A Lake County Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney explains the new Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Program

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In June 2017 the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office introduced a new Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Program. In the past deferred prosecutions in Lake County were sometimes available informally only at the discretion of a particular prosecutor. This new program now officially offers defendants an opportunity to get certain misdemeanor charges dismissed upon successful completion of the program. I am familiar with this new program having recently secured the first Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Agreement for a client who qualified for the Program.

ELIGIBILITY FOR MISDEMEANOR ALTERNATIVE PROSECUTION AGREEMENT

There are several specific eligibility requirements set forth by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office that can potentially bar a defendant from taking advantage of this program and include:

  1. Defendant has a prior conviction
  2. Defendant has prior 410 or 550/10 drug probation
  3. Defendant in currently on supervision or supervised supervision
  4. Defendant is an active gang member
  5. Defendant is charged with a violent, domestic or sex offense
  6. The Defendant’s pending case involves the use of or setting of fire
  7. The Defendant is charged with a DUI offense
  8. The Defendant is charged with using a weapon
  9. The Defendant committed an offense while on bond
  10. Defendant has previously participated in a Lake County Specialty Court Program or a First Offender Program form another jurisdiction
  11. Defendant is currently under an Order of Protection
  12. Defendant is not a resident of Lake County
  13. Non DUI traffic matters are not eligible
  14. The State’s Attorney’s Office retains sole discretion to accept or reject any applicant from the Program for any reason at the discretion of the State’s Attorney.

MISDEMEANOR ALTERNATIVE PROSECUTION APPLICATION AND CONDITIONS

A defendant may request to participate through their attorney at the initial arraignment date or on the first pretrial date. A continuance may be ordered to allow the State’s Attorney’s Office to determine if the defendant is eligible to participate in the program. If a defendant is accepted into the program a Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Program Agreement will be entered and the case will be continued for approximately 6 months for the defendant to complete the terms of the program which may include, alcohol or drug evaluation and treatment, restitution, public service, fees and court costs. The nature and circumstances of each case will dictate which conditions the defendant will be required to meet. Compliance with the conditions of the program are monitored through the Lake County Compliance Department. It is also important to note that a guilty plea is entered by the defendant when the Misdemeanor Alternative Prosecution Agreement is entered and a failure to meet the agreed conditions in the program may result in a new sentencing on the charge and not a dismissal. Please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office located across the street from the Lake County Courthouse if you are facing misdemeanor charges in Lake County to discuss your options. You can reach Richard at 312-882-1973 or http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com.

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An Illinois and Wisconsin licensed Criminal Defense Attorney answers: What are the consequences and options if my son or daughter lives in Illinois but got a ticket or citation for underage alcohol possession or consumption in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin from the Kenosha County Sheriff at the Country Thunder Concert or in the Country Thunder Campground camping area in 2017?

 

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OVERVIEW OF COUNTRY THUNDER FESTIVAL AND COMMON CITATIONS AND OFFENSES

Once a year the Country Thunder music festival takes place in Kenosha County Wisconsin, specifically in the Village of Twin Lakes. This years festival is scheduled to take place July 20-23, 2017. If past history is any indication of the future this festival will likely result in a massive number of citations and arrests in Wisconsin for Illinois and other out of state residents and Wisconsin residents alike. The most common citations are for underage consumption or possession of alcohol and usually occur within the festival camping and campground areas. The Kenosha County Sheriffs and other law enforcement agents are dispatched to these campgrounds often on ATV or other smaller vehicles or may also be on foot patrol. In the past I have represented young people charged with citations and violations for obstructing justice, underage consumption of alcohol, underage possession of alcohol, possession of cannabis, drug paraphernalia, battery, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and other violations related to Country Thunder and the surrounding festival camping areas.

 

POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES FOR UNDERAGE CONSUMPTION OR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL CITATIONS FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS

The immediate potential consequence to an Illinois resident for an underage possession or consumption of alcohol violation is a six month suspension of Illinois driving privileges. The Illinois Secretary of State provides in relevant part:

  • Driver’s License Suspension for Alcohol Consumption — A person under the age of 21 who is found guilty or granted court supervision for a violation of state law or local ordinance relating to illegal consumption, possession, purchase or receipt of alcohol, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved will face a loss of driving privileges, in addition to any fine imposed. Court supervision for any of these offenses will result in a 3 month suspension of driving privileges; a first conviction results in a 6 month suspension of driving privileges; a second conviction results in a 12 month suspension of driving privileges and a third or subsequent conviction will result in a revocation of driving privileges.

