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Illinois Speeding Tickets Are More Costly Than You May Think

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If you drive a lot, odds are you have been stopped for a traffic violation at least once. Illinois law enforcement agencies made 2.3 million traffic stops in 2017 , affecting more than one-fourth of the state’s population of 8.5 million licensed drivers (although certainly some stops would have involved non-residents).

About two-thirds of all Illinois traffic stops were for moving violations, with the remainder related to mechanical or vehicle registration issues. Luckily for the drivers, only about 40 percent of all traffic stops resulted in a ticket.

However, if you are one of those 40 percent who get a ticket, the penalties may be much higher than you anticipated. Most people think of speeding, for example, as a very minor offense, with a $140 fine at most. But many drivers are still not aware of a change in Illinois law that took effect in January 2014 which significantly increased the penalties for some speeding tickets.

Illinois Speeding Tickets, Up to 25 MPH Over the Limit

If you are ticketed for going less than 25 mph above the speed limit, this is a petty offense, punishable only by a fine. If your record is otherwise clean, you can generally get court supervision, meaning the ticket will not go on your record as long as you do not commit another violation during the supervision period. If, on the other hand, you have several violations already on your record and are at risk of having your driver’s license suspended, you may want to consult a lawyer regarding your options.

Illinois Speeding Tickets, More Than 25 MPH Over the Limit

If you are ticketed for going 26 mph or more over the speed limit, this is known as aggravated speeding; it is also termed excessive speeding or misdemeanor speeding. You are required to appear before a judge to be sentenced.

Court supervision is possible for these offenses if you have no prior speeding tickets (thanks to a change in Illinois law that took effect in January 2016), but the penalties are still much higher than for lesser speeding offenses.

If you are caught going 26-34 mph over the speed limit, this is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 180 days in county jail and a $1,500 fine.

If you were going 35 mph or more over the speed limit, you committed a Class A misdemeanor ( 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5 ). The penalty for that is up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Work Zone Speeding Tickets

If you are ticketed for speeding in a highway construction or work zone, you will have to appear in court. The minimum fine is $375 for the first offense. A second offense carries a minimum fine of $1,000. If you get two work-zone tickets within two years, your driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days.

Get Advice From a Seasoned Will County Traffic Attorney

A speeding ticket can cost you a lot more than just a fine. Your car insurance rates could go up, your driver’s license could be suspended, and you could even lose your job if you are a commercial driver with a CDL. An experienced Joliet speeding ticket defense lawyer may be able to get your ticket dismissed or reduced. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a no-cost, no-obligation review of your case.

How Soon Can I Get My Drivers License Back After Revocation

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If your Illinois driver’s license has been revoked , you are probably anxious to get back behind the wheel. But because the driving offenses that lead to revocation are so serious, the state does not make it easy to get your license back.

How Soon Can I Start the Reinstatement Process?

For purposes of illustration, we will assume your license was revoked for a minimum of one year. (Your actual revocation could be five years or even longer.)

As a general rule, you can apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP), sometimes referred to as a hardship permit, any time after the revocation is entered on your record.

You can apply to get your license fully reinstated one year from the effective date of revocation. However, you can and should start preparing well in advance for the hearing that will be necessary to get your license back.
See our page on Getting Ready for Your Hearing for details.

How Long Will the Reinstatement Process Itself Take?

Depending on the reason for your revocation, you will go through either the Informal Hearing process or the Formal Hearing process.

Informal Hearing Process: From start to finish, expect this process to take at least two to three months. As with all hearings with the secretary of state, you are required to wait for a written decision as to whether you have been approved for an RDP or the reinstatement of your license. The Secretary of State is required to provide you a written answer within 90 days of your hearing.

If your revocation was for first-time DUI or an offense that did not involve a fatality, you will need to attend an informal hearing with a Secretary of State hearing officer. Informal hearings are available at numerous Driver Services facilities and are held on a walk-in basis (no appointment necessary).

