When you get a speeding ticket, do you know what your options are?
For petty offenses like speeding 10 to 20 mph over the limit, the most commonly chosen option is to check “Plead guilty and apply for court supervision” on the back of the ticket. You mail the ticket to the circuit court along with your fine and complete a driver safety course. As long as you keep a clean driving record until the end of the supervision period (usually three to four months), the violation will not appear on your driving record.
However, there are a few situations in which you may want to get an attorney and fight the ticket:
Three Convictions for Moving Violations in the Past 12 Months
If you have just gotten your fourth speeding ticket (or any other type of moving violation) within 12 months, there are several good reasons to try to fight it:
- Three moving violation convictions within 12 months will cause the Secretary of State to suspend your driver’s license for at least two to three months, and it is a hassle to get your license reinstated following a suspension.
- Your auto insurance rates will likely increase significantly, and your insurance company may even drop you.
- Having this many convictions, along with a license suspension, on your driving record could limit your employment opportunities.
Just to be clear, when you get court supervision for a ticket, that does not count as a conviction, as long as you complete the supervision without committing another traffic violation. You can get two supervisions within a 12-month period.
If you were clocked going 26 mph or more in excess of the speed limit, this is considered aggravated speeding. According to Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/11-601.5), driving at least 26 mph but less than 35 mph over the speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor. Driving 35 mph or more in excess of the speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor. In other words, aggravated speeding is not just a petty traffic offense; it is treated as an actual crime.
For misdemeanor offenses, you will have to appear in court. You could be sentenced to up to six months in prison and a fine up to $1,500 for Class B and up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 for Class A.
While Illinois law allows (since 2016) court supervision for aggravated speeding tickets, that decision is up to the judge. Depending on the county where you got the ticket, the state’s attorney may oppose a sentence of court supervision and push for a conviction.
The penalties for aggravated speeding are severe enough to warrant the help of an attorney, who will negotiate for the best possible outcome for you. If there is anything questionable about the speed at which you were clocked, an attorney may be able to get the ticket reduced from aggravated speeding to non-aggravated.
An Aggressive Will County Traffic Violations Attorney Can Help
If you are in danger of losing your driver’s license due to an aggravated speeding violation or too many convictions in one year, do not go into court unaided. Talk to an experienced Joliet speeding ticket defense lawyer to learn about ways to mitigate the effects on your life. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a no-cost review of your case.