While some traffic violations in Illinois are criminal misdemeanors, most tickets are considered petty offenses. This means that if the allegation sticks, a person will have to pay a traffic fine and other fees.
Although the ticket will probably appear on a person’s driving record and involve an assessment of points against their license, it is not a criminal conviction.
Because it is not a criminal conviction, the person does not have to worry about jail time.
However, this does not mean that a visitor or resident of Springfield should just shrug off a traffic ticket by paying the fine and moving on with life.
In particular, any traffic ticket, especially a moving violation, can seriously hurt a person who has a commercial license or otherwise drives for a living.
Driving records are important in the transportation industry. When hiring and retaining drivers, employers and customers alike tend to pay careful attention to their records.
Likewise, insurance companies consider driving records when setting premiums. The closer a driving record is to clean, the better the chance of getting an affordable premium quote.
Some violations may cost a commercial driver their operating privileges
Furthermore, there are some violations that, although petty offenses, can still lead to strict penalties against commercial drivers.
Here are some examples:
- Erratic lane changes
- Following too closely
- Going more than 15 mph over the speed limit
- Violating laws against texting and driving
All of these violations are considered serious.
This means that while one violation within three years is a freebie, a second violation will lead to a 60-day disqualification of a driver’s commercial operating privileges. Further violations within the same time carry a 120-day disqualification.
During the disqualification, the driver may not legally operate vehicles requiring a CDL. The fallout could include being fired or losing significant income.
A commercial driver should take any traffic offense seriously by being sure they understand all of their options.