All drivers in Illinois have a responsibility to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. Statistics have shown that nearly every motorist in the country will be pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation at least once in their lifetime.
However, while these violations are quite common, this does not mean drivers should not take them seriously. Any traffic violation, especially moving violations, risk dire consequences for the driver and the public. Below, our traffic and criminal defense lawyers in Litchfield and Nokomis explain moving violations, and why all traffic tickets should always be taken seriously.
How are Moving and Non-Moving Violations Different?
Every state has their own definitions for moving and non-moving violations, and Illinois is no different. A non-moving violation occurs when the vehicle is not in motion, meaning it is either parked or stopped. Common non-moving violations include illegal parking and failure to have proper or functioning equipment on your vehicle.
On the other hand, moving violations occur when the vehicle is in motion. Some of the most common of these offenses include:
- Driving under the influenceof alcohol or drugs
- Failing to use signal when making a turn
- Reckless driving
- Texting while driving
- Ignoring traffic lights or posted signage
- Following too closely
The penalties for moving violations are typically much more serious than those for non-moving violations. A significant difference between a non-moving violation and moving violation is how these offenses are treated by the Illinois Secretary of State or the agency that regulates driver’s licenses in your state of residence. Moving violation offenses can cause points on your license, assessed by that licensing agency whereas non-moving violations do not.
Penalties for Moving Violations
The penalties for a moving violation will depend on the actual offense committed and whether a conviction is entered as a result. For example, the penalty for driving under the influence is much different than what a person will face for traveling slightly above the speed limit. However, a conviction for a moving violation could result in a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, enhanced fines, mandatory enrollment in traffic school, increased insurance premiums, and other penalties. Fines and court costs associated with moving violations are typically much larger than those a driver will face for a non-moving violation.
It is important to note that moving violations are reported to a driver’s insurance company, while non-moving violations are not. Insurance companies will use this information to determine when to increase a driver’s auto insurance premiums or whether to continue insuring a driver.
Lastly, a conviction for a moving violation will also be reported to the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS). The IL SOS will then add points to the motorist’s driver’s license. Depending on the state in which your license was issued, a driver’s license may be suspended after a certain number of points are accumulated or a certain number of traffic tickets have been incurred. If you have an Illinois driver’s license and incur three convictions for moving violations within one year, you are at risk of losing their driver’s license. When a motorist is under the age of 21, they can only receive two convictions for a moving violation before their license may be suspended.
How to Respond to a Moving Violation Charge
Every moving violation in the state will result in the driver receiving a ticket from a police officer. If you receive a ticket, you have three choices for dealing with it. The first is the option of paying the fine. If you do this, you will automatically be convicted of the offense because it is an admission of guilt. You will waive your right to contest the traffic ticket in court, you will likely receive increased auto insurance premiums, and points will be assessed on your license.
The second option is to request a disposition that does not result in a conviction, such as for court supervision. This may result in an increased fine and costs but should avoid license and insurance consequences.
You can also plead not guilty and request a trial. Only a very small number of people request a trial based on the risks and costs involved.
Regardless of the option you choose, you must respond by either reaching out to the prosecutor or appearing in court on the date and time on your ticket.
No matter what option you plan on choosing, it is important to seek legal representation to assist you with navigating the potential consequences of that decision. A lawyer will know the process and properly prepare you to give you the best chance of a successful outcome.
Our Traffic Defense Lawyers and Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help with Your Ticket
Receiving a ticket for a moving violation can be scarier than it sounds. The fines are often very high, and a conviction carries additional penalties for you. At the Law Offices of Glenn & West, LLC, our traffic defense and criminal defense lawyers in Litchfield and Nokomis can provide the sound legal advice you need, and give you the best chance of a successful outcome with your ticket. Call us today at (217) 324-7777, 217-563-7777 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with our skilled attorneys and to learn more about how we can help with your case.