Illinois drivers are under daily pressure to get to work, pick up their children from school, arrive at appointments on time, and meet deadlines. With all of this stress going on, people are more likely to commit traffic violations, including running a red light, distracted driving, passing a school bus, reckless driving, speeding, or forgetting to pay for parking.
Yet, most traffic violations in Illinois carry harsh penalties, including fines, court costs, penalty points added to your license, and even criminal penalties in some situations. A moving violation conviction will end up on your driver’s record, which can cause a significant increase in your insurance premiums and lead to the suspension of your license.
Regardless of whether you have been cited for a major or minor infraction, you reserve the right to contest the accusation. Fighting against a moving violation in Illinois is the only way to prevent severe penalties and protect your future against a suspended license or criminal penalties.
Hirsch Law Group
At Hirsch Law Group, we have a team of highly experienced traffic offense lawyers that can help you fight against your moving traffic violation. A traffic ticket lawyer from our firm will investigate your case, assess whether there is sufficient evidence against you, petition the court to attend traffic school, or get your charges dropped.
If you are facing license suspension, we can help get your license reinstated and petition the court to prevent suspension. We can do this by presenting a positive image of you to the traffic court, explaining your situation, and creating a mitigation packet to support your criminal case.
Hirsch Law Group cares passionately about your future, and we will fight aggressively on your behalf to prevent any serious penalties. We want to ensure that your life is not ruined by the harsh penalties of Illinois traffic laws, and we guarantee the highest standard of legal representation at all times.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 815-880-1134.
How a Moving Violation Affects Your Driving Record
Unlike non-moving violations, a moving violation directly affects your driving record and can lead to license suspension or revocation. When you receive a moving violation, for reckless driving, a speeding ticket, or another traffic violation, you will automatically receive penalty points.
These points are added to your driving record and too many points can cause your driver’s license to be suspended. If you receive three or more moving violations within one year, you will face license suspension. The penalty points on your record determine how long your license will be suspended.
When you pay the fine for a moving violation ticket, even if it is a minor traffic ticket, you are admitting guilt for a traffic offense. By admitting guilt, you are allowing your driving record to be affected for up to 5 years, which is the time penalty points will remain on your license. Police and traffic officers do not tell you this when they issue traffic tickets and you may believe that minor moving violations will not affect your driving privileges.
However, even minor moving violations affect your driving record, and if convicted of three smaller traffic offenses in one year, you could risk losing your license. If the traffic offenses are more severe, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you risk having your driver’s license revoked for a long period.
Penalties For Moving Violations in Illinois
The penalties for moving violations vary depending on the type of violation, the severity of the traffic offense, whether your case is tried in a traffic court or criminal court, and if you have previous traffic violations on your record.
There is a significant difference between the penalties for minor and major violations. A minor moving violation, such as failing to stop at a stop sign or red light, will likely result in ticket fines rather than court.
Driving faster than the posted speed limit is a moving violation under Illinois law. The penalties for speeding tickets depend on how fast over the speed limit you were driving, whether you have committed previous speeding offenses, and whether there were aggravating factors, such as speeding in a school zone.
The speeding ticket fines are:
- $120 fine and from 5 to 20 penalty points – Driving 1-20 miles per hour over the speed limit
- $140 and 20 penalty points – Driving 21-25 miles per hour over the speed limit
- $1,500 fine, up to six months in jail, and 50 penalty points – Driving 26-34 mph over the limit (class B misdemeanor)
- $2,500 fines, up to one year in jail, and 50 penalty points – Driving 35 mph over the limit (class A misdemeanor)
Receiving over three traffic violations or speeding tickets within one year can lead to license suspension. The suspension period will be determined based on the number of points on your record. If it is your first offense, a lawyer could help get you into traffic school in addition to paying the fine, which will avoid the ticket being added to your record.
However, if your speeding offense is charged as a criminal offense, you cannot go to traffic school and will be subject to an automatic suspension period. You will also receive a criminal record that will affect your employment, education, housing, and much more.
