ANSWER: It depends – on a lot of things. What is your age? What is your driving history? Do you have any convictions on your record? Are you currently on Court Supervision or Probation? Was your driver’s license valid or expired or suspended or revoked? Was there an outstanding warrant for your arrest? How fast were you charged with driving? Are you contesting the speed? Was there an accident? Did you have insurance? Were you charged with fleeing and eluding? Did you cooperate with the officer? Did you consent to a search? Was any contraband found in the car? What other charges were filed along with the speeding ticket? Do you have a C.D.L.? Will one more conviction lead to a suspension of your driving privileges? Are you a U.S. citizen? All of these factors can have significant impact on your eligibility for a leniency, the seriousness of the sentence imposed if found guilty, and the ultimate strategy for your defense.
Some minor speeding tickets do not require a court appearance. These may be paid by checking the “guilty” box and mailing in your payment. If you don’t have any prior tickets within a certain period of time, you may be sentenced to “Court Supervision,” which is an alternative to a conviction, and does not affect your driving privileges or insurance rates. However, as a condition of court supervision, you may be required to attend a 4-hour or 8-hour driver improvement school, either in person or online. An additional fee will be charged for the driving school. In the alternative, you may be permitted to plead guilty, pay a set fine and accept a conviction on your record.
Whenever possible, convictions should be avoided. A conviction is a permanent mark on your driving record and three convictions within a year will lead to a suspension. If under 21, two convictions within 24 months will lead to a suspension. Also, speeding charges or 26 mph or more over the limit are not eligible for court supervision. And convictions of certain offenses will automatically lead to a suspension and loss of driving privileges.
In Illinois, speeding 26 mph to 34 mph over the speed limit is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $1,500.00 plus court costs and up to 6 months in jail. Speeding 35 mph or more over the speed limit is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $2,500.00 plus court costs and up to 364 days in jail. The court costs alone can be several hundred dollars. If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), speeding 15 mph over the speed limit is considered a “serious traffic violation” and could lead to a suspension or, in combination with more serious charges, a disqualification of your CDL.
A good traffic and criminal defense attorney will work to defend the charges, get the ticket dismissed, reduce the penalties, negotiate alternative or reduced charges and penalties, minimizing the “points” assigned by the Secretary of State, and the consequences to your driver’s license and driving privileges.
Greg Martucci has over 30 years of practice experience and an in-depth knowledge of Illinois traffic laws to protect your legal rights, and preserve your driving privileges and personal liberty, whenever possible. Call Martucci Law today at 630-980-8333 to schedule your free initial office consultation. Learn more about how we can help you with any pending traffic charges.