It should be noted that the State of Wisconsin does not recognize the Illinois concept of Court Supervision so if an Illinois resident pays or ignores a citation for underage possession or consumption of alcohol they will suffer a conviction that could result in a suspension of driving privileges as outlined above. An underage consumption of possession of alcohol conviction will be visible to a parent’s insurance company and may result in increased family premiums, An additional significant repercussion of a conviction for underage possession or consumption of alcohol is the record of that offense as a forfeiture, criminal charge or ordinance violation. Often these tickets are not criminal in nature, but may still affect college applications or future job prospects for a young person.

 

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR AN ILLINOIS RESIDENT TO AVOID THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF A CONVICTION FOR UNDERAGE POSSESSION OR CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL?

The best option is to avoid any conviction for the offense at all. Theses offenses are often handled very differently between State and Municipal Prosecutors. Attorney Richard Albanese has assisted many young clients is securing deferred prosecution agreements that result in amended lesser charges or even dismissal depending on the jurisdiction that issued the citation. Often the Illinois resident charged with Underage Consumption or Possession of Alcohol does not even need to appear in court and can often meet certain conditions to resolve the matter during college breaks if attending school out of State with my representation in the matter. If you live in Illinois or Wisconsin and got a Wisconsin ticket for underage drinking or possession or any other violation please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office immediately as some of these violations have court dates for as early as a week or a few weeks after the event. Do not pay fines that will result in a permanent conviction on your record as there are other options available to you. Even if you or your son or daughter who received and underage possession or consumption of alcohol citation mistakenly paid the ticket prior to the initial court date it still may not be too late to reopen the case. Contact the Richard Albanese Law Office immediately for a free consultation at 312-882-1973 or by email atRichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com or on the web at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com.

I’m an Michigan Driver with a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin, what are the consequences? A Wisconsin Traffic and Criminal Defense Attorney outlines the advantages of hiring a lawyer to represent you on a speeding ticket in Dane County, Madison, Kenosha, Racine, Lake Geneva and other locations in Wisconsin.

OVERVIEW: PENALTIES FOR MICHIGAN DRIVERS WITH SPEEDING TICKETS IN WISCONSIN

Michigan and Wisconsin share contiguous geographic borders and it is not uncommon for Michigan licensed drivers to travel into Wisconsin for work or pleasure. Unfamiliar with changing speed limits or certain areas in Wisconsin could lead to speeding tickets or other citations for Michigan drivers that could result in serious consequences to the Michigan drivers record once the convictions are reported to the Michigan Secretary of State. The Michigan Secretary of State confirms that action will be taken on out-of-state violations and comparable points can be assessed to the Michigan Driver’s record. Please visit here for confirmation and further details: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-5647_12539_71028-88474–,00.html

The accumulation of points for the Michigan is similar to the point structure in Wisconsin as 12 points in a given period will result in a Suspension of the Michigan driver’s license. Please visit here for a detailed outline of Michigan traffic offenses and corresponding points:

 http://www.michigan.gov/documents/OffenseCode_73877_7.pdf

WHAT CAN A WISCONSIN TRAFFIC ATTORNEY DO TO HELP PROTECT A MICHIGAN LICENSED DRIVER?

Although speeding offenses can transfer and get reported to Michigan from Wisconsin there is still hope for relief for Michigan Drivers. Generally speaking, with proper representation many Wisconsin State and Municipal prosecutors are willing to amend a speeding charge to a non-moving violation when appropriate for respectful drivers with a otherwise clean record. The end result is that an Michigan Driver can pay an amended ticket in Wisconsin that will have no impact on their Michigan License. Once you have retained Richard Albanese you will likely not have to appear in court to contest your ticket, which saves not only a long trip back to Wisconsin from Michigan, but also saves time and the expense of having to take a day off work to appear on a citation. Please feel free to contact the Richard Albanese Law Office today at 312-882-1973 or visit us on the web at: http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com or at RichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com for a free consultation on your speeding ticket in Kenosha, Racine, Dane County, Lake Geneva, and any other location in Wisconsin.

Will Wisconsin speeding ticket points or traffic convictions transfer, carry over or be reported to my Illinois Driver’s License?

illinois wisconsin border

Will the Illinois Secretary of State find out about my Wisconsin Speeding Ticket or other Traffic Offense?

