DuPage County Speeding and Traffic Violations
Representing Clients Facing Speeding and Traffic Citations in DuPage County
Speed limits and traffic laws exist to help keep drivers in DuPage County and throughout Illinois safe. While violating traffic laws can be dangerous, prosecutors often seek overly harsh sentences for convicted traffic offenders. You may think that a traffic ticket is not a serious matter until you face costly fines, the possible loss of your driver’s license, and even jail time.
Many people do not realize all of their options when it comes to defending against a speeding ticket or traffic violation. The reality is that having the help of a skilled DuPage County traffic defense lawyer can often improve the outcome of your case in many ways. At the criminal defense law firm of Martin & Kent, we are former prosecutors who understand how prosecutors approach traffic cases. This perspective and experience allow us to aggressively defend against traffic violation allegations and unnecessarily severe consequences. Call today at (630) 474-8000 to learn how we may help in your situation.
Speeding Ticket Defense
Many drivers may be in a hurry and drive faster than the speed limit when possible. Other drivers may not even realize how fast they were going until they see flashing lights in the rearview mirror. In any situation, getting pulled over for speeding can be nerve-wracking. An officer will approach your vehicle and can issue a citation right then and there. There are three types of speeding tickets in Illinois, as follows:
- Petty class speeding – This citation can apply to driving 25 miles per hour more than the posted speed limit.
- Class B misdemeanor speeding – This charge applies when a driver speeds 26 to 34 miles per hour more than the speed limit.
- Class A misdemeanor speeding – This charge applies when a driver speeds 35 miles an hour or more more than the speed limit.
Note that a prosecutor can escalate charges and penalties for speeding in a school zone, a construction zone, or other similar areas.
If you receive a citation, it will likely have instructions to follow to pay the fine without attending court. However, you should realize that mailing in payment is not your best option. When you pay a speeding fine, you are pleading guilty to the offense and the officer’s version of events. This can result in a hefty fine, points on your driver’s license, increased insurance rates, and more. You should always speak with an attorney about your defense options before you decide to pay a fine and plead guilty to any speeding ticket.
For misdemeanor speeding offenses, you are facing serious criminal charges. A conviction can mean a permanent criminal record, as well as possible time in jail. Possible penalties include:
- Class B misdemeanor = A maximum $1,500 fine and 180 days in jail
- Class A misdemeanor = A maximum $2,500 fine and 364 days in jail
For a misdemeanor charge, you will not have the option to simply pay a fine and avoid court. Instead, you must appear before a judge. You should have qualified legal representation anytime you go to court.
Traffic Offenses in DuPage County
When you seek a driver’s license, you are agreeing to follow all traffic rules. If you violate the law, the Illinois Secretary of State has the right to suspend or revoke your driving privileges. Most people may associate license suspension with offenses like driving under the influence (DUI), and they may not realize that license suspension can result from accruing a certain number of less serious traffic offenses.
Like speeding tickets, the law also categorizes other traffic offenses as petty offenses or misdemeanors. Some common traffic cases we handle include:
- Stop sign or stoplight violations
- Improper lane changes
- Reckless driving
If you plead guilty or a court otherwise convicts you of three or more moving violations within one year, you can lose your license and will have to pay for a reinstatement after your suspension period. You can also face a license suspension for a single conviction of a more serious offense.
Similar to a speeding ticket, some traffic citations will state that no court appearance is required. However, you still should discuss the matter with an attorney before you decide to simply pay the fine and accept a conviction. If you decide to defend against your charges, the court will assign you a date.
A surprising number of people forget to send in payment or appear at their traffic court date. This can result in a bench warrant for your arrest and additional charges for failure to appear. Calling the right lawyer as soon as you receive a ticket can help avoid these unnecessary complications in your case.
How Our Defense Lawyers Can Help
A speeding and traffic defense attorney can work to improve the outcome of your case in many ways. First, if you believe your charges are wrongful and unwarranted, we can represent you at trial to fight to charge altogether. This can involve challenging the officer’s testimony and providing other challenges to the prosecutor’s evidence.
If you represent yourself, your main options are to plead guilty or not guilty. Once you have legal representation, more options may become available. Our attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors to obtain a different outcome, including:
- Dismissal of your charges
- Reduction of your charges to a lesser offense
- Reduction of fines
- Court supervision to avoid a conviction
- Supervision for a shorter period of time
- Attending driving school in lieu of a fine
- Community service in lieu of a fine
All of these outcomes can be preferable to points on your license or a conviction on your record.
Contact Our DuPage County Speeding and Traffic Violations Attorneys Today
At Martin & Kent, we regularly handle speeding and traffic violations in traffic court and DuPage County criminal court. While it may seem easiest to pay a fine, doing so can result in many unforeseen consequences. Instead, you have nothing to lose by contacting our skilled and experienced DuPage County criminal defense lawyers to learn about your options. Call today at (630) 474-8000 for more information.
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