While many people do not take speeding offenses seriously, it is important to understand that some traffic offenses are actually crimes and not just traffic court violations. In Illinois, it is a Class A misdemeanor to travel 35 miles or more above the posted speed limit. When someone is charged with misdemeanor speeding, they do not simply pay a ticket and move on. They are facing criminal charges and must appear in criminal court to be tried for them. If the individual is convicted of misdemeanor speeding, they can be sentenced to up to a year in jail in addition to fines. Because a misdemeanor is a crime, being convicted of an offense like this results in the creation of a criminal record. Even if you do not have to serve jail time, this crime will show up when employers and others perform background checks, and it will result in much harsher penalties for any driving-related offenses that you are charged with moving forward. For this reason, it is important to consult with a defense attorney to determine what your options are for having the charges against you dismissed or reduced, or whether you can effectively defend against them to be found not guilty.
Misdemeanor Speeding in the Model Family
In our model family, high-school-aged son Mitchell has been spiraling out of control. While he used to be a straight-A student he is now throwing drug and alcohol-filled parties for his underaged friends. Recently, during one of these parties and while under the influence of alcohol (and possibly drugs), Mitchell took his girlfriend for a ride in his father’s sports car. He drove the vehicle over 100 mph before colliding with another car, totaling it and killing the driver. At the very least, Mitchell has committed a Class A misdemeanor by driving over 35 mph above the posted limit. Mitchell also potentially drove while intoxicated, drove recklessly, committed reckless homicide, and felony DUI, in addition to other possible charges as the prosecutor sees fit. It is unavoidable that Mitchell will have a criminal record as a result of this incident. His best option will likely be working with an attorney once the charges have been formally determined in order to see if a plea bargain can be negotiated that will reduce the overall number or severity of the charges or allow for lesser penalties given his age and previously good track record. It is hard to anticipate exactly what that deal might be before knowing what charges the prosecution will elect to bring. Although he is technically a minor, it is unlikely that this will remain in juvenile court. He will likely be charged as an adult and will have to stand trial in criminal court unless a plea agreement is reached which would allow him to avoid a trial.
Contact Glasgow & Olsson
If your child is in legal trouble, you do not have to navigate the process alone. Contact the experienced family law and criminal defense attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson in Schaumburg, IL to schedule a consultation today.