Distracted Driving Lawyer Defending Distracted Driving Cases
Distracted Driving attorney, James G. Dimeas, has spent more than 26 years representing clients charged with Distracted Driving in Illinois. In particular, James Dimeas has handled hundreds of Distracted Driving cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County, successfully. Distracted Driving lawyer, James Dimeas, understands the stress that a motorist is faced with when facing Distracted Driving charges that could result in the loss of driving privileges and jail time if there was an accident. A conviction for Distracted Driving could have serious implications that could result in the loss of driving privileges and a jail sentence if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident. James Dimeas has the knowledge and the experience with handling Distracted Driving cases that is necessary to understand the serious implications involved with a Distracted Driving ticket. James Dimeas will use his extensive experience and skills to make sure that you do not lose your license and that you do not go to jail for Distracted Driving if you are involved in an accident.
According to the Illinois State Police, Distracted Driving played a role in over 1 million car accidents in North America last year. The impact to our economy is roughly $40 billion a year. According to a May, 2018 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 25% of crashes involved some form of Distracted Driving. The report found that driving while texting is 6 times more dangerous than Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI).
In response to the dangers of Distracted Driving, which have been increasing in recent years because of the growing use of cell phones and electronic devices, Illinois banned the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle in 2014. Illinois joined the overwhelming majority of states in banning or limiting the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.
What Electronic Use is Allowed and Not Allowed in Illinois?
You are considered to be texting by entering text on your phone, or reading text from a phone, including sending a text message or an email. You are considered to be using your cell phone if you are merely accessing a web page. You are considered to be making a phone call if you are making or ending a cell phone call by pressing more than a single button on your phone.
Using the navigation system on your phone or your vehicle is allowed in Illinois. You are allowed to use a music player on your phone or your vehicle. You are allowed to use your CB radio as long as you are not texting while doing so.
Current Illinois Distracted Driving Laws
The Illinois Distracted Driving Laws are set out in 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2. Under the current Illinois Distracted Driving Law, it is illegal in Illinois to:
-Use any electronic handheld electronic device while driving.
-Use any cell phone while driving in a school zone or a highway construction zone.
-Use any electronic device for drivers under the age of 19.
The Illinois Distracted Driving law creates certain exceptions to the prohibition of using electronic devices while driving. The exceptions are set forth below:
-The Illinois Distracted Driving law allows motorists to use hands-free devices such as a Bluetooth device, a headset, or the voice activation feature of your cell phone or your automobile. However, you cannot use your cell phone while your vehicle is operating on the roadway.
-You may text and drive for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency and communicating with emergency personnel.
-You may use your cell phone, or an electronic device, while your vehicle is parked on the shoulder of the road.
-You may use your cell phone in traffic if the traffic is being of obstructed and your vehicle is in park or neutral.
What Are the Current Penalties for Distracted Driving in Illinois?
Under current Illinois Law, your first violation for Distracted Driving is considered a petty offense that only carries a fine and court costs. Under current Illinois Distracted Driving law, your first Distracted Driving ticket will not count towards any points on your license. A second, or subsequent, Distracted Driving offense, will be considered a moving violation. The maximum fine for your first Distracted Driving offense is $75. The maximum fine for a second Distracted Driving offense is $100. The maximum fine for a third Distracted Driving offense is $125. The maximum fine for a fourth, or subsequent Distracted Driving offense is $150. In addition to the mandatory fines, you will also have to pay court costs which could substantially increase the monetary penalty depending on which county your case is in.
A motor vehicle accident caused by Distracted Driving, which results in personal injury or death, may be upgraded to a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case and the extent of the injuries.
2019 Changes to the Illinois Distracted Driving Law
In 2018, the Illinois Legislature amended the Illinois Distracted Driving law to make a Distracted Driving ticket much more serious. The changes to the Illinois Distracted Driving law go into effect on July 1, 2019. The 2019 changes make the first ticket for Distracted Driving a moving violation that will go on your driving record. Prior to the 2019 changes, the first Distracted Driving ticket was considered a petty offense which did not affect your driving record. Starting July 1, 2019, even the first Distracted Driving ticket will be considered a moving violation that will go on your driving record. If you receive 3 Distracted Driving tickets within a 12-month period, your Illinois Driver's License will be suspended.
Distracted Driving Penalties for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Holders
Distracted driving tickets for CDL holders are much more serious than for a regular Illinois license holder. The penalties for CDL holders apply to Distracted Driving tickets incurred regardless of whether the CDL holder was operating a commercial vehicle. A CDL holder convicted of 2 Distracted Driving violations within 3 years will result in a two-month CDL suspension. A third conviction for Distracted Driving for a CDL holder within 3 years will result in a 4-month CDL suspension. A CDL holder convicted of Distracted Driving may be facing a civil penalty of up to $2,750 from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for using an electronic device while driving. Your employer may be facing a civil penalty of up to $11,000 for allowing, or requiring, employees to use electronic devices while driving.
Highly Experienced for a Distracted Driving Ticket to Keep Your Record Clean and Avoid a License Suspension
Distracted Driving ticket lawyer, James Dimeas, has spent the past 26 years handling Distracted Driving cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Distracted Driving attorney, James Dimeas, understands the various ways you can be charged with Distracted Driving and fully understands what could happen if you are convicted of Distracted Driving. A Distracted Driving ticket could affect your driving record and could lead to the suspension of your Illinois driver's license. A Distracted Driving ticket for a CDL holder could lead to a suspension of your CDL license and substantial fines and monetary penalties for you and your employer. A Distracted Driving ticket could cause your insurance company to drop you or to increase your insurance premiums. James Dimeas is a highly experienced Distracted Driving ticket lawyer who will use his extensive experience and his knowledge of the Illinois driving laws to protect your driver's license and prevent the suspension of your driver's license.
Award-Winning Distracted Driving Lawyer to Avoid a Distract Driving Ticket and Avoid a License Suspension
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, Distracted Driving lawyer with over 26 years of experience handling Distracted Driving cases throughout all of the courthouses in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, the American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois For the Year 2018 and 2019." Expertise named James Dimeas a "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago." James Dimeas was named a "Best DUI Attorney." The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized James Dimeas as a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction." The National Trial Lawyers recognized James Dimeas as a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer." Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois." The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the 'Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois." AVVO rates James Dimeas as "10", "Superb", the highest rating possible for any Distracted Driving attorney in the United States.
If you are being charged with Distracted Driving, you can always contact James Dimeas for a free and confidential consultation. You can always talk to James Dimeas personally by calling him at 847-807-7405.