When Illinois drivers get speeding or traffic tickets in Wisconsin there are often many questions that arise without definitive answers. Often well meaning police officers issuing the tickets in Wisconsin may erroneously minimize the effect of the Wisconsin points system to an Illinois driver causing a Illinois driver to simply pay a Wisconsin speeding or other traffic ticket in the mail only to find out later that although Wisconsin points did not carry over to their Illinois license, but an out of state conviction did. All Wisconsin citations indicate a description of the offense and the assigned points. For the Illinois driver the number of points designated for a given offense is not relevant as the points do not transfer over to the Illinois Secretary of State as points per se, but there are still more serious consequences for the Illinois driver in the form of a report of conviction to the Illinois Secretary of State. Courts in the State of Wisconsin report speeding and other traffic convictions to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as well as the National Registry. Those convictions are then reported to the corresponding Illinois driver’s license with the Illinois Secretary of State. The convictions can result in suspension of driving privileges and increased insurance premiums as they appear on the Illinois driving records reviewed by insurance companies.

How the Richard Albanese Law Office can help protect your Illinois driving record from Wisconsin Speeding or Traffic Convictions:

Although Court Supervision is not an option in Wisconsin there is still hope for relief for Illinois Drivers. Generally speaking, with proper representation many Wisconsin State and Municipal prosecutors may be willing to amend a speeding charge to a non moving violation when appropriate. The end result is that an Illinois Driver can pay a modified ticket in Wisconsin that will have no impact on their Illinois License. Once you have retained Richard Albanese you will most often not have to appear in court to contest your ticket, which saves not only a long trip back to Wisconsin from Illinois, but also saves time and the expense of having to take a day off work to appear on a citation. Every Wisconsin jurisdiction is different in how they handle traffic and speeding offenses. Please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office today at 312-882-1973 or at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com or at RichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com for a free consultation on your speeding ticket in Kenosha, Racine, Dane County, Lake Geneva, and any other city, town or village in the State of Wisconsin.

The most common offense an Illinois driver is cited for in Wisconsin is speeding.  A chart of speeding and other traffic related offenses can be found below:

List of frequently assessed point violations

Points Regular convictions
6 Attempting to elude an officer
6 Failure to perform duty after accident
3 Operating while revoked or suspended
6 Operating under the influence of intoxicant or drugs
6 Reckless driving or racing
6 Speeding 20 mph or more over limit
6 Violation of occupational license
4 Deviating from traffic lane
4 Driving on wrong side of highway or street
4 Failure to yield right of way
4 Failure to yield to emergency vehicle
4 Imprudent driving, too fast for conditions, failure to have vehicle under control
4 Inattentive driving
4 Failure by operator to stop for school bus when red lights are flashing
4 Speeding 11 through 19 mph over limit
4 Unnecessary acceleration
3 Arterial or traffic control violation
3 Driving wrong way on one way street
3 Failure to dim lights
3 Failure to give proper signal
3 Following too closely
3 Illegal passing
3 Improper brakes or lights
3 Operating with expired license or without any license
3 Operating with multiple licenses
3 Prohibited or illegal turn
3 Speeding 1 through 10 mph over limit
3 Violation of restriction
2 Obstructing traffic
2 Parking on highway in traffic lane, defective speedometer
0 License not in person’s immediate possession
0 No registration plate light

An Illinois and Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney answers: What are the consequences and options if my son or daughter lives in Illinois but got a ticket or citation for underage alcohol possession or consumption in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin from the Kenosha County Sheriff at the Country Thunder Concert or in the Country Thunder Campground camping area?

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OVERVIEW OF COUNTRY THUNDER FESTIVAL AND COMMON CITATIONS AND OFFENSES

Once a year the Country Thunder music festival takes place in Kenosha County Wisconsin, specifically in the Village of Twin Lakes. This years festival is scheduled to take place July 21-24, 2016. If past history is any indication of the future this festival will likely result in a massive number of citations and arrests in Wisconsin for Illinois residents and Wisconsin residents alike. The most common citations are for underage consumption or possession of alcohol and usually occur within the festival camping and campground areas. The Kenosha County Sheriffs are dispatched to these campgrounds often on ATV or other smaller vehicles or may also be on foot patrol. In the past I have represented young people charged with citations and violations for obstructing justice, underage consumption of alcohol, underage possession of alcohol, possession of cannabis, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and other violations related to Country Thunder and the surrounding festival camping areas.

