When is Speeding a Criminal Offense in Illinois?

In Illinois, speeding 26 mph or more over the posted limit is a criminal offense. This offense is also known as aggravated speeding, misdemeanor speeding or excessive speeding. The penalties for aggravated speeding tickets were addressed in an earlier post. Below are the answers to some additional questions we often receive regarding Illinois speeding tickets.

Can you be arrested for speeding in Illinois?

Speeding 26 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit is a misdemeanor in Illinois. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense and, therefore, you can be placed under arrest. While some police officers will simply issue an aggravated speeding ticket with a required court appearance and release you on the spot, that is not always the case. Depending on the officer and the law enforcement agency’s policy, you may be arrested, transported back to the police station and processed before being released.

Can you go jail for speeding in Illinois?

Yes. Speeding 26 to 34 mph over the speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail. Speeding 35 mph or more over the speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail. However, jail time can be avoided in the majority of aggravated speeding cases.

Is aggravated speeding a felony?

There is often confusion regarding this question. Regardless of the speed, the maximum charge for speeding in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor, which applies to speeds 35 mph or more above the limit. Therefore, the maximum penalty is 12 months in jail. Felony offenses carry a minimum sentence of one-year in prison. While aggravated speeding is a criminal offense, it is not a felony. 

Is aggravated speeding the same thing as reckless driving?

Aggravated speeding and reckless driving are two different, distinct offenses. Reckless driving may include an allegation of speeding, but they are not one and the same. Speeding 35+ mph over the posted speed limit and reckless driving are both Class A misdemeanors and, therefore, carry the same potential penalties. The law for aggravated speeding can be found under Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5. The law for reckless driving can be found under 625 ILCS 5/11-503.

Will my license be suspended for aggravated speeding?

A conviction for aggravated speeding will count toward the suspension of your driver’s license because it is a moving violation. A single conviction for aggravated speeding, on its own, does not trigger an automatic license suspension by the Illinois Secretary of State, unless you have had other moving violation convictions within the last 12 months (or within the last 24 months if you are under the age of 21).

Should I hire a lawyer for aggravated speeding?

Because aggravated speeding is a criminal offense with wide-ranging potential penalties as well as the potential for creating a criminal record, having a speeding ticket attorney is highly recommended. An experienced aggravated speeding ticket lawyer can ensure your case is handled properly and achieve the best possible outcome.

The traffic ticket attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have extensive experience with speeding violations throughout the Chicago area including Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County. Contact our speeding ticket attorneys today at (847) 390-8500 for a free initial consultation.