I Live in Illinois and got a Speeding Ticket in Kenosha or Racine, Wisconsin. Why do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?


Welcome to the Richard Albanese Law Office Blog. Today I will be discussing a popular area of law that I get questions about almost daily. If you live in Illinois and got a Speeding ticket in Kenosha or Racine, Wisconsin there are some basic things you need to know to protect your driver’s license and insurance rates once you get back to Illinois. Although a ticket can come from anywhere a person is stopped within any state, the majority of tickets come from cars being pulled over on the highways of Wisconsin and the citing authorities are generally the Wisconsin State Police or a Local County Sheriff Agency. I will first explain what to do step by step in this process including explaining the potential consequences of a Wisconsin ticket and what your best course of action will be to deal with the the police and later the Wisconsin ticket once you get back to Illinois.

Getting Pulled Over in Wisconsin

You are headed back home after a trip to Milwaukee or another Wisconsin city on I-94 and near Racine or Kenosha you suddenly see lights from a squad car behind you, now what? The best course of action is to pull over as soon as possible and as far over into the shoulder as possible for the safety of the approaching officer. This will demonstrate you are quickly responding to the officer’s authority. Next, sit and wait for the officer to come to you with your hands at the top of the steering wheel and do not get out of you car as that action will put an officer on the defensive. When approached remain polite and do not argue with the officer about the speed if he tells you how fast you were going. Often the officer may exercise discretion and write you a ticket for lower than the speed you were traveling if it is a borderline call. This may in turn make it easier to have a chance at reducing the ticket to an alternative violation that will not affect your Illinois Driver’s License or Insurance rates. Do not pay the ticket when you get home regardless of what the officer tells you. I have had many Illinois clients tell me a well intentioned Wisconsin police officer advised them a speeding ticket was a minor offense and that if paid would not affect their Illinois Driver’s License. While most speeding tickets in Kenosha or Racine, Wisconsin are considered minor non-criminal forfeitures for Wisconsin drivers the impact and consequences are much greater for and Illinois Driver who gets a speeding ticket in Kenosha or Racine. It is not the Wisconsin police officer’s job to advise you on the legal consequences of a speeding ticket in a neighboring state, that is my job as an attorney licensed to practice law in both Illinois and Wisconsin.

What Are the Consequences of a Wisconsin Speeding Ticket for an Illinois Driver?

Unlike Illinois, the Wisconsin legal system does not recognize the concept of court supervision, thus every citation concludes with a conviction, dismissal or finding of not guilty after a trial. Various speeding ticket violations can result in point assessments between zero to six points depending on the severity of the offense. The three categories of speeding offenses are as follows: Speeding (1-10 mph over the limit) three points, Speeding Intermediate (11-19 mph over the limit) four points, and Speeding Excess (20 miles or more over the limit) six points.  An Illinois driver must be concerned with a speeding ticket conviction being entered against them and a report of that conviction making its way to the Illinois Secretary of State and their Insurance company. The Illinois driver who has a Wisconsin ticket should not focus on the points scheme but rather attempt to obtain a category of violation that is not reported to the Illinois Secretary of State such as Improper Parking, Defective Speedometer, Loud Muffler or Inattentive Driving. These and other violations will not affect the Illinois driver’s license and will not result in inflation of a driver’s insurance premiums. A failure to secure a non-reportable charge in Wisconsin will often result in an Illinois driver having a conviction for a moving violation on their record for a speeding offense that would have been a court supervision had it occurred in Illinois.

What Can a Criminal Defense Attorney do for an Illinois Driver With a Ticket in Wisconsin?

Hiring a criminal defense attorney who understands what needs to be done for an Illinois driver with a Wisconsin speeding ticket is important. The Richard Albanese Law Office actively practices across Illinois and Wisconsin and can outline a plan of action for your personal situation. Our office will save you the hassle of driving back to Wisconsin to fight a ticket or trying to get it reduced not knowing the proper way to go about it. With proper authorization Richard Albanese will handle all the legwork for you, including filing an appearance as your attorney on the case as well as conducting a pretrial conference with the Kenosha or Racine District Attorney’s Office and preparing a stipulation to resolve the case. Once a case is resolved you will be contacted with all the information you need to close the matter. Contact the Richard Albanese Law Office today for a free Consultation on your Wisconsin speeding ticket case to see if it is a case that may have a chance to be amended to a lesser charge to protect your Illinois license and insurance rates. The Richard Albanese Law Office can be reached at (312) 882-1973 or on the web at http://www.CriminalandTrafficDefenseAttorney.com or by email at RichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com


