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Felony charges for Round Lake Beach man who got 26th citation while driving without license

Steven Knutson, 61, of Round Lake Beach.

A Round Lake Beach man who received his 26th citation while driving on a revoked license is facing felony charges and up to 7 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

Steven Knutson, 61, of the 100 block of South Channel Drive in Round Lake Beach, is facing felony charges for driving on a revoked license after his citation was upgraded by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

A Round Lake Beach police officer witnessed Knutson hit a parked car around 4 p.m. March 11 in the 100 block of Rollins Road. The officer initiated a traffic stop and issued Knutson a citation for driving while his license was revoked, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office said.

Village of Round Lake Beach attorneys later learned that the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office had revoked Knutson’s drivers license for life due to a previous charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010 and previous offenses of driving on a revoked license.

During the investigation, attorneys discovered Knutson received offenses of driving while his license was revoked 16 times in Cook County, four times in Winnebago County and three times in Kane and Lake counties.

Of the 26 total offenses, Knutson was convicted 24 times, with the most recent 2019 charge and a charge in Fox Lake in 2018 that remain pending. Knutson’s record also shows that 24 of the 26 revocation charges took place between 1982 and 2004.

“Driving is not a right, it’s a privilege,” Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said.

“The fact that Mr. Knutson continued to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive is astonishing. I commend the Round Lake Beach Police, their village attorneys, and attorneys from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office for doing what is necessary to ensure this man stops driving,” Nerheim said.

Village of Round Lake Beach attorneys requested in July that prosecutors upgrade Knutson’s citation to a felony. Knutson was taken into custody Thursday during a court hearing.

During the hearing, Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Lisa LeBoeuf requested a cash bond from Associate Judge Paul Novak to help ensure Knutson stops driving. Knutson was ordered held on a $20,000 bond.

Knutson faces 3-7 years in prison if found guilty at trial and would not be eligible for probation or conditional discharge, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to appear in court for a status hearing on August 26.


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