In Illinois, driving is a privilege, not a right. This means that the state can take away your ability to drive for a number of reasons, including being convicted of traffic violations. With some offenses, you may lose your driving privileges on the first infraction, and with others, you can receive several tickets before you lose your license. Losing your ability to drive often means that your ability to work and attend to personal responsibilities may be compromised. If you determine that you may be at risk for driver’s license suspension, you should contact a skilled attorney so that your rights can be protected.
Appointed Lawyers and the True Cost of Traffic Violations
When the crime you are accused of is punishable by imprisonment, the state will provide you with a public defender. However, many traffic violations are not punishable by imprisonment, so if you want legal counsel, you must retain a lawyer yourself. Also, many people prefer hiring a private defense attorney, as public defenders are often overworked, underpaid, and unable to dedicate the necessary attention to each case they are assigned.
Keep in mind that there are hidden costs beyond the traffic ticket fine. According to some sources, a traffic ticket could increase your insurance premiums for five years. Taking that into consideration, the total cost of an Illinois speeding ticket is about 6.2 times the ticket fine. On average, drivers will pay $744 for a speeding ticket with a fine of $120.
When You Can Lose Your Driver’s License
When you are issued a traffic ticket, you have three options. You could:
- Pay the fine, plead guilty, and incur a conviction;
- Pay the fine and request court supervision, which typically means attending traffic school and avoiding additional traffic violations for a certain period of time; or
- Contest the ticket and attend a hearing, which is essentially a bench trial in front of a local judge.
While it may be tempting to simply plead guilty, pay the ticket, and put the matter behind you, supervision often means that the conviction will not appear on your record so long as the terms of supervision are met.
If you have three convictions on your driving record within a 12-month period, the Illinois Secretary of State can suspend your driver’s license for up to six months. If you are under 21 years old, your license can be suspended if you have two convictions within a 24-month period.
Contact a Wheaton Traffic Violations Attorney
Many people do not understand the consequences associated with traffic violations until they are in court and it is too late to mount a proper defense. Our goal is to keep you on the road with a clean driving history. If you are facing traffic violations, contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation with Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates today.