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Waukegan Legal Blog

What does the new Michigan marijuana law mean for Illinois residents?

Last November, Michigan residents voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Legalization is becoming more common in states across the country, but the new laws also create complications.

The fact is, marijuana is still illegal according to federal law. Additionally, even states that allow possession and sale of marijuana do so with restrictions. If you live in Illinois, you may see the change in Michigan and consider a road trip and purchase or consume marijuana legally. This, however, could put you in legal jeopardy.

How does the Illinois traffic violation points system work?

One of the How Does the Illinois Traffic Violation Points System work?biggest mistakes drivers make is underestimating the damage of minor traffic infractions. Due to the laws in Illinois, seemingly small violations can add up and lead to license suspension or revocation.

The office of the Secretary of State tracks driving convictions and assigns point totals based on the severity of the infraction. Accumulating too many points in a 12-month period could mean the end of your driving privileges.

Worried about losing your license for a first-time DUI? Here's what you should know.

If you are facing a DUI, one of your primary concerns is whether you will lose your license. You depend on your license to get around, make money, and see friends and family. Losing your license can affect not just you, but your finances and your family.

Your concern is valid. Under Illinois law of Implied Consent, if law enforcement stops you and your blood alcohol content (BAC) tests above the legal limit of .08 percent, or if you refuse to take a BAC test, you will receive an administrative license suspension, also called statutory summary suspension. This administrative suspension is different than a revocation. How? The administrative suspension is based entirely on whether you comply with and pass or fail a chemical sobriety test. In other words, you could face an administrative license suspension even if you are ultimately not convicted of DUI. A DUI conviction mandates a revocation (an indefinite suspension) for a minimum of one year. 

How a DUI charge can ruin a college student’s future

Young adults going to college are entering a stressful and exhilarating portion of their lives. While they face a lot of anxiety keeping up with their difficult classes and planning for their future, they also have a lot more freedom than before. Many look forward to the college traditions associated with alcohol once they turn 21 in their university to have some fun before they go and get jobs after graduation.

Unfortunately, all of those future plans can come to a grinding halt with one simple DUI charge. If you are a college student, there are several consequences a DUI can bring on your life during and after college. It is critical to be aware of these ramifications so you can be cautious with your future actions.

For Commercial Drivers, Traffic Tickets Can Be A Job Killer

For most drivers, a traffic ticket is a costly inconvenience. For professional driver, a ticket can be much worse. It can be a job killer.

Truck drivers and other people who need to drive for their job need to be especially careful when they are on the road, whether they are driving their commercial vehicle or the family car. If you get too many points, your CDL may be suspended or revoked. Before that happens, you may lose your job because your employer's insurance company will no longer cover you.

Some traffic tickets more serious than others

While all traffic offenses are serious and can result in higher insurance rates and other issues, some are misdemeanors that can result in jail time.

Illinois traffic courts handle misdemeanor traffic offenses differently from violations that are punishable by fine only. You will be required to appear in court if the ticket is a misdemeanor. Here are examples of the most common misdemeanor traffic tickets in Illinois:

When a traffic ticket is more than a ticket

Some traffic tickets can affect much more than just your insurance rates. One example is reckless driving, which is a Class A criminal misdemeanor in Illinois (the legal equivalent of a DUI and speeding more than 35 mph over the posted limit).

A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that would result in a permanent criminal record if you are convicted.  It could affect your employment and areas of your life.

What happens if you don’t pay a traffic ticket?

If you ignore a traffic ticket will it go away?

Unfortunately not. Sooner or later, traffic tickets come home to roost – even if you live in another state or city from where you were ticketed.  The consequences of not paying a ticket can range from an additional fine, to suspension of your driver’s license, to a warrant for your arrest.

Why you should avoid a first DUI conviction

Penalties for a first DUI conviction in the state of Illinois are harsh. But second convictions? They’re even harsher. This is one of the reasons why you should avoid a first conviction.

While you may assume that you’ll never get a second conviction after experiencing a DUI arrest, it’s important to remember that you’ll be treading on very thin ice.  Nobody plans to be arrested a second time, but it can happen. And the penalties for a second DUI are so harsh in Illinois, you won’t be able to drive for five years if convicted.