If You Are Ticketed for a Moving Violation
A traffic ticket in Illinois must be resolved quickly, or it could become a legal headache. However, resolving a ticket may not mean paying it. If the ticket is for a moving violation, fight it with help from a Chicago traffic defense lawyer, and contact that lawyer immediately.
What traffic offenses are moving violations in Illinois? What are your rights if you receive a traffic ticket for a moving violation? Why is it important to fight an Illinois traffic ticket – instead of just paying the fine? When should you contact a Chicago traffic defense attorney?
If you keep reading this short discussion of moving violations in Illinois, you’ll learn the answers to these questions, and you will also learn more about your rights – and your legal recourse – if you receive a traffic ticket in the Chicago area or anywhere else in the state.
What Are Moving and Non-Moving Violations?
You can get a ticket in Illinois for a “non-moving violation” when your vehicle is parked or otherwise is not moving. A non-moving violation could be a parking ticket, a ticket for illegal window tinting or an expired license plate, or a ticket for something like a busted headlight.
Illinois no longer suspends drivers’ licenses for non-moving violations. In many cases, however, a moving violation can prompt a driver’s license suspension. A moving violation occurs whenever a driver violates a traffic law while driving.
Moving violations include speeding, reckless driving, texting while driving, and driving on a suspended license. If you’re ticketed for a moving violation, you should fight the ticket, because in some cases, your driver’s license could be revoked or suspended after a moving violation.
What Are the Most Frequent Moving Violations?
The most common moving violations in Illinois are speeding, failure to stop, and driving on a suspended license. The penalty for speeding depends on where you were speeding, how fast you were speeding, and whether your speeding caused an accident, injuries, or property damage.
Moving at 26 to 34 miles per hour over the posted speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor in Illinois, and driving at or above 35 miles per hour over the posted speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable upon conviction with a lengthy jail term and a costly fine.
Driving on a suspended license may also be penalized with jail and a fine. In some cases, failure to stop could be charged as a serious reckless driving offense. Other moving violations include leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence (DUI).
What Happens if You Are Convicted of a Moving Violation?
When a motorist in this state compiles too many moving violations and points, that person’s driver’s license will be suspended or revoked.
An adult driver in Illinois with three or more moving violation convictions within twelve months, can expect a license suspension.
A driver under the age of 21 with two or more moving violation convictions within a twenty-four month period will be suspended.
The most serious moving violations trigger an immediate license suspension or revocation. These violations include driving without a permit or a driver’s license, driving without insurance, passing a school bus, and fleeing or attempting to flee from a law enforcement officer.
What Should You Do if You Are Pulled Over?
If you’re pulled over by the police while you’re driving, treat the police officer with respect. If you get a ticket, take it gracefully. If you’ve been wrongly ticketed, you and your lawyer will have a chance to explain it in court, but it does you no good to fight with the officer issuing the ticket.
What you don’t say can’t hurt you. An officer may try to get you to confess that you ran a stop sign, for instance, but you have the right to remain silent. You can say, “I prefer to exercise my right to remain silent until I can speak with my attorney.”
Have You Been Charged With a Moving Violation?
The points you receive on your Illinois driver’s license for a moving violation and the amount of time those points stay on your driving record will depend on how serious the moving violation is.
For example, a conviction for speeding less than ten miles per hour over the posted speed limit puts five points on your license. A failure to stop after striking a parked vehicle puts fifteen points on your license, and a conviction for reckless driving puts fifty-five points on your driver’s license.
When Is a Driver’s License Revoked?
If you are at least 21 years old, and if you are convicted of three moving violations within a twelve-month time-frame, the number of points you have accumulated will determine the length of your driver’s license suspension (or the length of the license revocation period).
If a driver who is age 21 or above accumulates 110 points (or more) in a twelve-month time-frame, that driver’s license is revoked. For drivers under 21, compiling 80 points (or more) in a twenty-four-month time period triggers a license revocation.
Unlike a license suspension, when a license revocation period ends, the driver’s license is not automatically reinstated. The driver instead becomes “eligible” for a license reinstatement, and a reinstatement hearing is conducted by the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.
How Will a Traffic Defense Lawyer Help You?
Convictions for moving violations can stay on your driving record in Illinois for up to five years. The way to avoid a license suspension or revocation is to avoid moving violations and moving violation convictions before you begin to accumulate too many points.
Paying a fine for a moving violation ticket is an admission of your guilt and results in a conviction and points on your license, but you probably have a better option. A Chicago traffic defense lawyer will fight a ticket on your behalf and work to keep any points off your license.
You must deal with a moving violation ticket immediately. Do not plead guilty by paying a ticket before you’ve spoken with a Chicago traffic ticket attorney. If you pay the fine, the Illinois point system will penalize you and place points on your driver’s license.
What Happens if You Ignore a Ticket?
If you ignore or forget a ticket, or if you don’t appear in traffic court, you will likely get a conviction in your absence.. If you can’t appear for a court date, your lawyer can probably represent you or seek to have the hearing postponed, but you can’t ignore a ticket or a court date.
When you get a moving violation ticket, if you’re at risk for a driver’s license suspension or revocation, or if your license was revoked and you are seeking reinstatement, contact a Chicago traffic defense attorney at once and let that lawyer effectively handle the matter on your behalf.