Importance of Taking Traffic Violations Seriously

Web Admin - Monday, September 14, 2015

If you have been a driver for a significant length of time, it is likely you have, at the very least, been pulled over by a police officer. In the worst case scenario, you will have been cited for a traffic violation. If this happens, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney to fully understand and protect your legal rights.

Consequences of Too Many Violations

Under Illinois Administrative Code, if an individual is convicted of three or more designated traffic violations in a 12 month period, it will result in a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Some examples of violations that can lead to this include speeding, street racing, or reckless driving. Most of the moving violations are codified in Chapter 11 of the Illinois Code, but not all of them (for example, driving without a valid license is found in Chapter 6).

For moving violations, it may be possible to be sentenced to court supervision that lasts a period of between 90 and 120 days. If, at the end of the supervision term, the driver has not been cited for another moving violation, the ticket is dismissed without a conviction. The driver must also have paid all applicable fines and court costs.

The supervision period begins on the date the driver pleads guilty or is found guilty in traffic court. If the driver is cited for another moving violation during the period, the supervision sentence is revoked and the driver is convicted on the underlying ticket. Additionally, the new ticket also counts towards the three-ticket limit. A person can only be given court supervision twice in one year.

Importantly, equipment violations do not usually count toward the limit of three violations. Examples of equipment violations include driving without a taillight, while not wearing a seatbelt, or with a loud muffler.

Length of Suspension

The length of suspension is determined by how many points the individual has on their driving record and whether he or she has had any prior license suspensions. Drivers accumulate points on their record when they are convicted of a violation. The following table is for drivers with no prior suspensions within the seven-year period from the effective date of the suspension or revocation:                   

                    Number of Points                                      Action                            

                             0-14                                         No Action

                             15-44                                       2-month suspension

                             45-74                                       3-month suspension

                             75-89                                       6-month suspension

                             90-99                                       9-month suspension

                             100-109                                   12-month suspension

                             110 or more                             Revocation

Under Illinois law, driving on a suspended license is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of $2,500. Additionally, the period of suspension will be extended to a like period of time as the original suspension.

While moving violations usually can be taken care of by simply paying a fine, in some cases, there may be additional consequences. As a result, it is important that you treat moving violations seriously. If you would like more information, speak with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney today. Our firm provides representation for communities like Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness, and Deer Park.

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Colin is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Creditors Bar Association. He is currently Vice President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and is a Commissioner for the Village of Arlington Heights. Colin has a 10.0 Attorney rating on Avvo, and was named one of the 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association. 




Red Light Cameras in Illinois: What You Need to Know

Web Admin - Thursday, November 21, 2013

Motorists come in contact with yellow lights at intersections daily. And while many slow to a stop to avoid a possible accident, others may risk their chances by gunning the engine through the changing lights above, often doing so with no repercussions.

Even if you avoid an accident, you may still be hit with a traffic citation for running a red light. In fact, with the proliferation of red light cameras throughout Illinois, residents in Chicagoland may find themselves being mailed tickets for allegedly running a red light and being caught on camera. Citations are sent to the registered owner of the vehicle, even if the owner was not driving at the time.

The cameras are connected to traffic signals at select intersections. There is usually a constant low-resolution video feed being recorded, and sensors are connected to crosswalk lines and stop lines. When vehicles cross those lines after a light is red, a high-resolution camera is triggered that tries to captures the vehicle license plate and an image of the entire vehicle in the intersection.

The Consequences

If you are convicted of red light camera violation, you will have clear consequences. For starters, you will owe a fine­--typically $100. But it is not only a matter of money; the citation will affect your driving record and may result in 20 “points” being added to your license record. Considering the effect that this may have down the road, it is important to think twice before automatically paying the ticket.

Defending Yourself Against Red Light Tickets in Illinois

Under Illinois law, if you receive a ticket in the mail you have the option to request a hearing to contest the violation.  

Mistakes are frequently made by these automated systems. The technology is not perfect, and many resident who lawfully enter an intersection before a light is red, or make a right turn on a red light after properly stopping, still receive citations in the mail. The same Illinois law that allows administrative hearings to contest a charge also require municipalities to provide you with access to the recorded images of your supposed violation.

In addition, there are specific state rules that prevent municipalities from issuing citations in any manner they choose. For example, the law explains that a municipality “may not use an automated traffic law enforcement system to issue violations in instances where the motor vehicle comes to a complete stop and does not enter the intersection… even if the motor vehicle stops at a point past a stop line or crosswalk where a driver is required to stop…”

For help with red light ticket legal issues throughout the Chicagoland areas, including Lake County, Will County, DuPage County, and other nearby communities, please contact an experienced Illinois traffic lawyer today. We help residents in many northwest suburban areas including Arlington Heights, Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Schaumburg, Des Plaines, McHenry, and Crystal Lake defend themselves in these situations.

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