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Plainfield, IL traffic violations attorney

All drivers should be alert and focused when operating their vehicles. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles are heavy and can cause a lot of damage if they collide or strike pedestrians on the road. To avoid collisions, motorists should not only stay away from alcohol before driving but also make sure they are not drowsy or at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Much like alcohol, sleep deprivation hinders people from performing simple actions. If motorists feel too tired to drive, they should allow one of their passengers to take the wheel. If they are driving alone, they can pull off on the side of the road and sleep for a bit before continuing their travels. Otherwise, fatigued drivers run the risk of causing car accidents with serious injuries, which can also lead to criminal charges in Illinois. 

Dangers of Fatigued Driving 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surveyed a group of drivers and found that 37 percent of the group admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. Of that group, 60 percent admitted to dozing off while on the highway while traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour or higher. Drowsy motorists put their lives and those around them in danger because if they fall asleep, they cannot see and therefore have no control whatsoever of their vehicles. Instead of trying to complete their destination and risk hurting others, tired drivers should recognize when they are tired and pull off of the road.

Signs of fatigued driving can include:

  • Yawning more often than usual

  • Rubbing eyes

  • Mind wandering or becoming easily distracted

  • Missing an exit or a turn

  • Head nodding or bobbing

  • Blinking slowly or eyelids feeling heavy

If a driver recognizes these signs and still continues to drive, he or she can be responsible for any collision or accident that occurs as a result of this dangerous driving behavior.

The Reality of Drowsy Driving

Illinois considers drowsy driving as a reckless behavior because it puts innocent lives in danger for no reason. Therefore, those who cause an accident -- even if it is just a single car accident -- will be charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor offense that comes with a fine and jail time. If others are involved in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, the offending driver will be responsible for:

  • Compensation for medical bills

  • Compensation for repairs to damaged cars

  • Compensation for the family if someone is killed 

In addition to reckless driving charges, if a drowsy driver injures or kills someone during the accident, he or she could be charged with vehicular assault or reckless homicide.

Contact a Will County Traffic Violations Lawyer

When we are tired, it is natural to want to get to our destination as quickly as possible. However, it is safer to get adequate rest before operating a motor vehicle. If you or someone you know is facing charges related to drowsy driving, a knowledgeable lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help build a solid defense against serious punishments. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and dedicated Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorneys, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




Joliet, IL traffic violations attorney lane splitting

Motorcyclists define “lane splitting” as passing other vehicles -- whether moving or stationary -- on the left and the right simultaneously. This action puts the motorcycle between two lanes, hence the term. This can be dangerous to the motorcyclist as well as other drivers. Currently, California is the only state that allows motorcyclists to lane split. In Illinois, the action is classified as a traffic violation, and it could lead to misdemeanor or even felony charges if the action causes a serious collision.

Why Is Lane Splitting Illegal in Illinois?

Motorcycles are often more difficult to see on the road because they are smaller vehicles. If motorcyclists are lane splitting, they run the risk of causing an accident with injuries, because the drivers around them may not notice them and could possibly:

  • Change lanes suddenly

  • If stationary, open a car door to exit the car

  • Reach a hand or arm out of a car’s open window

  • Throw something out of a car’s open window

  • Merge from a closed lane into an open lane without knowing there is not enough room

If a motorcyclist is injured during an act of lane splitting, he or she will not only be unable to petition for compensation for any injuries, but he or she may also be held responsible for the collision. A motorcyclist can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for any accident that does not result in bodily harm to another person. The charges are elevated to a Class 3 felony if the act of lane splitting causes an accident that leaves another person with a bodily injury.

