Can I Really Go To Jail For Speeding?

Aggravated-or-Excessive-Speeding-300x127Lately, many of the phone calls I receive start off with clients telling me that they received a “speeding ticket” and asking whether they can really go to jail for their “speeding ticket.” I ask them how fast they were going, and if they were going 26 miles per hour, or more, over the posted speed limit, I have to explain what they are facing. I start off by explaining that what they received is not a speeding ticket. At least it’s not what most people commonly considered to be a speeding ticket. Speeding 26-miles per hour over the posted speed limit is a crime in Illinois. If you did not know this, don’t feel bad. Most people do not realize that speeding 26-miles per hour over the posted speed limit is a crime in Illinois until it happens to them. Sometimes, lawyers don’t even know that driving 26-miles per hour over the posted speed limit is a crime in Illinois (more on that later.) Illinois has made speeding 26-miles per hour over the posted speed limit a crime that carries potential serious consequences. Just like any other crime in Illinois, driving 26-miles per hour over the posted speed limit carries a potential jail sentence that all Illinois driver’s should be aware of. Let me explain.

Cases involving drivers caught driving 26-miles per hour over the posted speed limit are commonly called Aggravated or Excessive Speeding cases. Under 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5(a), if you are caught driving between 26 to 34 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, you can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. A Class B Misdemeanor carries up to 180 days in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,500. Under 625 ILCS 5/601.5(b), if you are caught driving 35-miles per hour, or more, over the posted speed limit, you can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. A Class A Misdemeanor carries up to 1 year in county jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Just like any other criminal offense, you will need to have a lawyer represent you if you receive an Aggravated or Excessive Speeding charge. Believe it or not, there’s lawyers out there that do not realize that driving 26-miles per hour over the posted speed limit is a crime until they go to Court and find out that what their client is facing is not a simple speeding ticket. Unless the lawyer commonly handles Aggravated or Excessive speeding cases, they will not know what to do when they get to Court. A few weeks ago I was at a local courthouse waiting to talk to the prosecutor about my client’s Aggravated Speeding charge when I started talking to the lawyer who was in front of me in line. I had never seen this lawyer before in Court. The lawyer told me that she was taking care of the speeding ticket for a family friend and as I was talking to her about the case, she told me that her client was going 42-miles per hour over the posted speed limit and asked me if she could just get Court Supervision for her client for the speeding ticket. I realized that the attorney did not understand that her client was being charged with a Class A Misdemeanor that carried a possible criminal conviction and a potential jail sentence of up to 1-year and a maximum fine of $2,500. I had explain all of this to the lawyer and she got a continuance for her client and sent the client to me to represent her for the Class A Excessive Speeding Charge. I was able to get the prosecutor to drop the charge down to a petty offense after the client performed some community service hours. The client had to pay a small fine and the court costs, and take a Driver Improvement Course.

If you are charged with Aggravated or Excessive Speeding, it is very important that you hire a lawyer that has extensive experience handling such cases. In addition to a possible jail sentence and excessive fines, a conviction for Aggravated or Excessive speeding, can lead to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. If you drive for a living, or driving is necessary for your job, you could end up losing your job. In addition, a conviction for Aggravated or Excessive speeding will mean that you have a criminal conviction on your record that will appear on a background search. If you are asked in a job interview or on a job application whether you have ever been convicted of a crime, you must answer “yes”.

Aggravated or Excessive Speeding cases are treated differently from County to County. Aggravated or Excessive speeding cases are even treated differently in the same County in different Courthouses and in different Courtrooms. Unless your lawyer hows how your case will be treated in your County, and in your Courthouse, and in your Courtroom, you may not have the best chance to get the best possible result for your case.

James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, Aggravated or Excessive Speeding lawyer, with over-27 years of experience handling Aggravated and Excessive Speeding cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas its “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois.” The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas its “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois”. James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney.” Expertise named James Dimeas a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago.” The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer.” The American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois For the Years 2018 and 2019.” The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys named James Dimeas a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” James Dimeas is rated “Superb” by AVVO, the highest rating possible for any Aggravated and Excessive Speeding attorney in the United States.

If you are facing an Aggravated and Excessive Speeding charge, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can talk to James Dimeas personally by calling him at 847-807-7405.

Additional Resources:

625 ILCS 5/11-601.5, Illinois Aggravated and Excessive Speeding Statute.

Additional Blogs:

This is NOT a Simple Speeding Ticket, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, April 19, 2019.

When Can Speeding Be a Crime in Illinois? by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, September 20, 2018.