Drivers who are charged with high rate speeding offenses are often surprised to learn that they can face up to a year in jail under current Illinois law. These offenses are commonly known as aggravated speeding offenses and Illinois has increased the potential consequences for drivers who plead guilty or are found guilty of these charges.
Unfortunately, most drivers are not familiar with these changes to our speeding laws. After receiving a speeding ticket, many drivers are only concerned with the inconvenience of appearing in traffic court or the prospect of increased insurance rates. However, these Illinois speeding laws have substantially changed over the years.
Current Illinois law groups speeding offenses into two primary categories – petty and misdemeanor offenses. Speeding 26 or more over the posted limit is charged as a misdemeanor offense, which qualifies as a crime under Illinois law.
Misdemeanor speeding offenses are most often referred to as “Excessive Speeding” or “Aggravated Speeding”. Aggravated/Excessive Speeding is further divided into two categories based on the speed – Class B Misdemeanors (26-34 mph over the limit) and Class A Misdemeanors (35+ mph over the limit).
Aggravated speeding is charged under Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5. The penalties range from court supervision and a fine to more severe penalties such as jail time and a criminal conviction on your public record.
Penalties for Speeding in Illinois
The penalties for speeding depend primarily on the speed itself. Petty speeding offenses, speeding 25 mph or less over the limit, are not criminal offenses and are not punishable by jail time.
Drivers charged with speeding 26 – 34 mph over the speed limit face a Class B Misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500.00 plus court costs. On the other hand, drivers charged with speeding 35+ mph over the speed limit face a Class A Misdemeanor. Penalties for Class A Misdemeanors include up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00 plus court costs.
Drivers who are charged with the petty offense of speeding in a school zone face a minimum fine of $150.00 plus court costs and are excluded from court supervision. In other words, they face a mandatory conviction if they plead guilty or are found guilty.
Speeding in a construction zone carries a minimum $375.00 fine plus court costs.
While jail time is the most severe penalty a judge can impose, more common penalties for aggravated speeding include the following:
- Community service (3 types)
- Independent community service for a non-profit organization
- Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program (SWAP)
- Community service through the Social Services Department
- Traffic Safety School
- Online, or
- In-Person (4 and 8 hour courses)
Any combination of penalties can be imposed as part of your sentence whether you receive court supervision or a conviction. Of course, fines, mandatory court costs, insurance premium increases and a driver’s license suspension (see below) are all possible as well.
Court Supervision for Speeding
Court supervision is typically viewed as a very favorable outcome. However, a sentence of court supervision is ultimately at the judge’s discretion and certain offenses do not qualify. The following speeding offenses are not eligible for court supervision:
- Speeding in a school zone
- Aggravated Speeding in an Urban Area
- Second offense of Aggravated Speeding (when the driver already has prior supervision or conviction for Aggravated Speeding)
- More than 2 sentences of court supervision on traffic offenses within 12 months prior to the current offense.
Illinois Driver’s License Consequences
If you are convicted of speeding, you also face potential consequences to your driver’s license. The Illinois Secretary of State counts a speeding conviction as a strike against your driving privileges. All aggravated speeding offenses (Class A and Class B) carry 50 points against your license. More information on the Illinois Point System is available here.
If you are under the age of 21, it only takes two convictions for moving violations occurring within 2 years to cause a license suspension. If you are 21 or older, three convictions within a year will cause a suspension. If you accumulate more than 110 points under either scenario, your driver’s license will be revoked. A revocation will be for a minimum one-year period and will require a successful hearing before the Secretary of State to regain driving privileges.
Professional and Knowledgeable Legal Representation
Drivers charged with Aggravated Speeding face a great deal of uncertainty. While jail time is indeed a potential penalty, it can be avoided in the majority of cases. Regardless, if you are charged with a criminal offense, your first call should be to an experienced attorney that practices in the courthouse where your case in pending.
The speeding ticket lawyers at The Davis Law Group, P.C. are here to help. We have successfully represented hundreds of clients charged with misdemeanor speeding offenses. We aim to achieve the best possible result for every client.
We will review your case and determine the most appropriate strategy to minimize the penalties and keep your record clean. While every case is different, we are often able to negotiate a reduction of the offense and avoid a conviction on your record. From compiling and providing mitigating information to the prosecutor to contesting the charge at trial, we will take the necessary steps to achieve the best possible outcome.
Our traffic attorneys have served the people of the Chicago area including Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County for decades. We regularly serve clients at courthouses throughout northern Illinois including the following:
Cook County Courthouses:
- Daley Center Courthouse (Chicago Traffic Court)
- Rolling Meadows Courthouse
- Skokie Courthouse/Old Orchard Courthouse
- Bridgeview Courthouse
- Markham Courthouse
- Maywood Courthouse
DuPage County Courthouses:
- Wheaton Field Court
- Addison Field Court
- Downers Grove Field Court
Lake County Courthouses:
- Waukegan Courthouse
- Mundelein Branch Court
- Park City Branch Court
- Round Lake Beach Branch Court
Contact us today to discuss your case. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.