How a Motorcyclist Can Avoid Injury on the Road

Lane splitting may be illegal in Illinois, but motorcyclists have certain rights on the road that protect them from blame if a collision occurs. To maintain their own safety while traveling, motorcyclists should keep to a safe lane position. Just like a car, a motorcycle needs plenty of room to travel, and riders should stay in the center of the lane to avoid cars trying to squeeze past in the same lane. Staying in the proper position within a lane can help the motorcyclist:

  • Have a better line-of-sight to be aware of frontward obstacles

  • Have confidence in his or her space knowing that cars do not have enough room to illegally pass

  • Not be hidden within drivers' blind spots

  • Avoid wind blasts from other vehicles

Unfortunately, people become angry in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and it is then that a vehicle driver may attempt to illegally pass a motorcyclist. If a collision occurs when a motorcyclist is in the correct position within a lane, the driver of the car can be considered the at-fault party and therefore responsible for paying compensation for any damages suffered by the motorcyclist or anyone else involved in the collision.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney 

Motorcyclists who are charged with a lane-splitting traffic violation can face stiff punishments in Illinois. The knowledgeable lawyers from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. have extensive experience in building strong defenses to avoid costly fines and jail time. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges related to any type of traffic violation, it is important to speak with our skilled Will County traffic violations lawyers. Call our office today at 815-666-1285 to schedule your free consultation.




Joliet, IL domestic violence attorney order of protection

The state of Illinois has been encouraging people to stay at home in recent weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19, but for some, this new stay-at-home rule could mean an increase in domestic violence. It is frustrating to be cooped up at home, and in certain cases, these feelings could lead to a higher rate of abuse accusations. Some people may be wondering about their legal options during a stay-at-home order. Courts in Illinois are still open for business with modified hours to ensure that victims of domestic violence can file for orders of protection. If an emergency protective order is granted, an alleged abuser may be required to find another place to stay throughout the duration of the stay-at-home order. If an order of protection has been issued against you in Illinois, it is essential that you understand its stipulations to avoid criminal charges

What Is an Order of Protection?

An Illinois order of protection is a legal document issued by the court that keeps a victim of domestic violence separate from his or her alleged abuser both physically and via electronic communication. Anyone who is allegedly being abused by a member of his or her household can petition for a protective order. Members of a household include:

  • Spouses

  • Parents or children

  • Legal guardians

  • Anyone related to the victim

Once the order of protection has been served to the alleged abuser, he or she will be unable to stay in the household with the alleged victim. In some cases, the recipient of the order will also be given a certain distance that he or she will need to stay away from the alleged victim. Additionally, an alleged abuser cannot have contact with his or her alleged victim via telephone, email, or social media. This is meant to ensure that an alleged victim will be protected from verbal abuse, online harassment, or other actions that can cause them harm.

What Behaviors Violate an Order of Protection?

Coming into any sort of contact with the alleged victim while an order of protection is in place will constitute a violation of the order. Other types of violations include:

  • Knowingly committing any act that goes against what is written in the order

  • Knowingly breaking the distance in which the alleged abuser is supposed to stay away from the alleged victim

  • Contacting or harassing the alleged victim via social media with an account under a different name

Any violation of a protective order is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. An alleged abuser has the right to fight the order of protection and all charges of domestic violence. The named abuser may state that he or she did not commit the alleged acts of abuse, or he or she may argue that his or her actions were taken in self-defense.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Being accused of domestic violence is a serious allegation that can carry significant punishments. If you or someone you know is facing domestic abuse charges or has been served with an order of protection, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The skilled legal team at Tedone & Morton, P.C. will build a strong defense on your behalf and make sure no punishments are issued without cause. To schedule a free consultation with our diligent Will County domestic violence defense lawyers, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




Plainfield, IL traffic violations defense attorney

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed over 2,800 lives in 2018. Due to the danger it poses, states across the country are cracking down on motorists who engage in this type of behavior. Earlier this year, Illinois revised its law on distracted driving and, specifically, the use of cell phones while behind the wheel. Previously, the act of texting and driving was punished as a moving violation only for repeat offenders. The revised law now punishes first-time offenders with a moving violation in addition to fines and possible prison time depending on the circumstances.

Why Was the Change Made?