Reckless driving is a separate moving violation from speeding, however, driving more than 20 mph over the limit could cause a law enforcement officer to charge you with reckless driving. The distinction between the two charges is that reckless driving is always tried as a criminal offense. Further, a prosecutor must prove that you drove with “willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of other people or property.
Because of this, speeding more than 20 mph over the limit is not sufficient to amount to a reckless driving charge. They must provide evidence to show you were driving without regard for safety. The burden of proof is on the prosecutor, which usually comes from evidence of the law enforcement officer that arrests you.
The penalties for this charge include:
- Up to 364 days in prison
- Fines of up to $2,500
- 55 penalty points
However, this charge can be increased to a class 4 or 3 felony for aggravated reckless driving. The penalties for this charge include:
- From one to five years in prison
- Fines of up to $25,000
- License revocation
Driving Under The Influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major moving violation under Illinois traffic laws. If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.08%, or 0.04% for commercial drivers, you will be charged with a DUI criminal offense by law enforcement agencies. Because DUI is a criminal moving violation, you could face the following criminal penalties:
- First offense (misdemeanor) – One year of jail time and fines of up to $2,500 plus court costs
- Second offense (misdemeanor) – Minimum sentence of 5 days jail time or 240 hours of community service, plus up to one year of jail time and maximum fines of $2,500
- Third and fourth offense (felony) – Three to seven years in prison with a minimum sentence of 90 days, plus fines of up to $25,000
- Fifth offense (class 1 felony) – Four to fifteen years in prison plus fines of up to $25,000
Because DUI is also a moving violation, your driver’s license will also be affected. You will be subject to automatic license suspension for 45 days if you test with an illegal BAC at a DUI stop. This license suspension could last from 6 months to a few years.
If it is your first DUI, you may be entitled to a “supervision” sentence. A lawyer can also help you file a Petition to Rescind the Automatic Summary Suspension after a DUI arrest to allow you to drive while awaiting the result of your case.
Will a Minor Traffic Ticket Affect My Driving Record?
Under Illinois law, any traffic violations that are moving violations will leave a stain on your driver’s license. This includes minor violations, such as failing to yield, driving through a stop sign or red light, and minor speeding violations.
The penalty point system determines how many points will be added to your license for each offense. Generally, the more serious the traffic violation, the more points you will receive. These points will stay on your license for up to five years, which includes both major and minor violations.
The law recently changed to prove that only moving traffic violations will impact your record. This means that non-moving violations will not leave a stain on your record and you can pay the fine for parking tickets without worrying about losing your license. Non-moving violations that will not affect a person’s driving record include equipment violations, parking violations, and paperwork violations.
How a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help
In Illinois, driving privileges are precious. Most of us rely on our ability to drive for our jobs, families, and livelihoods. When there is a risk of this being taken away from you, you need to do everything in your power to prevent it. The best way to protect your future is by hiring an experienced attorney.
A traffic ticket attorney can help you by appearing in court on your behalf, scheduling a court date to petition traffic tickets, using the correct legal language to petition the court for reduced or dropped charges, and getting you enrolled in traffic school to avoid penalty points on your license.
If your driver’s license has been revoked because of too many points or an automatic suspension, a lawyer can help you get this reinstated. They can do this by scheduling an Administrative Hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.
Contact Hirsch Law Group Today!
If you have received a traffic ticket in Illinois for a moving violation, contact an experienced attorney before paying the fine. Once you pay a fine, you are admitting guilt and accepting the consequences that come with this. However, if you schedule a court date to contest the traffic ticket, you have a much better chance of avoiding harsh penalties and staining your driver’s license.
The lawyers at Hirsch Law Group have the skills and experience necessary to fight against your traffic ticket in Illinois and prevent any serious penalties. We understand how stressful day-to-day life can be for Illinois drivers, and we want to do everything we can to protect your future.
With penalty points, you risk losing your license, increasing your insurance premiums, and facing severe difficulties. If convicted of a criminal charge, such as drunk driving, you will receive a permanent criminal record, which creates even more barriers. The only way to prevent this is to seek legal advice and put up an aggressive fight against your charges.
Call Hirsch Law Group today for a free initial consultation at 815-880-1134.