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Excessive Speeding in Illinois

Posted on in Traffic Offenses

excessive speeding, excessive speeding in Illinois, McHenry County criminal defense attorney, misdemeanor, speeding ticket, speeding jail sentenceA variety of changes to Illinois' traffic laws went into effect in early 2014. One of the most important changes was the fact that the speeding violation, eligible for misdemeanors, dropped from 30 miles per hour over the speed limit to only 26. This change has important implications for drivers who are caught exceeding the limit. Unlike an ordinary speeding ticket, speeding that has moved into the misdemeanor class is not eligible for supervision—a type of deferred judgment that can result in the charges being dismissed. Instead, drivers going 26 or more over the speed limit face fines and potential jail time.

The New Limits

The new law modifies what level of speeding qualifies for a misdemeanor, and it creates two levels of the offense. In the past, a person had to be driving more than 30 mph over the limit to trigger misdemeanor penalties. Now, a person who drives between 26 and 34 mph over the speed limit can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. Additionally, someone driving 35 miles or more over the speed limit can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Although misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, they can still come with stiff penalties—much more stiff than ordinary speeding tickets. For instance, a Class B misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail, along a possible fine of up to $1,500. Class A misdemeanors are even more serious. A jail sentence can be as long as a year, and the fine can go as high as $2,500.

No More Supervision

One of the biggest impacts of a driver's triggering the misdemeanor-level speed limit is that a driver is no longer eligible for supervision. Supervision is the ordinary strategy that traffic attorneys use to deal with speeding tickets. When a judge sentences someone to supervision, he or she is essentially holding off on a conviction. Then, the state can make sure that individual does not speed again within a set amount of time. If the individual keeps his or her record clean, then the original charges go away. This is especially important for insurance purposes because supervision does not get reported to car insurers, which would drive up a person's insurance rates.

However, drivers who have entered into misdemeanor speeding territory have lost that option. Instead, a conviction may result in serious fines and jail time. Additionally, the Secretary of State will begin adding points to their license. Drivers whose conduct is severe enough may even be at risk for losing their license altogether.

If you are facing such charges, please contact a McHenry County criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your rights.

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