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road, along with drunk driving and drowsy driving. The change to the law was made to help reduce the number of car crashes. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be helping, since studies show that so far in 2020, 15.6 percent of young motorists (18-24) admit to driving while on the phone. Additionally, 20 percent of these drivers admit to not being aware of the specific Illinois criminal law that makes texting and driving illegal.

These rates of distracted driving are even higher when other types of distractions are considered. A person drives distracted when he or she:

  • Uses a cell phone when it is not in hands-free mode

  • Eats while the vehicle is in motion

  • Puts on makeup 

  • Talks to passengers

  • Changes or removes clothes 

Penalties for Distracted Driving

Any of the above activities may be considered reckless driving, because the actions put the driver and others on the road at risk of injury or death. Reckless driving is charges as a Class A misdemeanor and comes with possible jail time and a $2,500 fine.

As for cell phone usage while driving, offending motorists can be fined for each time they break the law:

  • $75 for first offenders

  • $100 for second offenders

  • $125 for third offenders

  • $150 for fourth and subsequent offenders

Motorists who cause an accident as a result of distracted driving may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if a victim is injured. If a victim is killed as a result of distracted driving, the offending driver can face a Class 4 felony.

The Illinois law still recognizes exceptions to the distracted driving law for the following actions:

  • Law enforcement officers performing their duties

  • Using an electronic device to report an emergency

  • Using a mobile device while it is in hands-free mode

  • Operating a permanent communication device in a commercial vehicle

  • Using a cell phone while parked on the side of the road

Contact a Joliet, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

Distracted driving is a risky activity that can lead to collisions that may result in serious or fatal injuries. However, drivers could face distracted driving charges based on information or claims that are not accurate. If you or someone you know is facing traffic violation charges of any kind, an experienced attorney from Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help defend your rights and driving privileges. To schedule a free consultation with our accomplished Will County criminal defense lawyers, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




Will County armed robbery defense attorney

An act of robbery becomes “armed robbery” when an offender carries and/or uses a weapon during the commission of the crime. Weapons may include firearms, knives, and other objects that can cause bodily harm to a victim. This is why armed robbery is classified as a violent crime with more severe punishments than simple robbery in Illinois. It is important to understand the difference between the two offenses and the consequences if you are accused of them. A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options for defending against these serious charges. 

How Does Illinois Define Robbery?

According to Illinois law, robbery is the act of taking property from a victim using threats of violence. However, “property” does not include a motor vehicle, since that is covered in a separate law. Charges of robbery can be elevated to aggravated robbery when:

  • The alleged robber tells the victim that he or she has a weapon (such as a gun, switchblade, or ax) during the crime, but he or she actually does not

  • The alleged robber takes property after delivering a controlled substance to the alleged victim without their consent

  • The victim of the robbery is over the age of 60 

  • The victim of the robbery is physically disabled

  • The robbery occurs in a school, daycare center, or place of worship

Simple robbery is punished as a Class 2 felony, while aggravated robbery is elevated to a Class 1 felony. Each charge is punished with a prison term and fines; up to seven years and up to 15 years respectively. Felony charges may be punished by fines of up to $25,000.

How Does Armed Robbery Differ?

There are different variations of the armed robbery law, all of which have penalties that grow more severe depending on the nature of the offense. All acts of armed robbery are considered a Class X felony with baseline punishments, including a prison term of up to 30 years and fines up to $25,000. Simply carrying a non-firearm weapon during the crime will see the offender face the above punishments. Prison terms are extended depending upon the seriousness of the crime:

  • 15 years are added to the term if the offender carries a firearm during the crime

  • 20 years are added to the term if the offender discharges a firearm during the crime

  • 25 years or up to the remainder of natural life is added to the term if the offender discharges a firearm that subsequently causes bodily harm or kills a victim

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Violent acts are serious and can be life-altering for both the victim and the alleged criminal. However, there are ways to defend against armed robbery charges, especially if the allegations are false. If you or someone you know is accused of this serious crime, it is imperative that you hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. who can help build a solid defense strategy. To schedule a free consultation with a tenacious Will County violent crimes defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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