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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

"Julie's Law" Signed into Effect

Posted on in Criminal Defense

In June, 2011, Julie Gorcznski had just graduated high school and was one week away from her eighteenth birthday when the Jeep she was a passenger in was slammed into by a Mazda that had been traveling at least 76 mph in a 40 mph zone. The impact caused the Jeep to roll over, killing Julie. The driver of the Mazda, Lukasz Marszalek, 21, had an extensive history of speeding violations.

An investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed that the court system had repeatedly granted Marszalek special probation (also known as court supervision) despite the fact that he repeatedly broke the law. Between October 2006 and August 2009, he was cited for speeding on six different occasions, receiving a sentence of supervision four times. The last two supervision sentences he received were in March and August of 2009.  By law, he should have been ineligible for supervision until April 2010. But on the day he appeared in court in August of 2009 and received the fourth supervision, he was cited for driving 100 mph in a 55 mph zone. For that violation, he was sentenced to a fifth supervision and a $500 fine. A sixth supervision was granted in September of 2009 and a seventh in June 2010.

On June 20, at a ceremony at Julie’s high school, Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfort, Gov. Pat Quinn signed “Julie’s Law”. During the signing, the Governor said about Julie, “God sometimes doesn’t give someone a long chronological life, but he gave Julie a purposeful life. We should always remember that. That her years with us, she made a difference, and she is still making a difference.”

The law, which will go into effect July 1, 2013, makes drivers found traveling more than 25 mph over the limit on a non-rural road or more than 30 mph on a highway ineligible for court supervision. Julie’s mother, Pam Gorcznski, told CBS Chicago, “Our daughter Julie represents how unsafe everyone’s child and loved ones are out on the roads when excessive speeders, who often repeatedly offend and use loopholes in the laws to escape with minimal if any consequences.” The Gorcznski family helped to initiate the legislation and lobbied for its passage.

Julie's family has used their loss to make a positive change for their community. However, laws are not always followed, and there can be special circumstances. If you have been accused of a traffic crime, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal attorney in DuPage County. Our compassionate criminal lawyers will listen as you explain your situation, and advise you on the best way to move forward with your case. Contact us today!

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