If you’re known as a lead foot, you better beware and slow down. On July 1, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Julie’s Law which places pretty heavy penalties on exceptionally speedy drivers. These penalties include license suspension, heavy fines, and potential jail time. Before this law was passed, a speeding driver going up to 40 mph over the legal speed limit could be granted court supervision by a judge repeatedly, with every speeding ticket – but not any longer. Under the new Illinois law, judges are unable to order court supervision for speeders exceeding the limit by more than 25 miles in a residential urban district, or by more than 30 miles in a rural area:
“(q) The provisions of paragraph (c) shall not apply to a defendant charged with violating subsection (b) of Section 11-601 of the Illinois Vehicle Code when the defendant was operating a vehicle, in an urban district, at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.” 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1 (a)(1)(q)[ii]
However, this is a notable change because drivers who used to be able to plea to supervision on such a ticket no longer have this option! Additionally, drivers need to realize that even with a regular non-Julie’s law speeder, or any other moving violation, the penalties and consequences to your inability to drive the legal speed limit keep increasing in Illinois. We recommend everyone become more legally savvy and cautious of your driving record by hiring an attorney familiar with traffic law defense to help you with what you may consider a simple traffic matter! In fact, while editing this post, I received a call from a potential client who received a ticket for going 30 mph over the limit and had some prior moving violations. This person seemed shocked that his license may be subject to suspension by the DMV!
For drivers under 21 years of age, two speeding convictions within a 12-month period will cause the Secretary of State to suspend a driver’s license. For drivers older than 21 years of age, 3 speeding convictions within a 12-month period will cause the driver’s license to be suspended.
Drivers over 21 years of age are potentially still eligible for two court supervisions in a 12-month period.
Court supervision is a potential option for speeding drivers only if they plead guilty to speeding and understand and approve of the specifics regarding the speeding ticket while agreeing to all terms and conditions of the court supervision. Then, if the driver keeps a clean driving record during his or her supervision term, the speeding violation will not result in a conviction. But caveat! Be aware, supervision will still remain on your driving record and can still be used to aggravate or enhance a subsequent moving violation.
Julie’s Law came into effect after Julie Gorczynski, a 17-year old high school student, was killed in a car accident by a recklessly speeding driver who was going 76 mph in a 40 mph residential area. The other driver had several court supervisions for speeding before the accident took place.
Senator Sid Mathias, who is one of the bill’s co-sponsors, is happy with the new law that has been put into action stating, “We have to basically educate people to realize that speed kills, and that we need to do something about it. And that if they lose their license in the process of that learning, then so be it.”
The end result? Slow down! You must be aware of any type of plea on your traffic record and be ready to hire yourself a decent lawyer versed in traffic court defense!