If you get a speeding ticket or similar moving violation, court supervision is generally considered a good outcome. Of course the best outcome would be to get the ticket dismissed altogether, which is possible, but court supervision is the next best thing in most cases. You just have to complete the terms of the supervision, which may include a fine, traffic school or community service, and not get another moving violation during the supervision period. Once you do that, then the ticket gets removed from your record. It’s as if it never happened. Best of all, the ticket doesn’t get reported to your insurance company, so your rates don’t go up.
How it works
Court supervision lasts for a few months – the exact time varies. It may cost a little more if you have to pay for traffic school on top of the ticket, but it’s worth it to keep a conviction off your driving record. A conviction can affect your insurance rates and count toward a possible license suspension later on. Illinois law says that your license will be suspended if you get three moving violation convictions in 12 months. If you are under 21, your license can be suspended for two moving violations in 24 months.
If you successfully complete the supervision, your driving record will be “clear.” A report of the violation and supervision is sent to the Illinois Secretary of State, however. This should not affect your insurance rates or be used toward a license suspension.
In Illinois, you can get supervision twice within 12 months. However, if you get that second ticket, a court appearance may be required. If you get a second ticket while still on supervision for the first, you also should talk to an attorney. The second ticket is a violation of your supervision, and the supervision can be revoked. You’re looking at two convictions – one for the first ticket because supervision was revoked and one for the second ticket.
If you violate the supervision
If you violate the supervision, by getting another moving violation for example, a judge can revoke the supervision and convict you instead. There will be a hearing in front of a judge. You will be notified. It’s a good idea to have an attorney represent you at this hearing.
Can I always get supervision?
Supervision isn’t available for every type of traffic violation. It’s generally only an option for moving violations that are punishable by fine (and not jail time), like a basic speeding ticket. However, there are exceptions. Some moving violations that are punishable by fine only do not qualify for supervision, such as speeding in a construction or school zone, or a second insurance-related violation. Generally speaking, for speeding tickets of 20 mph over the limit or more supervision is not an option. That said, people with those offenses will still get it by getting the prosecutor to agree that you really were doing a slower amount but still speeding.
Do you need an attorney?
Not everyone needs an attorney for every violation. For example, you may not need an attorney if it’s your first violation and it’s not particularly serious. Always read your ticket carefully. If you simply pay the fine and mail it in, you are pleading guilty and will get a conviction. If you are unsure, give us a call. We’ll always be honest about whether we think you need an attorney. But in the example above, typically the way you get a prosecutor to agree to charge you with a ticket for less than 20 mph is by hiring a law firm that knows them and knows how to handle these cases. Relationships are incredibly important in these claims.
If you’re looking at a subsequent violation, if you are required to appear in court, or if you have received a moving violation for something more serious, you definitely should get a lawyer. The goal is usually to get the violation reduced to something less serious, or to get it dismissed. These are things best handled by an experienced traffic defense attorney. Bottom line is that on a second ticket you have a ton to lose if the case isn’t handled correctly.
If you have a commercial driver’s license, supervision on certain offenses counts as a conviction. The consequences for multiple violations can be greater, and you’ll probably have to appear in court. There are Illinois defense attorneys with specific experience in CDLs. So since your career could be on the line you should always have representation. Depending on the charge, the final result can often be changed to a non-moving violation that won’t affect your driving record. Most CDL holders know this already, but it’s certainly worth mentioning.
So what do we do? We are lawyers that will talk to anyone for free about any Illinois legal issue. If you’d like our help in getting a referral or just have questions, please contact us at any time. All calls are free and confidential.