Dennis Dwyer is a Bridgeview attorney with law offices in Bridgeview & Chicago.
When most people receive a traffic ticket, they either pay the fine online or by mail, or if required, attend traffic court and plead guilty. With minor offenses, many people may feel that the penalty is too minor to need the assistance of a traffic ticket attorney. Unfortunately minor traffic offenses can compile and create larger problems. Depending on the circumstances, you may need a traffic ticket attorney in Chicago to help resolve the problem.
Illinois Point System
Anytime you get a moving violation in Illinois, you can get points added to your driving record. The number of points added vary depending on the violation. If you accumulate too many points, you may face suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Penalties for accumulating too many points include:
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Revocation of driver’s license
- Fines and Illinois Secretary of State fees
- Required community service
- Required driver improvement course
Most minor violations will stay on your driving record for four to five years. If you get your license suspended or revoked for accumulating too many points, the suspension or revocation will stay on your record for seven years.
Three or More Violations in One Year
Your license can also be put in jeopardy if you have too many violations during a short time period. If you obtain three or more violations in one year you may have your license suspended or revoked. The penalty and duration are determined by how many points you have accumulated.
Increased Car Insurance
Another consequence of traffic convictions, besides those imposed by the court, is that your car insurance may increase. Moving violations can have a negative impact on your insurance liability and cause your rates to increase.
Required Court Appearance
While most minor violations can be paid online or by mail, some require a court appearance. If convicted, you will need to pay the fine and court fees. The following minor violations require a court appearance and are punishable with a fine:
- Failing to secure a child in a moving vehicle
- Driving without a valid license or permit
- Driving an uninsured vehicle
Passing a school bus while loading children
Speeding in excess of 20 mph but not over 30 mph over limit
Speeding in school zone when children are present
Speeding in construction zone when workers are present
Violation of cruising zones
Using an alley as a through street in violation of signs
Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney
Any time you have to appear in court, it is in your best interest to have a traffic ticket lawyer to represent you. While minor violations may seem unimportant, when they add up, they can cause problems. Once points accumulate enough to get your license suspended or revoked, you may find yourself facing serious difficulties. These days it is difficult to get to work or even purchase groceries without a car.
A traffic ticket lawyer can help you:
- Reduce your fines
- Get your charges dismissed
- Keep points from going on your record
- Avoid higher rates on your car insurance
Whether you have one violation or many on your driving record, if you must appear in court, a traffic ticket attorney in Chicago can help you protect your license.
Driving on a Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license is a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors have a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. While it is unusual for this full penalty to be given for driving on a suspended license, repeated infractions may result in jail time. This is not an offense to take lightly. Make sure to hire a traffic ticket attorney if you are arrested for driving on a suspended license.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
A CDL is required to drive commercial motor vehicles (CMV). Most people obtain a CDL for work related driving of a commercial vehicle. Traffic violations committed while driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle can impact your CDL license. Major offenses like DUI can result in loss of your CDL license even if you are driving your personal vehicle. Serious offenses committed while in your personal vehicle can result in the loss of your CDL license only if they would also result in the loss of your CDL if driving a commercial vehicle. Serious offenses include some minor traffic violations such as:
- Excessive speeding or reckless driving
- Making improper lane changes
- Following vehicles too closely
- Causing a fatal accident by violating any motor vehicle traffic control law (not including parking violations)
- Operating a CMV without a CDL
For serious offenses your CDL can be disqualified after:
- A second violation within three years (disqualified for 60 days)
- A third violation within three years (disqualified for 120 days)
Your CDL can be disqualified if you are operating a non-CMV if the offense would result in disqualification if driving a CMV. For example, two excessive speeding violations within three years will result in the disqualification of your CDL whether you are driving a CMV or non-CMV.
Since losing your CDL can prevent you from completing your job, it is important to hire a CDL traffic ticket attorney any time you are ticketed for a serious offense (as categorized above).
Call Chicago Traffic Ticket Attorney
Seemingly minor traffic offenses can actually cause great difficulties. Multiple offenses in a short period of time can add up and result in the loss of your driver’s license. Losing driving privileges can make getting to work impossible. Make sure to protect your license before this happens by hiring a traffic ticket attorney any time you must appear in court for a ticket. Contact Dennis F. Dwyer, a Chicago traffic ticket attorney, to learn more about how he can help you keep your license.