Speeding Tickets in Illinois
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Speeding may not seem like that big of a deal. At some point in our lives, most of us go over the speed limit. Yet getting a traffic ticket for speeding in Illinois can lead to serious consequences — including jail time.
Depending on how fast you were going and where you were stopped by police, a traffic ticket can lead to hefty fines, points on your license, and increased insurance premiums. If you have been pulled over for speeding in Illinois, you don’t have to simply pay the ticket and accept the points. A skilled Chicago speeding ticket lawyer can help you fight back.
There are a number of potential defenses to speeding tickets in Illinois, including for criminal charges related to speeding. We’ll thoroughly investigate your case and advocate for your rights throughout the process.
Types of Speeding Tickets in Illinois
There are two types of speeding tickets in Illinois: petty speeding and aggravated speeding. While aggravated speeding typically carries more serious penalties than petty speeding, both types of speeding tickets may result in large fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and even higher insurance rates, if the ticket is not handled properly.
Petty speeding involves traveling up to 25 miles per hour (mph) over the speed limit. This is the more common type of speeding ticket. Most people who receive a petty speeding ticket choose to just pay the fine and move forward with their lives. However, there are good reasons for defending these tickets instead of simply writing a check, including maintaining a good car insurance rate and avoiding the accumulation of points on your license.
By contrast, aggravated speeding occurs when you are cited for traveling 26 mph or greater over the speed limit. Aggravated speeding is not just a traffic ticket; it is a criminal charge. If you drive 26 to 34 mph over the speed limit, it will be charged as a Class B misdemeanor. If you drive 35 mph or more over the speed limit, it will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor.
Because aggravated speeding is a criminal offense, if you are convicted of this charge, you will have a criminal record. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days (6 months) in jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,500. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Moving violations will remain on your driving record for a period of four to five years after the date of conviction. However, if the ticket leads to a license suspension or revocation, it will remain on your record for at least seven years from the date of reinstatement.
If you receive a ticket for a minor traffic violation, you may be required to appear in court on the date that is listed on the face of the ticket. If you fail to appear (or have your attorney appear on your behalf) or if you fail to pay the ticket, then a second court date may be set within 30 days. Failure to appear or pay will result in a license suspension until the court is satisfied and a reinstatement fee is paid.
Importantly, the penalties and procedures for speeding tickets can vary from county to county. For instance, if you have been cited for going 30 mph or over in Cook County or DuPage County, then you may not pay your speeding fine through the mail. Instead, you are required to show up to court to answer the charges. Because every county may be different, it is important to hire a speeding ticket attorney who knows the local rules and procedures to make sure that you have the best defense available.
The Illinois Point System
In Illinois, you will have points assigned to your license for various traffic violations, from failure to have a functioning head, tail, or side light ticket (10 points) to operating a motorcycle on one wheel (55 points). If you are over the age of 21 and receive three or more convictions for driving offenses within a 12 month period, then your license will be suspended. The length of this suspension is based on the number of points that you have accumulated:
- 0 – 14 points – no action
- 15 – 44 points – 2-month suspension
- 45 – 74 points – 3-month suspension
- 75 – 89 points – 6-month suspension
- 90 – 99 points – 9-month suspension
- 100 or more points – 12-month suspension
If you have had your license suspended or revoked within the past 7 years, then the suspension will be even longer.
For speeding, points will be assigned to your license based on how fast you were going above the speed limit and where you were speeding:
|Illinois Vehicle Code
|Description of Offense
|1-10 mph above the limit
|11-14 mph above the limit
|15 - 25 mph above the limit
|More than 25 mph above the limit
|35 mph or more above the limit
|Exceeding the speed maximum limit in a school zone
|Exceeding the speed limit in a school/construction zone
|Exceeding the speed maximum limit in a construction zone
|Aggravated speeding in a school zone
|Aggravated speeding in a construction zone
|Exceeding the maximum speed limit on a park zone street
Points for speeding will stay on your driving record for up to 5 years. This means that if you have 50 points on your license from 3 years ago, and then get 3 traffic offenses (of any kind) within a 12 month period, those 50 points will be considered when the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your driving privileges. In this way, even if you get a few relatively minor moving violations with low or no points, you could still have your license suspended for a considerable amount of time.
