What to Expect for Your First Speeding Ticket: Traffic Lawyer in DuPage County, Illinois Explains
Introduction – Basic speeding laws
Illinois speeding law prohibits driving at a speed that is “greater than is reasonable and proper, without regard to traffic conditions and the use of the highway or endangers the safety of any person / property”. What will be classified as a safe speed will depend on the circumstances. Illinois also has certain absolute speed limits, and if you drive faster than that you will have violated the law. The absolute speed limits include the following;
- 70 miles per hour on interstate highways
- 65 miles per hour on state highways with at least 4 lanes
- 55 miles per hour on other highways, roadways, and streets outside urban districts
- 30 miles per hour on urban district roadways
- 20 miles per hour in school zones (urban or not)
Traffic violations vary quite a lot and depend on many factors. They can range from a minimum fine of $100 to a prison sentence of 10 years or more. Other violations can result in the suspension / revocation of your license. At the municipal and county level, traffic violations involve something called ordinances. At the state level, the violations are classified as the following; petty offences, business offences, misdemeanors, and felony offences. Felony offences are the ones that are the most serious and are usually resolved in criminal court. Misdemeanors are divided into three classes. Class A offences are the most serious and include violations such as a DUI, driving 35 mph over the speed limit, and reckless driving. Class B includes things such as driving a license that has expired and driving between 25-35 mph. Class C includes things such as intentionally removing traffic signs or ignoring stop signs.
Procedures in court
When you get a traffic ticket, the issuing police officer must mark one of the two following boxes; a court appearance is required OR no court appearance required. If you do not need to appear in court, you have the following three options. The first is to plead guilty and pay the fine without going to court. This will result in a conviction on your record. Therefore, it is an option that should be seriously thought through. The second involves pleading guilty and requesting an order for supervision. This will avoid a conviction on your record if you pay a fine and attend traffic school. The third option is to plead not guilty and request a trial. It is important to note that trial is usually a time consuming and expensive process, and should not be started in a light and easy manner.
If you decide to go to court, the presiding judge will begin by explaining to you your individual rights. Note that not all situations will result in going straight to a trial. Sometimes, only an initial hearing is needed to resolve the issue. Also, a lot of traffic cases are conducted as a bench trial, which involve a judge hearing the case alone and then deciding the case based on such facts presented. However, it is important to remember that if criminal charges are involved, you will have a right to a jury trial.
In conclusion, traffic infractions will depend on the circumstances in which you received the ticket, and will also depend on the officer giving you the ticket. Therefore, before you make a rash decision, it is best to contact a Par Ridge Traffic Lawyer.
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