When you receive a traffic ticket in Chicago, simply paying it and moving on may seem like the easiest option. However, it’s important to remember that when you pay a traffic ticket you are pleading guilty and likely receiving a conviction against your record. In many cases, you are actually better off hiring an experienced attorney to explore other options such as fighting your ticket. Some consequences of paying your citation include:
- Multiple moving violations can lead to a suspended or revoked license.
- Traffic tickets can cause increases in your insurance premiums.
- In some cases, traffic tickets can be charged as criminal offenses. For example, in Chicago, and throughout Illinois, speeding 26 mph or more over the maximum speed limit is a misdemeanor with penalties that may include jail time.
So what are your options if you decide to challenge a Chicago traffic ticket? In this blog, the traffic ticket lawyers at The Davis Law Group, P.C. explains when you should (and shouldn’t) hire a lawyer to fight your ticket and the various types of citations that we can help you contest.
I’ve Received a Ticket! Do I Need an Attorney?
Not always. It depends on the type of ticket you’ve received. For example, the cost of hiring a lawyer to fight a parking ticket may be greater than the cost of the ticket itself.
Additionally, cases involving parking or automated camera speeding or red light tickets are relatively straightforward and don’t require legal assistance as most will not impact your driving record in Illinois.
If you chose to challenge this type of violation, you may be able to represent yourself and present your own evidence, such as photographs, to prove that you were not in violation of any regulations.
When Should You Hire an Attorney to Fight Your Chicago Traffic Ticket?
If the potential consequences of losing the case are significant, such as higher fines, insurance increases, the suspension of your driving privileges, and even a criminal conviction, it is likely worth hiring a lawyer to help you fight the ticket.
The first thing a traffic attorney will do is evaluate your case, provide appropriate legal advice, and discuss the best options for moving forward.
If necessary, they will also represent you in court and do their best to minimize charges and penalties, including, if possible, avoiding the appearance of the citation on your public driving record.
At The Davis Law Group, P.C., we dedicate a high percentage of our practice to resolving traffic matters as well as related criminal issues. Our lawyers understand the nuances of Illinois traffic law as well as the realities of the court system and can assist our clients in navigating both.
Let us help you by building the legal strategy that has the greatest chance of success. We aim to help you move forward with minimal damage to your driving record and driving privileges.
Chicago Traffic Tickets Cases We Handle
We have successfully handled thousands of traffic tickets throughout Chicago and Cook County. Some of the moving violation cases our attorneys handle include:
- CDL Traffic Violations: If you hold a commercial driver’s license, two serious violations in three years will result in a 60-day disqualification. There are a number of offenses classified as ‘serious’, including speeding 15 mph or more over the posted limit, improper lane usage, cell phone violations, and reckless driving.
- Texting While Driving Violations: Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2 prohibits drivers from using electronic devices while driving. In addition, you cannot use a cell phone in a school or construction zone. Should an accident occur, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony, depending on whether it results in serious injury or death.
- Disobeying a Traffic Control Device: These devices include traffic lights, traffic signals, and yield signs. A conviction for disobeying a traffic control device appears on your public driving record and can both increase your insurance rates and count toward a suspension of your license.
- Driving Without a Valid License: Driving without a valid license is typically charged as a Class B misdemeanor, although the charge can escalate to a Class A misdemeanor under some circumstances, such as Driving While Revoked and Driving While Suspended.
- Driving Without Valid Insurance: This offense carries serious consequences. Even a first-timer can have their license suspended for three months and be ordered to pay a minimum fine of $500.
- Illegal Transportation of Alcohol: Drivers in Illinois are prohibited from transporting, carrying, possessing, or having open alcohol containers in their motor vehicles. The Secretary of State will suspend your license for 12 months if you are under 21 or if you are 21 or older and have been convicted twice for at least two offenses occurring within a 12-month period.
- Passing a School Bus: In Illinois, drivers must stop before approaching or overtaking a school bus that has stopped to load or unload students. A conviction will result in a mandatory three-month license suspension.
- Reckless Driving: You can be ticketed for reckless driving if law enforcement believes that you drove with a reckless disregard for public safety. In most cases, reckless driving is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
- Speeding: Penalties for speeding differ depending on the type of alleged offense. For petty speeding (up to 25 mph over the limit) you can be fined up to $1,000 and lose up to 20 points on your driving record. For aggravated speeding (26 mph over the limit or higher), you could also face jail time, especially if you were in a school zone or near a construction site.
If you’ve received a ticket for a moving violation, an experienced Chicago traffic lawyer can help you understand your options. This is especially important if your livelihood depends on a clean driving record and maintaining a valid driver’s license. Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are especially vulnerable in this regard.
Need to Fight a Ticket? Call Our Chicago Ticket Defense Lawyers!
Traffic tickets happen. When they do, your goal should be to keep your driving record as clean as possible. When you work with The Davis Law Group, P.C. in Chicago, you leverage years of traffic law experience to improve your chances of minimizing the various consequences that come along with traffic violations.
Our traffic ticket attorneys have handled thousands of cases and know how to use the most effective strategies. We are here to help, so call (847) 649-6479 or submit your information