In a state that houses about 13 million people, traffic violations are a given. Thousands of cases pass Illinois’s traffic courts every day. It can be argued that the traffic courts are some of the busiest of all courts. From handling small fines for over speeding to bigger cases such as drunk driving, the courts of Illinois have seen it all. Let’s see if we can answer “What does an Illinois traffic ticket lawyer cost?”
Illinoisans are very particular about traffic laws. Some that the Illinoisans are notorious for are the DUI charges, as they are taken extremely seriously by the traffic courts and police in Illinois. Illinois is also one of the first few states to ban texting and driving, and severe action is taken against those who still drive distractedly.
With so many traffic laws and violations, traffic lawyers are also in a lot of demand in Illinois. Though they can be invaluable in most cases, they can be somewhat expensive. Citizens have a right to a traffic attorney, and if you cannot afford one, the court will assign one to your case for violations that can result in jail time or other punishments. However, for petty offenses punishable by fines merely, though you have the right to take on an attorney, the court will not provide you one if you can’t.
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Common Traffic laws Broken by Citizens of Illinois
Going above the stated speed limits is not permissible, and in most cases, no exceptions are accepted. Speeding is dangerous and can result in tragic, fatal accidents. Yet, it is one of the most commonly broken traffic laws in Illinois. If someone is caught speeding, the following fines apply in Illinois.
- 1 to 20 mph over the speed limit – $120 fine.
- 21 to 30 mph over the speed limit – $140 fine.
- 31 mph or more over the speed limit – $160 fine.
Failure to Stop
Red lights mean Stop. This is one of the first traffic rules that we learn about as kids, and it is a surprise that many still manage to break it. A lot of them simply slow down when approaching a red signal. That is a traffic offense and is fined accordingly.
Driving Without a License
You must carry your license with you at all times. Being caught behind the wheel without a license is not taken lightly; in fact, it is one of those traffic offenses for which you have to appear in court. Despite that, many drive around without a license and pay the heavy price.
Distracted driving entails that your entire focus is not on driving. Distracted driving may include eating while driving, talking to people in the backseat while driving, or being on your mobile phone. This was recently made a serious traffic offense in Illinois, and punishment can go beyond fines.
Other common traffic laws in Illinois include the following:
- Drag racing
- Disobeying the Child Passenger Safety Act
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene to elude police
- Fleeing the scene of an accident where injury, property damage, or even death is involved
- Texting while driving or using your cellphone while driving
- Failing to wear a seatbelt while driving
- Non-payment of tolls
What Cases Go to Traffic Courts?
Most cases don’t need to be taken to court if the driver stops, admits their mistake, and pays the suggested fine. Most cases of over speeding or distracted driving are taken care of and resolved on the road if the driver complies with the traffic police officers. The fine is paid, the violation is noted in the individual’s driving record, and the person is free to go. The only way that one of these cases can go to traffic court is when the individual requests it. The citizens are well within their right to contest the charge and demand a court hearing to defend themselves.
However, there are some traffic offenses in which it is mandatory for the person to appear in court. Some of these include:
- Driving Under Influence
- Reckless Driving
- Driving Without a License
What Happens When You Receive A Traffic Ticket?
If you have violated a traffic rule and are caught, a traffic police officer will issue you a traffic ticket. The ticket will include details of your offense, such as the rule broken, the location, date and time of the violation, and the license plate and registration of your car.
The traffic ticket will also have two tick boxes, namely “Court Appearance Required” or “No Court Appearance Required.” Depending on the nature of the traffic violation, the officer will tick mark either one of them and ask you to sign it.
Your signature is not an admission of guilt. It is simply an agreement that you will appear in court if required or will comply with the terms of the ticket. Do not hesitate to sign your traffic ticket, as doing so may incur additional punishments.
Most traffic offenses can be classified as either “petty” or “misdemeanor” offenses under Illinois’ laws.
Petty offenses refer to those that are punishable by fine only, while misdemeanors may carry fines and additional jail time as punishment.
- Driving above the speed limit
- Driving on a suspended or revoked license
- Reckless driving.
- Intentionally damaging or removing an official traffic sign
What Can A Traffic Lawyer Do For You?
A traffic lawyer will offer you the best legal advice out there and guide you through the legalities and paperwork involved. They will counsel you about what is the best way to move forward and try to devise a plan of action that ends the case in your favor.
An experienced lawyer would naturally be able to present the case and argue the defense in a much effective way than the driver. If it comes to the traffic court, do not go without a lawyer, or you may not be able to get the best outcome possible.
Traffic lawyers will negotiate the terms of the ticket in court. If the offense was serious, such as a DUI or reckless driving, causing damage to the other party, strong representation is necessary, so negotiations can be undertaken with the prosecuting party. In some less serious cases, the traffic lawyer can argue on your behalf and even get the ticket dismissed entirely, ridding you of all fines and potential punishments.
How Much Does a Traffic Lawyer Cost?
In light of all that a traffic lawyer can do for you, it is only fair that they charge accordingly. Traffic lawyers can be costly, but traffic tickets can cost you even more in serious offenses, so it is a worthwhile investment.
Traffic lawyers in Illinois generally charge by the hour. The more hours they have to spend in court defending you, the higher the price goes. However, for simpler offenses that require less time and paperwork, they can offer you flat rates.
Each case is unique, and the rates that will be quoted to you by any lawyer will be done after thoroughly studying the specifics of your case. An estimated amount that traffic ticket lawyers charge is $350, but it could vary significantly considering the details of your particular case.
Whether you have got a speeding ticket that you do not agree with, or are being charged for a suspected DUI, it is advised that you equip yourself with the right knowledge and a competent lawyer by your side before taking the case to court. A traffic defense lawyer in Chicago can give you unparalleled legal advice at the most reasonable rates and strive to get you the best settlement and negotiation possible.