I Live in Illinois and Got an OWI or DUI in Wisconsin, Now What? A Illinois and Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Your Options


Wisconsin is a popular state for Illinois residents to travel to for vacation and recreation and very often Wisconsin Police encounter Illinois licensed drivers in the course of an traffic stop or accident and if alcohol is involved an Illinois driver can end up facing an OWI charge. The laws of Illinois and Wisconsin could not be more different when it comes to drunk driving and if you are charged with an OWI you need a criminal defense attorney who knows not only Wisconsin OWI laws but more importantly the laws of Illinois and how the Illinois Secretary of State views an OWI conviction from Wisconsin or any other state. 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. As an Illinois and Wisconsin OWI and DUI Defense Attorney I have been featured in the May 2013 “Docket” 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

Why do I Need a OWI or DUI Defense Attorney Licensed in Both Illinois and Wisconsin?

If you are an Illinois driver with an OWI case in Wisconsin you will face many important decisions in handling that case. Perhaps the 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 respective states, but if they are not licensed in BOTH states they may not feel the need to be as familiar with the laws of states outside their own jurisdiction. 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 outline to Illinois drivers with OWI cases in Wisconsin as to what 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. 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 financial sense to have one attorney licensed in both states versus two attorneys in both Illinois and Wisconsin for an OWI case. 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.

A Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Why a Chicago Felony Case is Transferred to Skokie Court


Many people charged with Chicago felony cases find themselves accused of crimes based on situations that occurred in the city of Chicago. Most people believe that their case will then be heard at the main criminal courthouse in Chicago at 26th and California. It can be quite a surprise for someone to learn that after an indictment or preliminary hearing a Chicago felony case is now assigned to a judge in Skokie. Some defendants are both surprised and angered when they learn they may have to travel to Skokie to face their charges for crimes that occurred in the city. The purpose of this post is to explain why some Chicago felonies end up in Skokie and what to do if you need a criminal defense attorney to handle your felony case in Skokie. 

Why is my Chicago Felony case in Skokie?

As a result of large felony caseloads across the city of Chicago many cases get transferred to Skokie after preliminary hearing or indictment. There are enough cases assigned to Skokie that there are currently  four full time courtrooms dedicated to handling Chicago felony cases only, these courtroom numbers are 107, 108, 208, and 209. That is double the number of rooms assigned for Skokie area suburban felony cases for crimes that occurred in the suburban towns such as Skokie, Evanston, Desplaines, Niles and many others. The felony cases that are assigned to Skokie come randomly from 26th and California, but generally originate out of Branch 50 at 5555 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago or Branch 42 at 2452 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. Once a felony case is assigned to Skokie it generally stays there even if a substitution of judge is requested the case usually will end up in front of another Skokie judge. 

When do I Find out if my Chicago Felony Case is Assigned to Skokie?

If a case is indicted or has a finding of probable cause after hearing in the branch courts there will be an assignment date set at 26th and California. If the case is going to be assigned to Skokie this is the first time to learn that fact and the case will be continued to a future date in Skokie.  If the case does not get assigned to Skokie it will be arraigned in a Chicago Felony courtroom at 26th and California that same day. It is important to recognize that the assignment process is not influenced by the prosecutors, police or defendants but is done through random process by the presiding judge. If your case is assigned to Skokie please use this helpful link to find your way to the courthouse and for contact information:


How do I find a Criminal Defense Attorney for my Skokie Felony Case?

Although on paper the laws remain the same across the State of Illinois there can be great differences in how cases are handled across Cook County. Wherever your case is you want a Criminal Defense Attorney who is familiar with all the ins and outs of a particular court. No attorney goes to all courts enough to know the rules and procedures or even how cases are handled by particular judges. If you want an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your Chicago Felony case in Skokie you should look for criminal defense attorneys with the most experience practicing in Skokie. 

Richard Albanese, Experienced Former Felony Prosecutor in Skokie

I served as a prosecutor in Skokie almost eight years of my career as an Assistant State’s Attorney. I served five years as a Chicago Felony Prosecutor in Skokie. I worked on a daily basis in front of several judges handling Chicago felony cases in Skokie that are still assigned to those courtrooms. I have handled literally thousands of these felony cases in my career and have argued countless motions as well as bench and jury trials in Skokie. I find myself very comfortable and confident handling all cases in Skokie and am happy to put my knowledge and experience as a former prosecutor to use for you defending your case. Please contact the Richard Albanese law office today at (312) 882-1973 for a free consultation.