Driving 40 miles per hour or more over the speed limit in Illinois is not just a traffic ticket. It is a criminal offense. See 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5.
Speeding 40 MPH or more over the posted limit is a Class A misdemeanor offense. The offense used to be called aggravated speeding. In Illinois, a Class A misdemeanor has penalties of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The court may sentence the defendant to probation and community service.
All speeding tickets for 39 MPH over the limit and used to be petty offenses. And now, speeding 31 MPH over the limit is a Class B misdemeanor.
For ordinary speeding tickets, the typical outcome is a fine, supervision, and possibly traffic school (such as a defensive driving course). Supervision is a special sentence which results in the dismissal of the charge without a conviction after payment of a fine and 90 to 120 days (three to four months) without any other tickets. Although supervision does appear on your driver’s record, called a driver’s abstract, it is not a conviction and therefore does not result in points on your license. Additionally, it is generally is not relied on by insurance companies to increase your premiums.
Speeding 40 MPH or more over the limit raises two important issues:
- It is a criminal offense with a possible jail sentence and criminal record.
- It still counts on your driver’s abstract.
The outcome of a court case for aggravated speeding depends on the judge and local practices. Some judges regard these offenses as very serious and, although jail is not likely, they may impose community service. If your driver’s record is poor, then jail is actually a possibility.
A conviction for this offense will result in a very high assignment of points to your license. A high point total can result in not just a driver’s license suspension, but also a revocation for one year which will require your appearance at a Secretary of State formal hearing in order to be reinstated.
Supervision is still available for aggravated speeding. The worst case scenario would occur where a defendant who is under a sentence for aggravated speeding and gets another speeding ticket. The new ticket would constitute a violation of the previous sentence and would result in re-sentencing, which includes the possibility of the maximum sentence (up to one year in jail).
The author of this article once represented a client who was pulled over driving a Corvette 127 MPH on I-94. That client was prosecuted in the Second Municipal District Court of Cook County (Skokie) and received supervision on a petty offense.
At one time, it was possible to challenge speeding tickets based on the laser radar technology called LIDAR. The writer of this article defended a man charged with aggravated speeding on I-294 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Fifth Municipal District (Bridgeview), and used the LIDAR technicality to have the charge dismissed on September 2, 2009. (Case No. 55791263). The LIDAR defense is generally no longer available.
A ticket for speeding 40 MPH over the limit is a serious offense, and judges are cracking down. You need qualified legal counsel.