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.
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.