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IL traffic lawyerBeing pulled over by a police officer while you are driving is not an uncommon occurrence. According to a study conducted by the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were nearly 2.5 million traffic stops conducted in 2018. Police can pull you over for a variety of reasons, including moving violations, equipment violations, and even license or registration violations. Traffic stops tend to be quickly completed, so many people are left with questions after they have received a traffic citation. Here are a few of the most common questions people have about Illinois traffic violations.

What Do I Do If I Am Pulled Over?

The most important thing to remember if you are pulled over is to cooperate with the police officer. Officers do not take kindly to combative or argumentative drivers. Your attitude about the traffic stop can be the difference between you getting a ticket and you being let off with a warning.

If you are being pulled over, you should make sure you find a safe spot to pull over. Roll your windows down and keep your hands visible by placing them on the steering wheel or in your lap. Do not reach for your license, registration or proof of insurance until the officer asks you to do so. If the officer decides to issue you a ticket, accept the ticket and contest it later.

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IL defense lawyerEach year, there is more than $45 billion lost from inventory shrinkage in the retail industry in the United States. Inventory shrinkage is caused by things such as fraud, internal theft, shoplifting, and even organized retail crime. Though it may seem like a victimless crime, retail theft harms the economy. This is why retailers and law enforcement officials have placed increased focus on catching shoplifters and prosecuting them in recent years. In Illinois, retail theft encompasses a wide variety of behaviors, not simply just taking an item without paying for it. In some instances, retail theft charges can become felony charges, which mean you face harsher consequences than if the charges were just misdemeanor charges.

Misdemeanor Retail Theft Charges

In general, a first-offense retail theft charge will be considered a Class A misdemeanor. This means you will face up to one year in jail, up to $2,500 in fines and/or possible probation time as a punishment. Retail theft is typically a Class A misdemeanor for first-time offenders as long as the value of the stolen goods does not exceed $300 or $150 for motor fuel.

Felony Retail Theft Charges

It does not take much for retail theft charges to escalate to felony charges. The offender's prior history with theft, robbery, burglary, forgery or other related crimes can dictate whether or not a charge is elevated to a felony charge. If the person has been convicted of retail theft of merchandise less than $300 and was previously convicted of theft, robbery, burglary or related crimes, the retail theft charge will become a Class 4 felony. This means the person can face one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

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IL traffic attorneyAccording to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 37,000 traffic fatalities in 2017. Of those more than 37,000, 26 percent or around 9,700 people were killed in speeding-related traffic accidents. Though the number of speeding-related deaths decreased between 2016 and 2017, speeding remains high on the list of causes of fatal traffic accidents. Because of this, Illinois state and local law enforcement are always on the lookout for drivers who are speeding or otherwise endangering others who are on the road. If you are caught speeding, you could face serious fines or even jail time in some cases. This is why a knowledgeable Illinois speeding ticket attorney can come in handy.

Hand-held Speed Measuring Devices

Many people have been pulled over for speeding before. First, the typical question is asked, “do you know how fast you were going?” If your answer is no, then the officer will tell you how fast they “clocked” you at. What exactly does that mean? The most commonly used way of determining whether or not a vehicle is speeding is by using a hand-held device. These can either be radars or laser devices, both of which can accurately determine the speed of a moving vehicle by using either radar waves or bouncing a laser off of a moving vehicle.

Photo Enforcement

Illinois work zones tend to be dangerously common places for speeding to occur. When a work zone is active, Illinois State Police will ensure photo radar enforcement equipment is in place and operating correctly. The photo speed enforcement will only be active during times when workers are present in the work zone, day or night. You will not be pulled over if you are caught speeding in a work zone; rather, you will be mailed a ticket within 14 days of the offense. You then will be required to appear in court and pay the $375 fine for a first offense or a $1,000 fine for a second offense.

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