Illinois tollway drivers are finding out that state laws on speeding aren’t what they used to be. Drivers used to have to worry about misdemeanor charges only when speeding more than 30 MPH over the limit. But under a new law in 2014, a motorist can get a misdemeanor driving even slower than that.

The most recent change in the law makes speeding just 26 MPH over the limit a crime. Under Section 11-601.5(a) of the Vehicle Code, speeding 26-34 MPH over the posted limit is a Class B misdemeanor offense. The potential penalty for any Class B misdemeanor is 180 days in the county jail and a $1,500 fine.

To make matters worse, the driver is not eligible for supervision. The court is required to impose a permanent conviction, which can in some instances result in a suspended driver’s license.

Speeding 26 MPH over the limit is a ticket for which the motorist will have to hire an attorney. The judge presiding in traffic court is required to advise the accused that he is facing a misdemeanor offense punishable by a jail sentence, and continue the case for legal counsel.

The reason traffic court judges require people to retain counsel is that they want to retain the right to sentence the offender to jail if the circumstances warrant it. The law in the United States is that the accused cannot be sentenced to jail unless he is represented by counsel.

Attorneys representing clients in these cases would agree that traffic court has become very political in recent years. Speeding is now regarded as a very serious offense because the media has reported on leniency by traffic court judges for repeat offenders. An attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced is now a necessity to protect your driving privileges and avoid a criminal record.

New Illinois law bans mugshot web sites while Google removes them from search

October 23, 2013
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People make mistakes… That’s just life, right? But things are different in today’s world, because social media like Facebook and Twitter are available to document people’s mistakes forever. In an instant, arrest records are disseminated for all to see in Google. There is a pernicious industry on the web that preys upon people who were […]

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Felons not required to disclose criminal convictions on Illinois government job applications

October 13, 2013
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In an unprecedented move, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued an order that allows applicants for state government jobs to apply without having to disclose felony convictions. Governor Quinn calls it an order to ‘Ban the Box,’ referring to the box job applicants have to check to disclose convictions. The administrative order, issued October 3, […]

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Illinois Supreme Court rules aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute violates 2nd Amendment

September 16, 2013
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In one decision, the Illinois Supreme Court has undone thousands of convictions for carrying a loaded firearm, and opened the door for the release of hundreds of inmates in prison. The state high court has ruled that the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute is unconstitutional. Individuals who were convicted of this crime may […]

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Fatal accident: a review of reckless homicide charges and penalties

July 16, 2013
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The courts treat most accidents as a matter of negligence. The person who is responsible for the accident is considered at fault, or liable. Anyone who is injured or killed by the person at fault can recover damages in a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death. Since the person responsible did not intend […]

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A summary of the law and penalties for involuntary manslaughter

July 9, 2013
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Illinois courts apply the term involuntary manslaughter to any accidental death that results from the reckless acts of another. Recklessness is the key component of involuntary manslaughter. If the acts causing the death were negligent, then the loss of life would be actionable in a civil courtroom, through a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute penalizing […]

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Criminal conviction can result in deportation, even for permanent residents

July 1, 2013
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The impact of the criminal conviction can be long-lasting and devastating. A conviction is usually a permanent record that will never go away. Although Illinois courts have a procedure for expungement and sealing, most felony convictions do not qualify, and very few misdemeanor convictions are eligible. Unfortunately, the fact that a conviction comes from decades […]

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Department of Corrections reinstates early release program

May 10, 2013
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There was a time in Illinois when inmates could get released from state prison in only days. It was the era of “dress-in-dress-out.” Those days are long gone, but the state penitentiary has re-instituted another form of early release. The new early release program has caused confusion in courtrooms throughout the state. To understand it, […]

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Truth-in-sentencing: defendants must serve more than 50% of the sentence imposed

March 20, 2013
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Defendants in felony cases are subject to special rules in sentencing. Compared to misdemeanor sentencing, felonies are complicated. The court is governed by obscure rules that can sometimes produce unexpected results. And the last thing a defense attorney wants in court is to advise a client on a sentence and have something unexpected come up. […]

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First felony offense eligible for deferred prosecution under Offender Initiative Program

December 29, 2012
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A person who is charged with a felony but has no criminal background will benefit from a new state law in 2013 that allows for dismissal. The Offender Initiative Program is a new statute modeled after the deferred prosecution program developed by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. The statute will apply in all counties […]

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