We have all been in a situation where we were running late or in a hurry to get somewhere and we drove above the speed limit. For that reason, speeding tickets are very common in Illinois and elsewhere.
Most people think that the worst consequence of a speeding ticket is the fine that comes along with it. However, if you were going fast enough, you could be charged with a criminal misdemeanor.
Misdemeanor charges for speeding should be fought
Simply paying the ticket is the same thing as pleading guilty, which means you will end up with a permanent criminal record and possibly even jail time if you were charged with misdemeanor speeding. Fines are also much higher for misdemeanor traffic violations.
Under Illinois law, being cited for going 26-34 mph over the speed limit is a class B misdemeanor and being cited for going 35 or more mph over the speed limit is a class A misdemeanor.
A class B misdemeanor can result in up to six months of jail time and/or fines of up to $1,500. A class A misdemeanor can result in up to a year in jail and/or fines up to $2,500.
Additionally, a misdemeanor speeding charge cannot be removed from your record like other misdemeanors can because Court Supervision does not apply to these charges.
In many misdemeanor cases, such as first-time DUI offenses, the case can be diverted to the Court Supervision program and you could possibly avoid a conviction by completing the terms of the program. Misdemeanor speeding charges are not eligible for this program.
As you can see, this is much more than a simple speeding ticket, which is why misdemeanor charges for speeding should be fought.
Even if you were speeding, you still have defense options
You may be thinking, I was caught speeding, how can I possibly fight the charges? The good news is that by working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you do have options. It may be possible to negotiate a lesser charge or even get the charges dismissed. A seasoned attorney can often mitigate the consequences you face, no matter how much evidence is stacked up against you.
Far too many people charged with misdemeanor speeding simply plead guilty and suffer the life-changing consequences when they do not have to. If you are charged with misdemeanor charges and you value your future, your freedom and your bank account, talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your options.