Woodridge Driver Avoids Aggravated Speeding Conviction
With every case, our main goal is to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients. To accomplish this, we review every case and develop a strategy – along with our client.
A review of your case can reveal different actions that can be taken, such as going to trial, moving forward with negotiations, or possibly – preparing the best case for a positive sentencing phase.
During the summer of 2019, the Woodridge Police Department charged our client with aggravated speeding – a Class A Misdemeanor, for allegedly driving 81 mph in a 35 mph zone, near the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Harcourt Drive. He was ordered to appear at the Downers Grove Field Court in DuPage County. After reviewing the case, we determined a trial would not be in the best interest of our client.
In Illinois, a misdemeanor charge is an offense consider more serious than a traffic charge, but less serious than a felony. A Class A Misdemeanor carries a potential penalty of up to one (1) year in county jail. However, most people charge with aggravated speeding are not in jeopardy of serving jail time. Keep in mind, criminal convictions can result in severe consequences beyond the immediate penalties imposed by the court, which may include difficulty finding work or housing, restrictions on travel and inability to obtain credit.
In our client’s case, he was concerned about the impact a criminal conviction may have on his immigration status and ability to obtain security clearance for his work. Our client was in Illinois to complete his PhD and was not from the United States. At the time, he was a scientist at a laboratory in the Chicagoland area. When charged, he was in the process of renewing his student visa. For our client, a criminal conviction would jeopardize his ability to complete his studies in the United States, damage his ability to work in his chosen field and potentially change his immigration status.
Because both a trial and a conviction had great potential to disrupt his life and livelihood, the next step was negotiation with the state’s attorney’s office. When requesting negotiations, we write a letter on behalf of our client, gather mitigating information, and present all positive facts about our client and the case to obtain the best possible terms for a plea agreement. Unfortunately, in some cases, the prosecutors are restricted by policies set forth by their office, or elected officials in their jurisdictions – which limit their ability to offer plea agreement terms we desire. This was the case for our client. Despite all the positive information we provided the prosecutor, they would not offer a reduced charge to help our client continue his work and studies.
This could have marked the end of the story.
Even though prosecutors have enormous influence over our criminal system, have the sole ability to bring criminal charges and the ability to dismiss for modify charges – there is always the judge’s final decision at sentencing. After consulting with our client and his immigration attorney, we jointly agreed a supervision sentence would allow our client to renew his visa and continue his chosen life path. If a person is eligible for supervision, a judge can order a supervision sentence – even over the objection of the prosecutor.
In a supervision sentence in Illinois, the court sets conditions, which an individual must adhere to. Once successfully completed, the criminal conviction is not entered, meaning there are no negative impacts against the driver. When it was our client’s day in court, we assembled all the positive information we could about our client and argued for a supervised sentence. The judge agreed and our client received a supervise sentence, keeping a conviction off his record.