Even though a new Illinois law, effective January 1, 2016, will now provide protections to first time aggravated speeding offenders, punishments for driving over the speed limit may still carry harsh sentences and require the assistance of effective, experienced legal counsel.
Illinois law has been historically unforgiving when it comes to speeding offenses. While most of us consider going over the speed limit a minor infraction, excessive and repeated speeding can lead to extensive fines, license suspension, or even jail time. Luckily for first time offenders, a new law may help minimize the impact of one misstep on your future.
“Speeding,” generally, means driving a vehicle over the prescribed limit. Going a few miles over the speed limit will generally result in a monetary fine and/or a requirement to attend traffic school or submit to court supervision. “Aggravated speeding” was previously defined as going more than 40 miles over the speed limit; however, the law underwent significant changes in 2014 and was further divided into:
- Speeding over 26 miles per hour, but less than 35 miles per hour was a Class B misdemeanor
- Speeding over 35 miles per hour was a Class A misdemeanor
Court supervision, until recently, was the distinctive characteristic between simple speeding and aggravated speeding. Court supervision is one of the best results for an alleged offender, aside from dismissal, because it gives the alleged offender the opportunity to avoid a formal conviction. This specific type of sentence is tailored for each individual defendant and may require periodic reporting to a government agency, imposition of curfew, undergoing physical or psychological treatment, participating in community service, or an abundance of other requirements. Individuals sentenced to court supervision have the opportunity, upon fulfillment of each and every term of the supervision, to have the pending charges dismissed. No conviction results if all requirements of the court supervision are fulfilled.
Court supervision was not an available possibility at sentencing for those found guilty for speeding over 26 miles per hour until January 1, 2016. As of the first of this year, however, an offender that has not previously been charged with speeding crimes may be eligible for this alternative sentence that will result in a dismissal of charges if the conditions of the supervision are fully satisfied.
Having court supervision as an available remedy to first time offenders greatly improves the chances of avoiding jail time and/or extensive periods of license suspension for aggravated driving. The biggest mistake that an individual under court supervision can make is failing to comply with the terms of the supervision. Receiving another speeding ticket or being charged with any other criminal offense could result in a conviction on your record if you do not take the appropriate steps in hiring effective legal counsel immediately.