 

POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES FOR UNDERAGE CONSUMPTION OR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL CITATIONS FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS

The immediate potential consequence to an Illinois resident for an underage possession or consumption of alcohol violation is suspension of Illinois driving privileges. The Illinois Secretary of State provides in relevant part:

  • Driver’s License Suspension for Alcohol Consumption — A person under the age of 21 who is found guilty or granted court supervision for a violation of state law or local ordinance relating to illegal consumption, possession, purchase or receipt of alcohol, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved will face a loss of driving privileges, in addition to any fine imposed. Court supervision for any of these offenses will result in a 3 month suspension of driving privileges; a first conviction results in a 6 month suspension of driving privileges; a second conviction results in a 12 month suspension of driving privileges and a third or subsequent conviction will result in a revocation of driving privileges.

It should be noted that the State of Wisconsin does not recognize the Illinois concept of Court Supervision so if an Illinois resident pays or ignores a citation for underage possession or consumption of alcohol they will suffer a conviction that could result in a suspension of driving privileges as outlined above. An additional repercussion of a conviction for underage possession or consumption of alcohol is the record of that offense as a forfeiture, criminal charge or ordinance violation. Often these tickets are not criminal in nature, but may still affect college applications or future job prospects for a young person.

 

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR AN ILLINOIS RESIDENT TO AVOID THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF A CONVICTION FOR UNDERAGE POSSESSION OR CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL?

The best option is to avoid any conviction for the offense at all. Theses offenses are often handled very differently between State and Municipal Prosecutors. Attorney Richard Albanese has assisted many young clients is securing deferred prosecution agreements that result in amended lesser charges or even dismissal depending on the jurisdiction that issued the citation. Often the Illinois resident charged with Underage Consumption or Possession of Alcohol does not even need to appear in court and can often meet certain conditions to resolve the matter during college breaks if attending school out of State with my representation in the matter. If you live in Illinois or Wisconsin and got a Wisconsin ticket for underage drinking or possession or any other violation please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office immediately as some of these violations have court dates for as early as a week or a few weeks after the event. Do not pay fines that will result in a permanent conviction on your record as there are other options available to you. Even if you or your son or daughter who received and underage possession or consumption of alcohol citation mistakenly paid the ticket prior to the initial court date it still may not be too late to reopen the case. Contact the Richard Albanese Law Office immediately for a free consultation at 312-882-1973 or by email atRichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com or on the web at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com.

I’m an Illinois driver with a Speeding Ticket in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How can a Criminal and Traffic Defense Attorney licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin help me?

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Milwaukee is a great midwest city. It is the home to professional sports teams such as the Bucks and Brewers as well as Marquette University and many excellent theaters and restaurants. The famous Summerfest music festival is well known across the country and Illinois residents and others flock to Milwaukee or find themselves passing through the town en route to other final destinations. It is unfortunate that many drivers in Illinois are cited for speeding through Milwaukee including CDL drivers. Often Illinois and other out of state drivers choose the path of least resistance and impulsively pay the speeding ticket they received in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have received many calls from Illinois drivers that were even told by Wisconsin police to just pay a ticket as if it would have no effect on an out of state license. Although this may be the best advice for Wisconsin drivers it certainly is not the best choice for Illinois Licensed Drivers. The costs of an out of state conviction can multiply fast down the road. The consequences include potential suspension of driving privileges in Illinois, increased insurance premiums and further expenses involving the reinstatement of an Illinois driver’s license. Often times people have received bad advice from friends, family colleagues at work or simply don’t know the law in Illinois regarding out of state convictions. Let’s explore the issues and consequences further.

 ILLINOIS LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR THREE CONVICTIONS 

In Illinois, if a driver receives three convictions for any moving violations in a twelve month period, their license will be suspended in Illinois. Illinois law provides that a driver is eligible for court supervision twice within a twelve month period as well. Court supervision does not count as a conviction and will not cause a suspension of driving privileges. In essence you can get two supervisions and still have convictions to spare if the tickets are far enough apart and the prosecutors and judges are willing to grant the two supervisions without imposing a conviction. The imposition of court supervision also serves to reduce the risk of increased insurance premiums as these citations are not generally reported to insurance companies. Illinois traffic laws allow for momentary lapses in judgment with regard to speeding but for Illinois drivers who get ticketed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin or other nearby towns, the law may not be so forgiving.

COURT SUPERVISION NOT RECOGNIZED IN WISCONSIN LAW

Unlike the Illinois system, Wisconsin law does not recognize the concept of court supervision and thus EVERY disposition of a speeding ticket is a conviction when a guilty or no contest plea is entered. The imposition of a conviction against someones driving record most commonly occurs when an Illinois driver gets a speeding ticket in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then just sends in payment. Once the ticket is paid the conviction is entered and then reported to Illinois where it becomes part of the driver’s record with the Secretary of State, unlike a Supervision disposition. Insurance companies will also be made aware of the conviction and increased premiums could result that stay in place for years, penalizing an Illinois Driver with added expense for years to come that all could have been avoided.

