Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

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Will County traffic ticket defense attorney

It is an exciting right of passage for minors who are 15 years old to begin their journey to earn a driver’s license. All states require drivers to legally obtain a driver’s license or learner's permit before getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. A license is proof that a motorist completed the necessary coursework and tests for driving. It is also a useful tool for identification purposes. In case a driver is stopped by the police, he or she must show his or her license to the officer. However, if a license becomes invalid, or if a person decides to drive without the required identification, he or she can face misdemeanor punishments for a traffic violation

Why Is a License So Important?

It is an automatic penalty if anyone is pulled over and cannot produce a driver’s license. Even if a driver has a license, but it is not physically on him or her at the time of the traffic stop, he or she can be fined $500. This charge can be taken to court, and the fine can be dropped if the driver provides the license. In addition, drivers who refuse to produce a license at the time of a traffic stop will also be fined $500 and charged with a petty offense.

In the cases where a driver does not possess a valid license, he or she will be arrested and issued a Class A misdemeanor charge, which can possibly lead to:

  • Up to one year in jail

  • A fine of $25 to $2,500

  • License suspension of two months for the first offense

  • License suspension of four months for the second offense

  • License suspension of six months for the third offense

  • License suspension of 12 months for the fourth offense

Motorists can also be barred for life from reinstating their license if they have five or more violations of driving without a license. Illinois also allows out-of-state drivers to drive in the state with their home state licenses. However, those people who move into Illinois must obtain a valid Illinois license within 90 days of their relocation.

How to Obtain a License

Typically, a teenager receives a driver’s permit at the age of 15, which allows him or her to practice driving with a licensed driver in the passenger seat. During this time, the teen will be required to pass vision and written tests as well as enroll in a driver’s education program. He or she will receive hands-on lessons behind the wheel with a government-hired or school instructor. Teens can also practice with their parents or other adults to complete at least 50 hours of drive time.

Once the requirements are completed and a teenager turns 16 years old, he or she can take a driving test and earn a valid Illinois driver’s license. Adults who miss this milestone as a teen can still apply for a license after turning 18 years old. Their process for earning a license includes the following requirements:

  • Completing a six-hour driving course (in person or online)

  • Visiting a Secretary of State Driver Services Facility

  • Providing a state ID card and having a photo taken

  • Paying a required fee

  • Passing a written, vision, and behind-the-wheel exam

Contact a Joliet, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

It is not difficult to obtain a valid Illinois driver’s license if the proper procedures are followed. A license can then protect motorists from various traffic offenses. If you or someone you know is fighting a traffic ticket for driving without a license or for any other traffic violation, a skilled lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help. We will build a solid defense based on the circumstances of your case to make sure your rights were not violated during your traffic stop. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Will County criminal defense lawyers, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




Joliet, IL sexual assault defense attorney

Any type of sex crime is taken seriously throughout the United States. The Illinois Criminal Sexual Assault Act addresses multiple types of crimes, including sexual assault and sexual abuse. While the terms may seem similar in nature, assault and abuse are considered separate crimes in Illinois based on the circumstances of the offense. Both crimes can result in felony charges as well as mandatory inclusion on the sex offender registry. However, the details of the alleged crime will determine what further punishments -- such as the length of a prison sentence -- will be given out.

Sexual Assault Versus Sexual Abuse

The crime of sexual abuse results in less severe punishments than sexual assault because the crime is considered less extreme. Sexual abuse can be alleged if there is any unwelcome sexual behavior by a person against a victim. Typically, there does not need to be actual sexual penetration for the crime to be charged.

Illinois law states that sexual abuse occurs when there is a threat of harm or if the victim cannot give proper consent to any sexual conduct. The charges can be elevated to sexual assault if penetration occurs. Sexual abuse is typically charged as a Class 4 felony. Punishments include a prison term of one to three years for first offenders. Second and subsequent offenses may be charged as Class 2 felonies, punishable with a prison term of three to seven years.

Illinois law views sexual assault as the act of sexual penetration:

  • With force or threat

  • Against a victim who is unable to give proper consent

  • Between a victim under 18 years of age and a family member

  • Between a victim between the ages of 13 and 18, and an adult over the age of 17 who is related to the victim or in a position of authority over the victim

First-time sexual assault offenders will be charged with a Class 1 felony, punishable with a prison term of 4 to 15 years. Second and subsequent offenses are elevated to a Class X felony, punishable with a prison term of 30 to 60 years.

Both sexual abuse and sexual assault can be elevated to “aggravated” crimes if:

  • The accused used a deadly weapon during the criminal act.

