Traffic Violations

Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney Defending Clients against Traffic Violations Charges

Most people are surprised to learn that they can go to jail for up to a year for driving too fast. Previously, a traffic offense in Illinois never seemed like a serious issue for licensed motorists. However, putting the pedal to the metal will no longer result in just a speeding ticket thanks to an Illinois law that went into effect January 1, 2014. This new law is composed of two important parts and is listed in 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5.

  • Causing speeding in excess of 25 miles per hour a Class B Misdemeanor with a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,500; and
  • Driving 35 miles per hour or more over the limit remains a Class A Misdemeanor, that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.

For defendants who are found guilty after a trial or who plead guilty in traffic court, a sentence of supervision would be the best outcome. Supervision is a sentence in which the court defers judgment until a later date. During this period of time, if the defendant does not violate the law and complies with all the terms and conditions of the supervision sentence, the charge will be dismissed. If the defendant is found to have violated the law during the supervision period, a conviction will be entered against him. Although supervision will appear on the defendant’s driving record, it is not a conviction. Since it is not a conviction, it does not affect insurance rates, nor does it affect driving privileges.

A conviction, unlike a sentence of court supervision, causes the Secretary of State to impose points to a licensed motorist’s driving record. Prior to 2016, supervision was not available for speeding 35 mph or more over the limit. However in 2016, the law changed allowing a finding of court supervision on aggravated speeding. Without this change, a Class A Misdemeanor could have resulted in a person’s driving privileges being suspended. Driver’s license points determine the length of a suspension. In some cases, too many points can result in a revoked license. The points are assigned as follows; speeding 1 to 10 mph above the speed limit will earn 5 points; speeding 11 to 14 mph above the speed limit will earn 15 points, speeding 15 to 25 mph above the speed limit will earn 20 points; and speeding over 25 mph above the speed limit will earn 50 points.

The Secretary of State will suspend a person’s license according to the following rules (assuming no prior suspensions):

  • 0 through 14 points – no action.
  • 15 through 44 points – 2 month suspension.
  • 45 through 74 points – 3 month suspension.
  • 75 through 89 points – 6 month suspension.
  • 90 through 99 points – 9 month suspension.
  • 100 through 109 points – 12 month suspension.
  • 110 or more points – one year revocation.

Since court supervision is an option in most instances of speeding, a driver must take advantage of the 2 allotted court supervisions per year. Receiving court supervision on traffic offenses will essentially give the driver two opportunities to receive a speeding ticket without impacting their driving privileges. After using the two allotted court supervisions, the driver is no longer eligible for court supervision and will only receive convictions there forward. At this time, points will begin accumulating based on the charge causing the driver to face a possible suspension. However, if the driver has been charged with speeding 40 mph or more over the limit, the driver will receive an automatic conviction, and 50 points on their driving record and likely receive a 3 month suspension of driving privileges.

[1] See Title 92 of the Illinois Administrative Code, Section 1040.30

 

CDL Holders

For defendants of regular class D driver’s licenses who are found guilty after a trial or plead guilty in traffic court, a sentence of supervision is the best outcome. Supervision is a sentence where the court defers judgment until a later date. During this period of time, the defendant is considered to be supervised by the court. If the defendant does not violate the law and complies with all the terms and conditions of supervision, then the charges will be dismissed. However, holders of a commercial driver’s license do not receive the same privileges of Class D license holders. Motorists holding a CDL must be aware that the Illinois Secretary of State considers a sentence of court supervision as a conviction with respect to certain traffic citations issued against a commercial driver’s license. With respect to commercial driver’s licenses, the law in Illinois defines a “conviction” as:

An unvacated adjudication of guilt or a determination that a person has violated or failed to comply with the law in a court of original jurisdiction or by an authorized administrative tribunal; an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the person’s appearance in court; a plea of guilty or nolo contendere accepted by the court; the payment of a fine or court cost regardless of whether the imposition of sentence is deferred and ultimately a judgment dismissing the underlying charge is entered; or a violation of a condition of release without bail, regardless of whether or not the penalty is rebated, suspended or probated. (625 ILCS 5/6-500, Emphasis Added).

In Illinois, you can be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for repeated serious traffic violations committed in a commercial motor vehicle. Specifically, the law states that you will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle:

  • If you are convicted of two serious traffic violations, committed in a commercial motor vehicle, arising from separate incidents, occurring within a three year period, in which case the disqualification will be for at least two months; or
  • If you are convicted of three serious traffic violations, committed in a commercial motor vehicle, arising from separate incidents, occurring within a three year period, in which case the disqualification will be for at least four months.

Serious traffic violations include reckless driving, speeding 15mph or more over the speed limit, improper passing, following too closely, to name just a few. Due to a finding of court supervision being useless when the driver is charged with a serious traffic violation, the only option the driver has is to find a loophole in the law. Currently, the best option is to try to amend any moving violation to a nonmoving violation and take a conviction. Surprisingly, a conviction on a nonmoving violation will not impact a CDL as a finding of court supervision on a serious traffic violation.

 

Chicago Traffic Violations Defense Lawyer Defending Against Traffic Violation Charges in Illinois

If you have been cited for a traffic violation in Chicago, you can receive effective help from Sami. Do not minimize the importance of fighting traffic violations. If you allow them to stay on your record, they can raise your insurance premiums dramatically for several years. If you accumulate too many violations on your driving record, you may find yourself labeled as a habitual traffic offender and your license could be suspended or revoked. If you apply for a job that requires you to drive, the employer will likely ask for your driving record. If you have violations on your record, they may be concerned that their company insurance rates will go up and may, therefore, decide to hire someone else with a cleaner record. Sami has helped many clients get their violations dismissed.

In handling a case of this kind, Sami reviews the incident that led to your alleged traffic violation. He looks for holes in the state’s case and for violations of your rights. On the day of trial, he will be prepared to question the police officer regarding what happened and look for inconsistencies in his testimony and violations of standard police procedure. Sami will vigilantly defend his clients’ constitutional rights and argue persuasively for a finding of not guilty.

 

Free Consultation with a Chicago Defense Lawyer

Contact Sami Azhari today to discuss your traffic violations charge and learn more about what he can do to help you. If you would like to reach Sami quickly and directly, please call his cell phone 24/7 at (312) 626-2871 or (847) 255-2100. The consultation is free. For your convenience, weekend appointments are available.