HOW THE RICHARD ALBANESE LAW OFFICE PROTECTS ILLINOIS DRIVERS

Although Court Supervision is not an option in Milwaukee, Wisconsin there is still hope for complete relief for Illinois Drivers. Generally speaking, with proper representation most Wisconsin State and Municipal prosecutors are willing to amend a speeding charge to a non moving violation when appropriate for respectful drivers with a otherwise clean record. The end result is that an Illinois Driver can pay a modified or amended ticket in Wisconsin that will have no impact on their Illinois License. Once you have retained Richard Albanese you will likely not have to appear in court to contest your ticket, which saves not only a long trip back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Illinois, but also saves time and the expense of having to take a day off work to appear on a citation. Please feel free to contact the Richard Albanese Law Office today at 312-882-1973 or at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com or atRichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com for a free consultation on your speeding ticket in Kenosha, Racine, Dane County, Lake Geneva, and any other city in Wisconsin.

I’m an Illinois licensed driver with a Wisconsin OWI case. Do I need a OWI or DUI Defense Attorney licensed to practice law in both Illinois and Wisconsin?

RJA LOGO BUSINESS CARDSWHY DO I NEED AN OWI OR DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY LICENSED IN BOTH ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN TO HANDLE MY WISCONSIN OWI CASE?

If you are an Illinois driver with an OWI case in Wisconsin you will immediately face many important, time sensitive decisions on how best to handle that case. The first and most important decision is finding the OWI or DUI defense attorney best qualified to represent Illinois drivers who get an OWI or DUI in Wisconsin. There are certainly mainly highly skilled DUI and OWI lawyers in both Illinois and Wisconsin representing clients in their own respective states, but if they are not licensed in BOTH states they are generally not familiar with the laws of states outside their own jurisdiction and may be unsure as to the specific penalties you face in Illinois.

While handling some OWI cases in Wisconsin can be viewed as a quick and easy process when compared to DUI cases in Illinois the results for the Illinois driver can be devastating once the Illinois Secretary of State learns if there was a Wisconsin conviction. I provide a full case analysis and up front plan of action to Illinois drivers with OWI cases in Wisconsin as to the specific immediate and long term consequences and penalties they are facing in both Wisconsin and Illinois. The best course of action for a Wisconsin resident with an OWI  is usually NOT the best course of action for a Illinois Driver with a Wisconsin OWI. I have had many clients tell me that they spoke to Wisconsin lawyers who told them they could only handle the Wisconsin side of the case and had no idea how a certain disposition would affect the client’s driving privileges in Illinois. Conversely speaking some of the top DUI attorneys in Illinois would not know about the nuances of Wisconsin law or what dispositions are possible to save your Illinois driving privileges. It is crucial to know all your options and potential consequences up front, before you find out that your Wisconsin case revoked your Illinois license indefinitely. As OWI and DUI cases can be very expensive due to not only attorneys fees, but also court costs and increased insurance premiums it makes sound financial sense to have one attorney licensed in both states versus two attorneys in both Illinois and Wisconsin for an OWI case.

I take great pride in providing my Illinois clients with comprehensive representation on a Wisconsin OWI  case and my representation does not end at the border.  I evaluate the evidence in each case and propose the best strategy for the OWI case in Wisconsin and also the Secretary of State penalties in Illinois that often occur and surprise Illinois drivers. I also am affiliated with qualified attorneys across Illinois who handle Secretary of State Reinstatement Hearings when needed.

As an licensed Illinois and Wisconsin OWI and DUI Defense Attorney I have been featured in the May 2013 “Docket” Legal Publication, a Lake County Illinois Bar Journal. For a more thorough discussion and explanation of Wisconsin OWI penalties for Illinois Drivers please read my article on Illinois Drivers and Wisconsin OWI offenses here on pages 18-19: http://www.lakebar.org/images/stories/pdfs/docket/vol_2003_may_2013.pdf

If you are an Illinois driver with an OWI case in Wisconsin please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office today for a free consultation and case evaluation to learn what consequences you may be facing in Illinois and Wisconsin and what your individual options may be. You can reach the Richard Albanese law office at (312) 882-1973, by email at RichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com, or on the web at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com.