New laws in Illinois if you are speeding 30MPH/40MPH over
On January 27, 2011, driving in excess of 30 MPH over the speed limit in Will County became a criminal misdemeanor in Illinois. Prior to the enactment of this new legislation, speeding violations in Illinois were all classified as “petty offenses,” punishable by fine no greater than $1,000. Now, with the passing of the new statute, driving over 30 MPH in Joliet/Will County, Illinois may leave you with a mark on your criminal record, heftier fines, and up to a year in jail—in addition, of course, to a suspended or revoked license.
More specifically, these high-speed violations are categorized as either Class A or Class B misdemeanors, depending on how far over the limit you were actually going. Speeding 31–39 MPH over the limit is a Class B misdemeanor, which means a maximum fine of $1,500 and up to 180 days in jail. These maximum penalties double when you hit the 40 MPH mark: 40 MPH or more over the speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning a maximum $2,500 fine and up to 364 days in jail. These are not mere speeding tickets.
Both Class A and Class B misdemeanors are criminal offenses, which means they appear permanently on your criminal record and will show up on background checks, etc.
But that’s not all. At the beginning of next year, these laws become even harsher. Illinois Governor Quinn recently signed an amendment lowering the criminal speeding rate from the magic number 31 down to 26 MPH over. This means, as of January 1, 2014, speeding in excess of 25 MPH over the limit is a crime (26–35 MPH over is a Class B misdemeanor, and any speed 35 MPH or more over the limit is a Class A misdemeanor).
The good news is that, like other criminal misdemeanors and traffic offenses in Joilet and Will County, it is possible for a good attorney to get your charges knocked down to a lesser offense, or even help you beat your case altogether. A misdemeanor charge or conviction does not automatically mean thousands of dollars in fines or jail time; if you are pulled over for speeding in excess of 30 or 40 MPH over the limit, an experienced Will County lawyer can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Written by: Sarah Hanneken