  • The accused caused great bodily harm or death to the victim.

  • The victim was over 60 years of age.

  • The victim was physically handicapped.

  • The accused possessed or discharged a firearm during the criminal act.

Sexual assault can also be elevated to predatory sexual assault if the accused is over 17 years of age and the victim is 12 years old or younger. All aggravated sexual assault charges will be prosecuted as Class X felonies, which will typically result in a prison sentence of 6 to 30 years. However, depending on the circumstances of the case, an additional 10 to 20 years may be added to the sentence. Predatory sexual assault may result in a sentence of 6 to 60 years in prison.

Defenses for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault

After being charged, an alleged sexual offender should seek the help of an attorney who will carefully review the circumstances of the crime. The most common defense for sexual abuse is to prove that the accused believed the victim was over 17 years of age and that no force was used. Sexual assault defenses may include proving that consent was given by the victim. An alleged offender can also deny that the event took place, and the prosecution will have the burden of proof to show that the incident occurred, and the alleged victim did not give consent.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal charges for any type of sexual offense can be life-altering for both the victim and the accused. In some cases, an alleged victim may make false allegations. If you or someone you know is facing sexual assault or sexual abuse charges, you need skilled legal counsel on your side. The knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. will defend you against false accusations and help you understand the best defense strategy for avoiding a conviction and minimizing the consequences you may face. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County sexual offenses lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.



Will County traffic violation defense attorney

Obtaining a driver’s license is a rite of passage. However, there is an additional requirement before a motorist can get behind the wheel. The state of Illinois requires all vehicles to be insured before they are driven on public roadways. Insurance is an important tool that helps protect drivers from having to pay a lot of money for damages if they are involved in a car accident. Some people are turned off by the idea of paying for car insurance, because it can be expensive. However, not having mandatory coverage in Illinois can result in a traffic violation and more costly penalties.

What Is Mandatory Insurance in Illinois?

Insurance policies can be customized for each driver’s needs, but the state of Illinois does require a minimum amount of vehicle liability to be included with each policy:

  • $25,000 to cover injury or death to one person after an auto accident

  • $50,000 to cover injury or death to more than one person after a car crash

  • $20,000 to cover property damage to the victim of a car collision

Policies can also protect a motorist’s vehicle if it has been stolen or damaged in any way. While some auto insurance policies can be expensive, if drivers remain safe on the road, the prices tend to stay low. With every collision or traffic violation, insurance prices can increase.

How Does Illinois Check for Insurance Policies?

Illinois regularly checks drivers for current insurance policies by means of a random questionnaire. All Illinois licensed vehicles are pooled together, and then several are selected at random for review. The owners of the vehicles chosen will be mailed a questionnaire that must be completed with the current insurance information and mailed back to the Secretary of State. The information will be corroborated by the insurance company, and then the driver is in the clear. If the questionnaire is not returned, or if the information is not correct, the driver may have their license plates suspended.

The more common regulation of car insurance happens during traffic stops. After pulling over a vehicle, an officer will ask the driver for his or her license, registration, and proof of insurance. If the driver cannot provide the information, the officer can issue a citation that may include:

  • Suspension of license plates

  • $500 fine for driving without insurance

  • $1,000 fine for driving a vehicle with suspended license plates after a prior insurance violation

First-time offenders are free to reinstate their license plates after paying a mandatory $100 fine and providing proof of current car insurance. Repeat offenders will have their license plates suspended for four months before they can pay their $100 fine and provide proof of insurance. During the suspension period, no one is permitted to drive the uninsured vehicle; however, the driver may operate another vehicle as long as it is insured.

Contact a Joliet, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

Whether you are a new or seasoned driver, you may accidentally drive without proof of insurance on you or in your car. In the event you or a loved one is pulled over for a traffic stop and cannot provide the necessary paperwork, this can lead to fines and loss of driving privileges. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help make sure you do not face any unnecessary punishments, allowing you to maintain a clean driving record. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County traffic ticket defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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Plainfield, IL drug trafficking defense attorney

There is still over one month until recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state of Illinois. Even when the new year comes around, "hard drugs" including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines will still be illegal. It is unlawful for a person to possess, manufacture, sell, and traffic drugs in the state of Illinois, and offenders can face serious criminal charges if they are caught. That is why it is important to understand the new legislation for cannabis and how it could affect you. 

What Is Drug Trafficking?

The act of bringing any illegal substance across Illinois borders is considered “trafficking.” Whether it is marijuana or a more harmful drug, traffickers can face felony charges, which can result in jail time and hefty fines.