If you drive with a suspended license (or with a revoked license), you may find yourself facing additional charges. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a crime in the state of Illinois — and one that can land you in jail for up to a year.
The True Cost of an Illinois Speeding Ticket
If you get a speeding ticket, you may be tempted to simply pay the fine and put it behind you. Yet even if the fine is relatively low, having that moving violation on your record can be incredibly costly. That is because insurance companies will look at your driving record when setting your auto insurance rates, and the points on your license can significantly affect what you pay.
If you have a conviction for speeding or points on your license, insurers will consider you a “high-risk driver.” As a result, your premiums will likely shoot up. According to one analysis, a relatively small fine of $164 for an Illinois traffic ticket may cost an extra $320 per year in insurance coverage. As long as these points remain on your driving record, you can expect to pay hundreds of dollars more for your insurance each year.
Because a speeding ticket can result in significant costs beyond the expense of the initial ticket, it is important to work with a Chicago traffic ticket attorney who can advocate for your rights — and help get the citation against you reduced or dismissed entirely.
How Much Does an Illinois Speeding Ticket Cost?
The penalty for a speeding ticket in Illinois is based on the circumstances of the offense. The possible penalties include:
- 1 to 25 miles per hour over the limit: $164 but you receive a conviction on your record.
- 26 to 34 miles per hour over the limit: Class B misdemeanor, with up to six months in jail and a maximum of $1,500 in fines.
- 35 miles per hour or more over the limit: Class A misdemeanor, with up to one year in jail and a maximum of $2,500 in fines.
Keep in mind that the fine is not the only cost associated with an Illinois speeding ticket or traffic citation. In addition, there may be court costs and your insurance costs can increase significantly for a period of several years (or longer).
Will I Have to Go to Court If I Get a Speeding Ticket?
Depending on where you got the ticket and the facts of the case, you may have to go to traffic court. For example, if you only received a petty speeding ticket, you usually have the option of paying your fine by mail. Although, this is not recommended.
If you received additional tickets, such as not having proof of valid insurance, your ticket will be marked “Must Appear.” Additionally, if you are cited for speeding in excess of 15 mph over the speed limit, then the officer may mark that you are required to go to court.
However, it is important to note that even if your petty ticket is marked “Appearance Required” you can send a lawyer in your place.
If you are charged with aggravated speeding, then you will have to go to court to face criminal charges. For this type of traffic ticket, it is important to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
What Is Court Supervision?
For some types of traffic tickets, you may be able to obtain court supervision as an alternative to a conviction for a traffic violation. With court supervision, you will be placed under the court’s jurisdiction for between 3 months to 2 years, and required to pay a fine and/or attend traffic safety school. If you successfully complete the terms of your court supervision, then the judgment of conviction will not be entered, and the offense will not appear on your public driving record.
Court supervision is not available for all types of traffic citations. For speeding, if you are cited for exceeding the speed limit in a school zone, you will not be permitted to enter the court supervision program. Additionally, you are only permitted two supervisions within a 12 month period.
We’re Here to Help
Speeding tickets happen to the best of us. While these types of moving violations are relatively common, they can have a significant impact on your life and your finances. There are a number of possible defenses to Illinois traffic tickets. Our law firm will use our knowledge of the law and experience with the local courts to help you fight your speeding ticket.
At DDT Law Group, we represent drivers who have been charged with a range of driving offenses, from driving under the influence (DUI) to reckless driving to leaving the scene of an accident to violations involving commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). With law offices in Chicago and Stone Park, we are well-equipped to represent clients throughout the greater Chicago area. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with an Illinois traffic ticket lawyer, contact us today at (312) 940-8330, or fill out our online contact form.