In the past several weeks, I have spoken to several clients who were arrested for Excessive Speeding and were charged with a crime. Most of the people I spoke to did not realize that they could be arrested for speeding. Many people do not understand the Illinois speeding laws and how a simple speeding ticket can lead to you being arrested and facing the real possibility of having a criminal conviction appear on your record and a possible jail sentence in your future. I want to take this opportunity to try to help people understand just how drastic the consequences of a speeding ticket in Illinois can be.
In general, if you are pulled over for speeding over the posted speed limit, you will not be arrested. The police officer will issue you a speeding ticket and depending on the County that you were pulled over in, and your driving record, you may be given the opportunity to avoid going to Court by paying a fine or by attending Traffic Safety School. But in certain circumstances, being pulled over by a police officer for speeding could result in an arrest and criminal charges.
Most arrests for speeding are because of Aggravated, or Excessive Speeding. In the past several years, the Illinois Legislature has severely increased the penalties for drivers that are charged with driving too fast over the speed limit. The higher you are charged with driving over the speed limit, the more severe are the possible penalties that you could be facing. If you are charged with speeding 26 to 34 miles per hour over the speed limit, you will be facing a Class B Misdemeanor. A Class B Misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of up to 180 days in the County Jail, and a maximum fine of $1,500. If you are charged with driving 35 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor which carries a maximum punishment of up to 364 days in the County Jail, and a maximum fine of $2,500. Another potential consequence of being charged with Excessive Speeding is that a conviction will remain on your driving abstract for at least 7 years with the Illinois Secretary of State. Your driving abstract is your driving record. This could lead to increased insurance premiums and difficulty in obtaining Auto Insurance. This criminal conviction will issue appear on a background search.
The good news is that as of January 1 2016, the law was changed to make a sentence of Court Supervision available to motorists who have not previously been charged with Aggravated Speeding. The availability of Court Supervision for people charged with Aggravated Speeding fixed a major problem with the Aggravated Speeding laws in Illinois. Before the law was changed to make Court Supervision an available sentence for first-time Aggravated Speeding offenders, if you were charged with Aggravated Speeding you could not receive Court Supervision. This meant that people charged with Aggravated Speeding could only be sentenced to something that resulted in a permanent criminal conviction. Yet, other people charged with much more serious criminal offenses, such as Reckless Driving, DUI, Retail Theft, and Battery, could receive Court Supervision and avoid having a conviction on their criminal record if they successfully completed their sentence.
Fines, Fees and Court Costs
In addition to the criminal penalties associated with speeding tickets, there’s also a financial cost. You will be required to pay mandatory fines for a speeding ticket depending on how fast you were going. Every County has mandatory court costs as well. The amount of the court costs will depend on the County that you were ticketed in. The mandatory fines are set forth below:
-1 to 20 mph over the speed limit – $120.00.
-20 to 25 mph over the speed limit – $140.00.
-26 to 34 mph over the speed limit – Up to $1,500.00 and up to 180 days in County Jail.
-35 mph over the speed limit – Up to $2,500 and up to 364 days in County Jail.
The Illinois Points System
Every time you are written up for a traffic violation and convicted of a traffic offense in Illinois, a certain number of points are assigned to your driving record by the Illinois Secretary of State. The more severe the ticket, the more points are assigned to your driving record. When it comes to speeding tickets, here’s the number of points that are assigned to your driving record:
-1 to 10 mph over the speed limit – 5 points.
-11 to 14 mph over the speed limit – 15 points.
-15-25 mph over the speed limit – 20 points.
-25 mph plus over the speed limit – 50 points.
If you received a ticket and were assigned points for a traffic violation that resulted in your license being suspended or revoked, the points assigned will stay on your driving record for up to 7 years. For lesser traffic offenses, such as speeding, failure to obey a traffic light, or improper lane usage, the points assigned will stay on your driving record for anywhere from 4 to 5 years. Depending on the number of points on your driving record, your license will be suspended for the following length of time:
Number of Points Length of Suspension
-15-44 2 Months
-45-74 3 Months
-75-89 6 Months
-90-99 9 Months
-100 plus 12 Months
If you are over the age of 21, 3 convictions on your driving record in a 12 month period will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. If you are under the age of 21, you will lose your license if you commit 2 or more traffic violations over a 24 month period. Once points are assigned to your driving record, there is no way to have those points removed.
Hire an Experienced Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Since a traffic ticket can lead to serious consequences to your criminal record and driving record, you should always consult with a knowledgeable and experienced traffic ticket lawyer to protect yourself. An experienced traffic ticket lawyer will understand the consequences of a conviction and will understand what he needs to do to avoid the harsh consequences of a traffic ticket to you. Since points assigned to your driving record cannot be removed once they are assigned, you cannot afford to take chances with your driving privileges. You should consult with an experienced traffic lawyer before you go to court or just pay that fine to minimize the impact to your driving privileges.
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, traffic lawyer. James Dimeas has been handling traffic cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County, for over 25 years. Recently, the American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer In the State of Illinois For the Year 2018.” James Dimeas has been named a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise, and a “Best DUI Attorney.” 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 Lawyer.” AVVO rates James Dimeas as “Superb”, the highest rating possible for any traffic attorney in the United States.
If you have a speeding ticket, or any other type of traffic ticket, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always call James Dimeas at 847-807-7405 for a phone consultation.