It may be possible to remove convictions for Illinois traffic tickets from your driving record.  By filing a “Motion to Vacate,” our attorneys are able to bring your ticket back into court and argue for a more favorable outcome (i.e. court supervision or dismissal). Under Illinois law, only criminal charges may be eligible for expungement, not traffic tickets. As a result, the only way to clear a traffic ticket conviction from your driving record, is to bring the case back in front of a judge.

We are often contacted by clients facing a license suspension for too many moving violations. A “Motion to Vacate” may be the best solution to removing the entire suspension or shortening the suspension period. An administrative hearing for driving privileges before the Secretary of State is a more complex and lengthy process. Whenever possible, a “Motion to Vacate” is the preferred course of action.

We regularly hear from CDL holders (i.e. truck drivers) that need a ticket removed from their record due to severe employment consequences, insurance increases and/or license suspension. Handling this process for a CDL holder requires a similar approach.

A driver may be required to use a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), also known as a breathalyzer, if they have been issued a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) or a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) as a result of a DUI suspension or revocation. The Illinois Secretary of State has implemented strict rules under the Administrative Code regarding BAIID violations. Violations include:

  • BrAC reading of .05 or more
  • Failing a rolling retest

One question we hear often is, “Do I need a traffic lawyer?” While you may not be required to hire a traffic lawyer if you receive an Illinois traffic ticket, having proper legal representation is beneficial for a numerous reasons.

A traffic attorney can listen to the facts of the case, review the ticket(s) that you were issued, review your prior driving record and determine the best course of action. A knowledgeable traffic attorney should be able to tell you the potential consequences of the ticket and appropriate strategy. For example, minor traffic tickets may result in a driver’s license suspension either based on your past record or simply due to the type of offense. A traffic attorney should know the precise effect a ticket may have on your driving record and driving privileges and the best way to avoid any negative consequences.

Under the right circumstances, if a legal defense exists, a traffic attorney can argue your case at trial. If the case is not appropriate for trial, an attorney may be able to negotiate a favorable agreement with the prosecutor. An attorney will typically have the ability to discuss your ticket and any mitigating circumstances with the prosecutor prior to stepping in front of a judge.

It can take, on average, 10-14 weeks to receive a restricted driving permit (RDP)/hardship license from the date of your administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State. There is not only a waiting period before the hearing is scheduled (for a formal hearing), but there is a waiting period to receive a decision from the Illinois Secretary of State after the hearing is held, and it takes additional time to receive the physical permit. It is a long and complex process that must be handled properly step-by-step.

In-person formal hearings are scheduled approximately 60 days after the date of request. After a formal hearing is held, the Illinois Secretary of State has 90 days to issue a decision. Decisions often do not take the full 90 days to be issued.

Drivers do not have to file a request for an informal hearing. Informal hearings are available during regular business hours on a walk-in basis. The Illinois Secretary of State does not have a time limit to issue a decision for an RDP at an informal hearing. You can expect to wait anywhere between 6-12 weeks for a decision.

A Class B misdemeanor in Illinois carries a maximum penalty of up to 6 months (180 days) imprisonment in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,500 plus any mandatory court costs. The defendant may be placed on a period of court supervision, conditional discharge or probation for a maximum of 2 years. Sentencing guidelines for a Class B misdemeanor can be found under Illinois law 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-60.

Speeding 26 to 34 mph over the posted speed limit is one of the most common Class B misdemeanor offenses in Illinois. This offense is also referred to as aggravated speeding, excessive speeding or misdemeanor speeding. Overall, Class B misdemeanors are actually far less common than Class A misdemeanors in Illinois.

Although Class B misdemeanors are not as severe as Class A misdemeanors or felony offenses, they are still criminal charges carrying serious potential consequences. Any criminal conviction on your record may have long term consequences on your personal or professional life.

