basic reckless homicide is classified as a Class 3 felony. This means you face two to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Charges can increase to more serious felonies in certain situations. If reckless homicide is committed where school children cross the street and a crossing guard is performing his or her duty, or in a construction zone, you can be charged with a Class 2 felony, carrying a sentence of three to 14 years in prison. If you kill two or more people from the same incident, prison sentences are doubled to six to 28 years in prison.

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