Illinois Speeding Tickets Can Lead to Jail Time

Speeding-Ticket-Lawyer-300x200Recently, I have represented clients who received speeding tickets. In the course of representing these clients, I have come to realize that people do not really understand the Illinois Speeding Laws. In the last few years, the Illinois speeding laws have been changed. The changes have drastically increased the penalties for excessive speeding on Illinois roadways. Drivers are not adequately informed of what the potential consequences can be for a speeding ticket.

As someone who has received speeding tickets in the past, I remember when the biggest inconvenience associated with receiving a speeding ticket was having to take time off of work or school to go to Traffic Court at 321 North LaSalle, pay to park my car downtown, and wait for my case to be called and be dismissed because the police officer did not appear. Hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans used to visit that building every year.  Those days have changed. What used to be a major inconvenience can now lead to a potential jail sentence and a suspension of your driver’s license. Let me explain how the Illinois Legislature has made speeding a potential crime and not just a mere inconvenience.

There have been some positive changes for Chicago residents.  For one thing, Traffic Court has now been moved into the lower levels of the Daley Center.  This makes it easier to get to traffic court.  The CTA train stops at the Daley Center so you don’t have to drive to Traffic Court and navigate your way through the heavy Loop traffic only to pay the high fees to park your car at a parking lot in the loop.  Traffic tickets are still being dismissed when police officers do not appear in Traffic Court but police officers are appearing in Traffic Court more often because Police Department policies have changed to require that police officers appear in Court.

The biggest changes to the traffic laws have to do with the potential consequences for speeding over a certain amount over the speeding limit. If you are charged with speeding 26 to 34 miles over the speed limit you can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. A Class B Misdemeanor carries a potential penalty of up to 180 days in county jail and a fine up to $1,500. Perhaps the biggest consequence of speeding 26 miles an hour over the speed limit is that you cannot receive Court Supervision. A conviction for speeding 26 to 34 miles per hour over the speed limit will result in a conviction on your driving record which could lead to a suspension of your driver’s license. I will talk a little more about Court Supervision a little later in this article.

If you are charged with speeding 35 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. A Class A Misdemeanor conviction for speeding 35 miles per hour or more over the speed limit carries a potential penalty of up to one year in county jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Just like speeding 26 to 34 miles per hour over the speed limit, you cannot get Court Supervision for speeding 35 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. If you are convicted of speeding 35 miles per hour over the speed limit, the Secretary of State may suspend your driver’s license.

Court Supervision is usually the preferred outcome for a speeding ticket. Court Supervision usually lasts for 2 to 4 months. The court will usually require that you pay the fines, fees, and court costs, maybe complete Traffic School, and stay out of trouble. If you are under 21, Illinois Law requires that you complete Traffic School. If you successfully complete your Court Supervision, the ticket will be dismissed without a conviction appearing on your driving record. Since the ticket is dismissed without a conviction, your license will not be suspended by the Secretary of State. This is important because if you are convicted of 3 traffic tickets in a 12 month period, your license will be suspended. Since Court Supervision is not a conviction, the Court Supervision will not be used towards the three convictions in a 12 month that would lead to a suspension of your license.

If you are under 18, you can only receive Court Supervision once.  If you are 18 to 21, the rules change as you get older.  Traffic School is mandatory for any traffic ticket for anyone under the age of 21.  If you are over the age of 21, you can only receive Court Supervision for a traffic ticket 2 times over a 12 month period.

If you receive a speeding ticket, you need to understand that the consequences of pleading guilty, or being found guilty, could be more serious than you ever imagined. You should always consult with an experienced attorney who understands the Illinois driving laws and can take the steps necessary to avoid a conviction and the possible consequences that a speeding ticket could involve.

Speeding Ticket lawyer, James Dimeas, has been handling speeding tickets throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and Kane County for over 25 years. James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, speeding ticket lawyer. James Dimeas has been recognized as a “Best DUI Attorney.” Expertise has named James Dimeas a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago.” The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys have named James Dimeas a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” The National Trial Lawyers have named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer. James Dimeas is rated “Superb” by AVVO, the highest rating possible for any lawyer in the United States.

If you have a speeding ticket, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. James Dimeas can always be reached at 847-807-7405.

Additional Resources:

Traffic Victims Need to Step Up, Chicago Sun-Times, March 15, 2010.

Additional Blogs:

Schaumburg to Consider Issuing Negligent Driving Municipal Violations, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, October 14, 2017.

What’s the Difference Between a Misdemeanor, Felony and Municipal Violation? by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, August 8, 2017.