Chicago Traffic Violations Defense Lawyer
In the past, a traffic violation in Illinois was not a big deal for licensed motorists. Nowadays, the penalties and consequences have become more severe and more expensive for traffic violations in Illinois. Even though all the traffic laws are in writing, their application and relationship to previous tickets can be very difficult to understand unless you have courtroom experience in traffic law.
If you receive a ticket, you might be wondering:
How many points will I have on my license?
Will the ticket raise my insurance rates?
Should I just pay the ticket and mail it to the clerk’s office?
If handled incorrectly, a little mistake could snowball into expensive consequences or even a suspended license! For example, an underage drinking ticket will suspend your driver’s license, even if you weren’t driving at the time. Also, missing a court date on a “no insurance” ticket will also suspend your driver’s license, even if you were actually covered by insurance at the time of the ticket.
Although Illinois has adopted a complicated points system for traffic tickets, it’s easier to understand how traffic tickets will affect your driver’s license by analogizing them to baseball. If you receive a traffic ticket, you can either get “court supervision” or a “conviction.” Court supervision means that after going a few months without a ticket, taking a traffic school class, and/or paying off court costs, the charge is dismissed without a conviction. In baseball terms, court supervision is like a “ball.” Whereas they give you four balls in baseball, the law only allows you to get court supervision twice in the span of a year. A conviction is like a “strike” in baseball. Receiving one conviction might lead to higher insurance rates, but it will not suspend your license. However, if you receive three convictions in the span of a year then your license will be suspended depending on what type of tickets you received. If you’re under 21 years-old, two convictions in the span of two years will suspend your driver’s license. Often times, simply “paying the ticket” and mailing it in to the Clerk counts as a conviction if you do not complete the paperwork properly.
It’s also important to not rely on a police officer’s legal advice on what to do after you get the ticket. While it’s possible that a police officer might understand the legal consequences of the ticket, they might not understand the collateral consequences your decision could have on your license and insurance. If you do get a ticket, before you do anything else, call traffic attorney Steve Klein so he can walk you through the best way to take care of it.
If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), any moving violation you receive is more serious and could put your job at risk from raised insurance rates. If the charges are reduced through negotiation, it can help you keep a clean record.
- Have up-to-date insurance and keep it in a place you where can find it quickly if you are asked for proof. Even if you have insurance, if you take too long to show it to an officer or only have an expired card, you might still get a ticket and have to go to court to prove you are insured. Driving without insurance is a serious offense that can cost you thousands of dollars in court fees, force you to pay for SR-22 insurance, and can suspend your license.
- Renew your vehicle registration every year and replace the sticker on your license plate.
- Update your address with the Illinois Secretary of State (www.cyberdriveillinois.com) if you move. If you are sent an emissions testing notice to an old address and don’t get your car tested, your license will be suspended.
- Make sure ALL your vehicle lights are operating, even the small one above your license plate. Life changing events can be kick-started from a single burnt-out headlight.
- Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL) are very sensitive to traffic cases. If you receive too many moving violations, your insurance rates will go up which may lead to loss of employment. Often times, an attorney can help you avoid these moving violations by negotiating with the prosecutor.
- Pay your child support! The Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your driver’s license if you fall behind in child support payments.
- Do not miss your court date. Often times the judge and prosecutor will automatically find you guilty if you do not appear in court. For more serious traffic offenses, like driving on a suspended license, the judge can even issue a warrant for your arrest. If you are expecting to learn of your court date by mailing, it is still your responsibility to ensure that you appear in court.
Some examples of traffic violations that Steve Klein will help defend you against are:
- Aggravated Speeding – Class B misdemeanor (driving more than 26 miles over the speed limit)
- Aggravated Speeding – Class A misdemeanor (driving 35 miles or more over the speeding limit)
- Driving on a Suspended License
- Driving on a Revoked License
- Not having a valid driver’s license
- Failure to Reduce Speed/Driving too Fast for Conditions
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Failure to notify police of traffic accident
- Failure to notify Secretary of State of address change
- Illegal Transportation of Alcohol
- Illegal use of handicap tag
- Operating Uninsured Motor Vehicle (OUMV)
- Improper lane usage
- Following too closely
- Passing a school bus
- Turning on a Red Light when not allowed
- Not stopping for pedestrians
- Running a Stop Sign
- Running a Red Light
- Not using turn signals
- Not using headlights at night
- Missing license plate
- Obstructed Windshield
- Illegal tinted windows