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Tag Archives: aggravated speeding

DuPage County criminal defense attorney traffic violation

Road work areas are a common sight on Illinois roads. While they can be a nuisance, leading to slow traffic and difficulty navigating unfamiliar traffic patterns, they can also lead to serious consequences for drivers who commit traffic violations. Failure to follow traffic laws in construction zones can result in expensive tickets, and drivers may even face criminal charges in some cases.

Construction Zone Speeding Violations

The speed limit is usually lowered in work zones, and signs will be posted notifying drivers that they must reduce speed and displaying the fines a person may face for speeding in a construction zone. Work areas are often closely monitored by police officers, or photo enforcement may be used to ensure that motorists are taking the proper measures to protect the safety of workers. Drivers are required to follow work zone speed limits even if there are no workers present.

For a first offense of speeding in a construction zone in Illinois, a driver will face a minimum fine of $375. Any subsequent violations will result in a minimum fine of $750. A second offense within two years will result in the suspension of a person’s driver’s license for 90 days.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney aggravated speeding

Getting a speeding ticket is never pleasant, but if it happens to you, you may at least expect that the worst that can happen is you will have to pay a fine. However, in some situations, speeding in Illinois can result in significantly greater penalties, including criminal charges. It is important to be aware of the extent of the consequences you may face for speeding so that you can determine whether you need an attorney to help you contest the charges.

When Is Speeding a Criminal Offense in Illinois?

The severity of possible penalties for speeding depends on how far above the speed limit you were traveling and the area in which the violation occurred. In general, speeding offenses that can result in Illinois criminal charges fall under the category of aggravated speeding, which is defined as driving more than 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Specifically:

  • Traveling between 25 and 35 miles per hour above the speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor, with potential consequences including up to six months of imprisonment and up to $1,500 in fines.

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DuPage County traffic violations defense attorney

Not all traffic tickets are created equally. While some traffic violations may only result in a monetary fine, others can result in much more severe consequences and even criminal penalties. All traffic offenses are serious, but some traffic violations can become even more consequential depending on the location. According to the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA), in 2017, there were a total of 5,423 work zone motor vehicle crashes, resulting in 1,435 injuries and 30 fatalities, many of which were caused by speeding drivers. In Illinois, construction zones are one of those locations in which you could face criminal penalties for actions that would be considered minor violations in other places.

Work Zone Considerations

Some people believe that they do not have to worry about speeding tickets if the work zone is not currently active, but this is incorrect. Even if there are no workers present in the construction zone, you are still required by law to follow the posted speed limit, or you risk the penalties for speeding in a work zone.

Another fact you should consider is that you do not have to be going “aggravated” speeds over the speed limit to feel the effects of a construction zone speeding ticket. If you are caught speeding in a construction zone, you face a minimum of $375 fine for a first offense and a minimum $1,000 fine for a second offense.

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DuPage County reckless driving charges attorneyThere are scores of traffic violations you can commit from behind the wheel -- speeding, running a stop sign, not using your blinkers -- the list goes on. One of the more serious traffic offenses you can commit is reckless driving. In Illinois, reckless driving can result in significant consequences, because reckless driving is not just a traffic ticket -- it can result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on your circumstances. If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important that you understand the charges and related penalties.

What is Reckless Driving?

According to Illinois traffic laws, reckless driving occurs when a person either:

  • Drives any vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property; or
  • Knowingly drives a vehicle and uses an incline in a roadway -- such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach or hill -- to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

There is no one particular action that can get you charged with reckless driving in Illinois. Rather, it is up to the discretion of the arresting law enforcement officer and judge (and possibly a jury) to determine whether your actions on the road constitute reckless driving. 

Consequences for Reckless Driving

In its most basic form, reckless driving is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious class of misdemeanor. This means a reckless driving charge can result in up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

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DuPage County aggravated speeding lawyerIn recent years, the state of Illinois has cracked down on speeding. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were over 24,000 speeding citations recorded in 2015. Though speeding is often only a traffic ticket that comes with a fine, there are situations in which a speeding infraction can result in jail time and extensive fines. Though some people may think speeding is a victimless crime, it is not. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 10,000 people were killed due to speeding-related traffic accidents in 2017.

Illinois Aggravated Speeding Laws

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, speeding 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit is considered to be aggravated speeding. This is technically a criminal charge, rather than a traffic violation, which is why the potential consequences for aggravated speeding are more serious than just a fine.

26 mph to 34 mph over the speed limit: If you are caught driving 26 mph over the posted speed limit, but not more than 35 mph over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. This means you could face up to six months in jail, up to two years of probation and up to $1,500 in fines.

35 mph or more over the speed limit: If you are caught driving more than 35 mph over the posted speed limit, you are committing a Class A misdemeanor. This charge carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail, up to two years of probation and up to $2,500 in fines. If you are facing a speeding charge, a judge can also order that you complete community service or that you attend traffic school.

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