It’s common for Illinois drivers to violate traffic laws, and relatively common for them to face tickets and conviction on related charges, but no one should take these charges lightly. Drivers charged with a traffic violation should know what they are facing and what their options may be for defending their rights and driving privileges.
The consequences of traffic charges
Depending on the severity of the alleged offense, the accused driver can face potential penalties ranging from a fine to incarceration for more serious offenses. At the local level, traffic violations are typically punishable only by fines, but these fines can be high. At the state level, traffic violations can range from petty offenses to misdemeanors and even felony charges. In circumstances in which a traffic violation resulted in death, it may be heard in criminal court rather than traffic court.
Suspension or revocation of driver’s license
Certain traffic violations can also result in suspension or revocation of a driver’s license and can go on the accused driver’s driving record. These can include a conviction for failure to stop for a school bus while it is unloading or loading school children or for speeding in a construction zone. Traffic violations can also include leaving the scene of an accident or a failure to follow the state’s mandatory move-over law.
In addition to the penalties that can come with any one traffic related charge, there can be additional penalties for subsequent offenses. Illinois courts follow a system in which certain types of traffic offenses add points to an individual driver’s license. Certain offenses carry more points than others. If the driver commits three or more offenses within a 12-month period, they will face suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. The exact details of the penalty depend upon the number of points and severity of the offenses.
Accused drivers have the right to defend themselves against traffic tickets and traffic-related charges and should be familiar with their options for doing so. An attorney with experience in traffic violation defense can help the accused to understand their rights and their options to defend their rights.