For many people, getting a ticket on a moving violation isn’t that big a deal. However, Chicago Traffic Lawyers understand that even minor traffic citations can have long-lasting consequences, including suspension of your driver’s license or increased price of car insurance. If your driving privileges are at risk, contact us today to discuss your options.
There are two types of traffic violations: a moving violation and a non-moving violation in Illinois.
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What is a Moving Violation in Illinois?
A moving violation is what it sounds like; the violation was committed when the vehicle was in motion, not parked.
There are various types of moving violations, included but not limited to:
- Reckless or dangerous driving
- Drag racing
- Tailing another vehicle
- Not following traffic signals and lights
- Not using turn signals when making a turn
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohols or drugs
A moving violation ticket is also reported to the Department of Licensing (DOL).
Moving Violations vs. Non-Moving Violations
A moving violation is different from a non-moving violation, which occurs when the vehicle is stationary, even though its engine may be running. Moving violations are much more serious than non-moving violations and often have greater penalties.
Whether a traffic violation occurred while the vehicle was in motion or not has a huge bearing on the severity of the offense. That’s because when a vehicle is in motion, there is a bigger chance that people may get hurt, whether it is other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians. There is also a greater chance of a property being damaged.
On the other hand, non-moving violations pose a less serious threat since the vehicle was not moving when the offense occurred.
Other differences between moving and non-moving violations include:
The Fine: Citations for non-moving vehicles are less than fines or penalties for moving vehicles.
Violation Reported to Car Insurance Company: Non-moving traffic offenses are usually not reported to your auto insurance company; however, moving violations are usually reported. This means, if you get a moving violence citation, your insurance provider can use that to claim you have a higher risk and demand a higher premium.
Violation Resulted In Points to Your Driver’s License: If you have been convicted of committing a moving violation and you pay the fine for it, the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles will add points to your driver’s license. If you accumulate a lot of points in a short period of time, then you will face license suspension.
Penalties for Moving Violations in Illinois
Moving violations may be divided into minor offenses and major offenses or misdemeanors.
Minor Traffic Offense
A minor traffic offense will result in you getting a traffic ticket rather than getting arrested. This includes:
- Driving without insurance
- Driving with an expired car registration
- Driving with a broken tail light
- Driving with a cracked windshield
- Driving with a license that has been suspended because of failure to pay civil penalty or complying with a support or visitation order
If you have been given a misdemeanor ticket, sending a plea of guilt and the fine is a very bad idea, because of the above-mentioned reasons. You may have three options in case of a traffic ticket:
- Plead guilty and pay a fine
- Plead guilty and attend Traffic School
- Contesting the charge and requesting a trial date
If you plead guilty and pay a fine, this will be shown as a conviction and may become the basis for the suspension of license in the future. If you choose to plead guilty and attend the Traffic Safety School, this will not be a conviction but supervision. However, if you have attended the Traffic Safety School in the past year, you may not be eligible and it will result in a conviction.
In many cases, contesting the ticket and requesting a trial court date is the best option for you. You may be assigned a court date within 21 days. If you miss your date, you may be convicted.
You may also attend a mitigation hearing to get your fine reduced, pay through a monthly plan, or complete community service.
Driver’s license suspension occurs if you commit three moving violations within a single year. For drivers under the age of 21, the license may be suspended after two convictions.
Major Moving Violations
Major moving violations are usually misdemeanors, and in some cases, felonies, and often carry a potential of jail sentences. The most common types of major moving violations are:
Reckless Driving: Driving recklessly can result in a fine of $2,500 and up to one year in jail. If you injure a child or a school crossing guard, this Class 4 Felony is punishable by 1 to 3 years in jail. If the injuries are severe, it can result in two to five years of jail sentence.
Fleeing a Police Officer: If a driver has been signaled by a peace officer to stop his vehicle and he responds by speeding away, extinguishing his lights or fleeing, it can result in a misdemeanor, resulting in 1 year of jail. The SOS may also suspend their driver’s license for up to six months for a first conviction and up to one year for a second conviction. A third violation will result in one to three years in prison.
Aggravated Fleeing a Police Officer: If a person is fleeing a police officer and it resulted him driving at a speed over 21 miles of the legal speed limit, injuring a person, causing significant property damage, disobeying two or more traffic devices, and hiding their motor vehicle’s registration plate, this is aggravated fleeing.
The first violation will result in one to three years in prison and a revoked driver’s license. The second violation will result in two to five years in jail and revocation of driver’s license. The vehicle involved may also be seized by the authorities.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Injury or Death: If a person leaves the scene of an accident that resulted in injury or death of another person and failed to provide aid, it is classified as a Class 4 felony and is punishable by one to three years in jail.
In addition, the driver also has the report the accident to law enforcement within half an hour of the accident. Failure to do so can result in a Class 2 felony and three to seven years in jail, and Class 3 felony punishable by three to five years in jail if a person died during the accident.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Property Damage: If the driver leaves the scene of an accident, which resulted in damage to the vehicle in excess of $1000, and does not stop immediately to provide assistance, his driver’s license will be suspended.
Failing to Give Information and Render Aid: If the at-fault driver does not provide his personal contact details, fail to show their driver’s license, or provide aid to the injured party, they will be punishable by up to one year in jail.
Aggravated Speeding: A person who drives a motor vehicle in excess of 30 miles per hour above the speed limit may be punished with up to 6 months in jail. A person who drives a vehicle in excess of 40 miles oer hour will be punished with up to one year in jail. This type of offender is not eligible for supervision and the guilt will remain on his police records and be sent to his insurance company.
How a Chicago Traffic Lawyer Can Help
There are many actions that can lead to a moving violation in Illinois. Since moving violations consist of harsher punishment, you may require legal assistance to ensure you are properly informed of all the legalities and your rights are not violated.
Our experienced Chicago traffic ticket firm can review your case and make a strong defense for it. Call us today at (phone number) for a consultation.