Drivers under 21 years old will have their driver’s license suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State if they receive two traffic ticket convictions within a period of two years (24 months). Illinois law holds drivers younger than 21 years old to a higher standard than other drivers.

Primarily, convictions for moving violations under the Illinois Vehicle Code count toward a license suspension. The offense does not need to occur within the State of Illinois. Out-of-state traffic tickets received by the driver may also be reported back to Illinois and used by the Secretary of State to impose a license suspension.

It is important to note that the Illinois Secretary of State uses the date the traffic ticket was issued, not the date that the conviction was entered to determine if the offenses occurred within the 24-month time period.

This post is for informational purposes only. We are a law firm and CANNOT pay your Cook County traffic ticket.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County provides the following website that will allows you to pay certain traffic tickets for a conviction, request traffic school (if you are eligible) or request a court date: CLICK HERE.

This website currently does NOT allow you to pay fines that were assessed in court. It can only be used prior to your court appearance within the timeframe allowed, which is usually listed in the instructions on the back of your ticket (typically 14-21 days from date of issuance). You cannot use the system for tickets that are marked “Must Appear”.

According to the Illinois Secretary of State, traffic tickets for moving violations will stay on your Illinois driving record for four to five years from the date of conviction. Moving violations include offenses such as speeding, disobeying a stop sign, disobeying a traffic control light, and improper lane usage.  The Secretary of State generally  removes these offenses at their discretion during that timeframe.

Traffic tickets that result in a suspension or revocation will stay on your driving record for at least seven years from the date of license reinstatement. Convictions for alcohol and drug-related offenses (i.e. DUI) will permanently stay on your Illinois driving record.

Only court supervision or a dismissal will prevent a traffic ticket from showing up on your public driving record in Illinois. Convictions not only count toward the suspension of your driver’s license, but can significantly effect insurance premiums. An Illinois traffic attorney can often increase the chances of keeping your driving record clean. Contact The Davis Law Group, P.C. if you have received an Illinois traffic citation.

The Illinois Secretary of State uses a unique system to determine driver’s license suspensions and revocations based on the number of moving violations and a point system. A driver 21 years of age or older will have their license suspended if they receive three moving violation convictions within a 12 months period, while a driver under the age of 21 will have their license suspended if they receive two moving violation convictions within a twenty-four month period.

Every moving violation is assigned a specific number of points. Once a driver reaches the number of convictions outlined above, the Secretary of State will use the total number of points accumulated to determine the duration of suspension or revocation.

For those 21 or older, if you have three convictions for traffic violations within a 12-month period your Illinois driver’s license will be suspended as follows:

In order to stop a vehicle, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a violation of Illinois law. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires that law enforcement have specific and articulable facts that a crime has been committed, or is about to be committed, to justify the stop of a vehicle. An exception to this requirement is known as the community caretaking function, which allows a police officer to investigate if the driver appears to be in need of assistance.

Of course, there are a wide variety of offenses that can justify a vehicle stop. In DUI cases, the officer does not need to have a basis to believe that the driver is under the influence at the time of the stop. Minor moving violations or even equipment violations (i.e. a burnt out taillight or cracked windshield) are valid grounds to stop a vehicle. Most Illinois DUI investigations will begin with an allegation of improper lane usage, speeding or other common moving violations under the Illinois Vehicle Code.

When conducting an Illinois DUI arrest, the police officer must have probable cause to believe that a driver is under the influence. Probable cause is a higher standard than the reasonable suspicion necessary to stop a vehicle. Once a police officer has stopped a vehicle, that officer must be able to articulate specific facts supporting a belief that the driver is under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, medical cannabis, or another intoxicating compound in order to arrest the person for DUI. This can be based on factors relating to the driver’s speech, appearance, and odor. Specifically, officers will often point to sign of impairment including bloodshot and/or glassy eyes, slurred speech, soiled clothing, unusual actions, inconsistent responses and the odor of alcohol and/or marijuana.

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