The possible outcomes are full reinstatement of your license, a restricted driving permit (RDP) for some period of time (typically 1 year), or denial of any driving relief. If you are approved for reinstatement, you must next pay some fees and prove you have auto insurance. You will then receive authorization to get a new license. With that, you can go to a Drivers Services facility, take a driver’s exam, and get your new license made.
If you receive an RDP, you are required to drive on the RDP for a period of 8 months before you can apply and sit for your next hearing to either extend the RDP or to apply for the full reinstatement of your license. If you are denied all driving relief, you can have another hearing to correct any issues that the Secretary of State had with your petition.

Formal Hearing Process: Expect this process to take about four to six months. Unlike the informal hearing process where no appointment is needed, the formal hearing process requires you to pay a $50 fee and mail in a request for hearing. The hearing will typically be set about 4-6 weeks out from receipt of your application.

Repeat DUI offenders, or an offense involving a fatality, requires a formal hearing. Formal hearings are only available in a few locations, and you must schedule them in advance. After receiving your request for a formal hearing, the Secretary of State’s office will send you a written notice of the date and time of the hearing. By law, the hearing must be held within 90 days of your request. A written decision will be mailed to you within 90 days after the hearing.

Refer to the earlier paragraphs about what happens if you are approved for reinstatement or an RDP. If you are denied, you are entitled to one formal hearing every three months.

How Can I Make Sure I Get It Right the First Time?

As you can see, driver’s license reinstatement in Illinois is neither quick nor simple. The process takes months, and if you fail at your first hearing, you will wait more months to get back on the road. Being extremely well prepared for your hearing is of utmost importance, and the guidance of an experienced reinstatement lawyer will be invaluable.

Trust an Experienced Joliet License Reinstatement Attorney

If your driver’s license was revoked, and you are anxious to get your full driving privileges back, you need to present a very strong case for reinstatement at your first hearing. You need the guidance of a Will County reinstatement lawyer who knows the process and the expectations of the Secretary of State hearing officers. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 today.

The Long-Term Impact of Illinois DUI Laws

joliet DUI lawyer

In 1997, Illinois reduced the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers from .10 to .08, the standard now used by all 50 states. Today, 20 years later, lawmakers are thinking about further reducing the legal blood-alcohol limit from .08 to .05.

If you are wondering why, you are not alone. It is perfectly reasonable to ask questions like how much safer did the roads really get after the change from .10 to .08, relative to the cost to society of law enforcement and the severe penalties paid by people convicted of DUI? How strong is the rationale for further reducing the legal limit to .05?

In this post, we will look at how the change from .10 to .08 impacted DUI arrests and fatalities in Illinois over the past 20 years. In a separate post, we will look deeper into the debate over the .05 standard.

Deaths in Alcohol-Impaired Crashes Have Declined in Illinois

The Illinois law reducing the legal blood-alcohol level from .10 to .08 took effect July 2, 1997. The year before it took effect, 534 people died in Illinois car crashes involving at least one driver who was at or over the 0.08 level. In 2016, 272 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Illinois . Thus, the annual number of drunk driving deaths in Illinois has been cut in half, resulting in 262 fewer deaths. This may not be entirely attributable to the .08 change, though. Other factors have likely played a role, such as the 2000 law requiring drivers found guilty of DUI to have blow-to-drive devices installed in their vehicles.

DUI Arrests Have Declined in Illinois

Arrests for driving under the influence have declined significantly over the past decade, according to the Illinois Secretary of State. From 2010 to 2016, the number of arrests dropped by 12,371, from 41,900 to 29,528 arrests, a decrease of 30 percent. The decline in arrests could be partly due to law enforcement cuts; the number of Illinois State Police troopers, for example, declined from 2,105 in 2008 to 1,671 in 2016 . But the decline can also be attributed to increased public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, along with increasingly severe legal and financial penalties.

The bottom line, as evidenced by the reduction in both arrests and fatalities, is that Illinois drivers do seem to have cut back on drinking and driving since the .08 law passed.

Trust an Experienced Joliet DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, the first thing you should know is, there are many ways to beat a DUI charge and to fight the suspension of your driver’s license. To determine your best defense strategy, consult a knowledgeable Will County DUI Defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation; phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.

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