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Petty Traffic Offenses & Misdemeanors

July 3rd, 2017 at 7:00 am

petty traffic offenses, Rolling Meadows traffic violations defense lawyer, moving violations, Class C misdemeanor, suspended licenseIt is not uncommon for people to treat moving violations as inconsequential or somehow beneath notice, therefore paying the requested fine quickly and proceeding on their merry way. However, many will then receive a rude awakening as their driving privileges are affected, especially if they have a history of multiple speeding tickets or other moving violations. Therefore, it is important for Illinois drivers to be aware of the potentially punitive consequences that may result if too many tickets or citations are incurred.

Classification Differences

The significant majority of traffic offenses are characterized as either petty or as misdemeanors under Illinois law. Petty offenses are punishable with merely a fine, usually no more than $1,000, though there are always exceptions depending on the egregious nature of the conduct. Examples include driving without auto insurance and failing to wear a seat belt while driving or riding in an automobile. While a petty offense is still something to take seriously, it is the lightest type of offense that can appear on one’s record, and is the classification for which it is most likely to receive supervision or probation as a sentence instead of a particularly heavy fine.

Misdemeanors, comparatively, are more serious and may carry jail time as part or all of the sentence handed down at conviction—there are three classes of misdemeanor, A through C, with A being the most severe.

An example of a Class C misdemeanor would be drag racing, while a Class A misdemeanor would be driving without a license or on a suspended license. Class A misdemeanors are held to be more likely to injure participants or bystanders, as well as to possess an exaggerated degree of recklessness or negligence compared to petty offenses.

Misdemeanor traffic offenses may sometimes receive a sentence of court supervision, but it is decidedly less common than with those convicted of petty offenses.

Minor Offenses Can Add Up

While the relative consequences for petty and misdemeanor traffic offenses are much less significant than those associated with felonies, this does not mean that minor traffic offenses may simply be ignored, or paid and forgotten. For example, if an Illinois driver accrues three moving violations (whether petty or misdemeanor offenses) in one 12-month span, it results in an automatic, mandatory license suspension. That suspension will expire on a specific calendar date, but only if the driver’s record has been clean for that period of time.

It is also possible to receive a license suspension over failure to pay fines associated with petty offenses and misdemeanors of any class. If a driver fails to pay the costs associated with five or more automatic traffic violations, then his or her license will be automatically suspended in much the same manner as it would be with multiple moving violations on one’s record. The driver will not be able to reinstate his or her license without presenting proof that any remaining fines or penalties have been paid, and any attempt to drive without reinstating his or her license may result in a re-suspension (as driving on a suspended license is in itself a suspendable offense).

Consult a Knowledgeable Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

Because traffic offenses are seen as such relatively inconsequential affairs, it can be a momentous shock when your license is suspended over the amount of these minor offenses. Consulting an attorney with experience in such matters can greatly ease one’s mind, or at least articulate exactly what one faces in the near future.

The dedicated Rolling Meadows traffic violations defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is well versed in this specific area of law, and is happy to try and assist you with your case. Contact the office today to set up an initial consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K12-603.1.htm

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