Under current laws, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is not considered a felony, but offenders can still expect to face misdemeanor punishments of up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Illinois law sentences offenders to more severe penalties depending on the amount of drugs found in a legal search and seizure:

  • 10-30 grams of marijuana can result in 1-3 years in jail and fines of up to $25,000

  • 30-500 grams of marijuana can result in 2-5 years in jail and fines of up to $50,000

  • 500-2,000 grams of marijuana can result in 3-7 years in jail and fines of up to $100,000

  • 2,000-5,000 grams of marijuana can result in 4-15 years in jail and fines of up to $150,000

  • Over 5,000 grams of marijuana can result in 6-30 years in jail and fines of up to $200,000

Penalties for possessing stronger drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD, or heroin will face even harsher punishments than for possession of marijuana:

  • Less than 15 grams can result in 4-15 years in jail and fines of up to $250,000

  • 15-100 grams can result in 6-30 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000

  • 100-400 grams can result in 9-40 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000

  • 400-900 grams can result in 12-50 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000

  • Over 900 grams can result in 15-60 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000

In regards to marijuana, if a trafficker is caught bringing more than 2,500 grams of the drug across Illinois state lines, he or she can face a mandatory double sentence of the minimum penalty for possessing the drug.

What About After the First of the Year?

In 2020, hard drugs will still be illegal, and the law will still make possessing large amounts of marijuana illegal. Those who wish to use marijuana after it becomes legal may only legally purchase it at one of the licensed dispensaries and may not possess more than 30 grams of the cannabis flower, five grams of cannabis concentrate, or 500 milligrams of cannabis-infused edibles.

The state of Illinois will also give licenses to employees who will transport the drugs to and from the dispensaries. It will still be against the law to traffic marijuana into Illinois with the intent to sell it outside of a licensed dispensary.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Being caught with any amount of drugs while crossing into a state that has strict drug rules can change a person’s life forever. A large amount of drugs can lead to a trafficker being sent to prison for a long time. The lawyers of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help build a solid defense strategy based on the legality of the search and seizure performed, violations of your rights, or other circumstances surrounding your case. If your rights were compromised by the authorities, our Will County drug crimes lawyers will find out. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




Plainfield, IL street racing criminal defense attorney

Roadways can generally be a dangerous place, but they become more unsafe when people decide to participate in “street racing.” This act can be defined as two or more cars racing down portions of a public road at speeds that surpass the legal limit. It is common for drivers to participate in street racing as a sport off of public roads. However, those drivers who take the competition to public streets -- where other drivers are not expecting it -- can face severe traffic violations if caught.

What Is Considered Street Racing?

The state of Illinois has a law against drivers who race their vehicles down public roadways. The law states that drivers on Illinois streets and highways are not permitted to:

  • Allow their vehicle to be used in a street race

  • Operate two or more vehicles that quickly accelerate in order to outdistance each other

  • Use a public road to test and compare the acceleration of two or more vehicles

  • Use one or more vehicles to not allow a car to overtake another

  • Use a public road to test the stamina of a vehicle’s speed

What Are the Consequences of Street Racing?

Drivers can injure themselves or others during a street race. If violators collide with an innocent vehicle, the victim can suffer many types of damages:

The driver who was involved in the street race will be considered at fault and required to pay compensation to the victim or the victim’s family. On top of that, a driver can be affected by street racing because of the charges that come after the accident. A driver’s record will be tainted, and his or her reputation within the community may also suffer. This is why street racing should be kept to competitive arenas and away from unsuspecting bystanders.

Illinois Penalties for Street Racing

The actions described above can be considered reckless driving, because the street racers are putting the lives of other drivers in danger. Therefore, an offender may be charged with reckless driving and face a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in prison and fines of up to $2,500, plus court fees.

Violators of the Illinois street racing law will face charges whether or not the action is considered “reckless driving.” A first offense will be considered a Class A misdemeanor, and drivers will be fined at least $250. Subsequent violations will be considered a Class 4 felony punishable with a fine of at least $500.

Additionally, a driver will have his or her license revoked for a certain amount of time depending on the severity of the crime and the number of previous violations. Aggravated street racing may be charged if a car accident occurs which results in a victim being injured or killed. This is a Class 4 felony punishable by a prison term of 1 to 12 years.

Contact a Joliet, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

Street racing may be a source of entertainment for some drivers and a result of road rage for others. Whatever the reason, the results of speeding and reckless driving can have serious consequences. The experienced lawyers from the Law Office of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help you if you are facing any type of traffic violation charge. We will review the details of your case and build a strong defense on your behalf. To schedule your free consultation with a diligent Will County criminal defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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