One of the most common convictions in the United States is moving traffic violations, like speeding or reckless driving. Many people are unaware that when you pay a traffic ticket without going to court and defending yourself, you are being convicted of that traffic violation. Most traffic convictions are only worth a fine and points on your license, or a temporary suspension of your license, making it easy to understand why many people are not aware that they are being convicted for breaking the law.
If you have been charged with a moving traffic violation, or given traffic tickets, you have the right to fight back against unfair tickets and fines. You also have the right to hire an attorney to represent you. If you are facing serious fines and possible license suspension, having an experienced traffic lawyer from DUI Lawyers 24/7 is your best shot at getting back on the road, as soon as possible.
What is The Illinois DMV Point System?
Like many other U.S. states, the Department of Motor Vehicles in Illinois uses a point-based system to track moving vehicle violations, which are attached to each citizen's driver's license. This point-based system is used to decide whether or not a driver has had too many violations to continue driving safely. If you go over the point threshold, your license and driving privileges can be suspended for varying lengths of time.
- 0-14 points: no consequence for a first traffic offense, or second offense, if points do not reach the threshold
- 15-44 points: 2-month suspension
- 45-74 points: 3-month suspension
- 75-89 points: 6-month suspension
- 90-99 points: 9-month suspension
If you pass the 99-point threshold, you will be given a suspension lasting a 12-month period, or one year, suspension. Different offenses have varying point delegations, such as an automatic 55 points for reckless driving, and anywhere from 5-50 points for speeding, depending on your speed in comparison to the speed limit. These points stay on your driving record for around 5 years, in most cases.
What Kinds of Traffic Violations Are There?
A traffic citation or violation is when a person violates laws regarding operating a motor vehicle on roads and highways. These violations are split into two subsections: moving and non-moving violations. Simply put, these are violations happening while the vehicle is moving, and while it is not. The most commonly charged and convicted traffic violations are:
- Running red lights
- Not coming to a complete stop
- Failure to yield
- Failure to signal
- Expired registration or inspection
More serious violations are less common but still happen every day. DUIs and reckless driving are both different types of extremely serious moving traffic violations.
Can Traffic Violations Affect My Insurance?
Traffic violations are the number one reason that insurers raise driver's insurance rates and deductibles, or drop drivers from their services altogether. This is because violating traffic law, especially repeatedly, is a sign that you are what they consider a "high-risk driver". This means higher deductibles, higher monthly premiums, and in cases like DUIs or reckless driving, being dropped by your insurance altogether. Driver's who have been dropped for being high-risk drivers most normally have to retain a different kind of insurance.
This high-risk insurance, called SR-22 insurance, is expensive, but normally more affordable than insurance premiums on regular insurance after accidents or DUI's.
What Kinds of Cases Go to Traffic Court?
While, in most cases, the only traffic violations that automatically go to court are offenses that are punishable by time behind bars, any and every different kind of traffic violation is able to attend traffic court, including traffic tickets for speeding or running a stop sign.
Any time you are accused of breaking a law in the United States you have the right to defend yourself in a court of law. This means that you are able to attend a court date rather than simply pay speeding tickets so that you are able to rebut what the ticketing officer claims happened.
Traffic ticket lawyers spend all of their time helping drivers have their fines and punishments lowered, and more often than not help their clients avoid possible suspensions or jail time. If you are facing serious fines or charges, having a traffic ticket lawyer in court with you can be the catalyst for turning your case around in your favor.
How Do I Fight a Ticket?
If you have received a moving traffic violation ticket, or a non-moving traffic violation ticket, your ticket should have a court date listed on it, if you wish to appear in court. You will need to gather your evidence that the ticket is too harsh or is incorrect before you arrive. For more serious violations it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney on your side to help you, especially if you are facing large fines long suspensions, or jail time.
You will arrive in court in the morning, and your case is listed on the docket for an available traffic judge. From here, it is a waiting game. You wait until your name is called, and then you have a chance to argue for your defense. You can present evidence, prove bias, or any other manner of things to prove that you are being overcharged, or that you should not be charged at all.
The ticketing police officer will also present their evidence against you, and from there it is up to the judge to decide what should happen or if there is enough evidence to convict you of the crime you have been accused of.
Are Fines and Suspensions the Only Sentencing I Could Face?
In most cases, fines and suspensions are the extents that which a person can be punished for moving traffic violations until the violations begin to get more serious. If you are driving 10 miles over the speed limit, for example, you will be fined via a speeding ticket and have points placed on your license, and may face a suspension depending on the number of points you have.
If you are driving 40 miles over the speed limit, however, you will most likely also face reckless driving charges on top of the speeding charges. This can come with the sentencing of jail time, required traffic school educational classes, or community service. It is important that you keep track of the points on your license, and that you make sure you are driving carefully and safely so that you do not face any of the harsh punishments available.
Don't Let Points Take Away Your License
If you've been given unfair fines or tickets for petty offenses or maybe being charged with reckless driving or a DUI, it's time to put your foot down and fight back. Hiring a traffic attorney to help you fight back against the court system is always the safest route to take, traffic ticket attorneys spend all of their time-fighting cases that are similar to yours in many ways, and can help you walk out of the courtroom with your head held high.
At DUI Lawyers 24/7, you can be sure an experienced lawyer will handle your case every step of the way, and that your legal representation will never be lacking. Our attorneys do everything possible to ensure our clients have the best defense possible, and always leave the courtroom happy. Call us today for a free consultation, and let us help you get back on the road.