Some Cook County Traffic Cases May Not Be PursuedPublished: Jul 21, 2017, by in Legal Blog, Traffic
Not all traffic offenses are created equal. Some are serious and put other peoples’ lives in genuine danger. If you are ticketed or arrested for one of these types of traffic offenses, you can expect prosecutors to move forward with charges against you. However, other types of traffic offenses are less significant. They may technically be against the law, but they do not increase the level of danger on the roads. It is these minor traffic offenses that the Cook County state’s attorney’s office has stated they will stop prosecuting.
If you have been charged with a traffic offense, contact a Chicago traffic lawyer from O’Meara Law LLC. We know how busy prosecutors are and may be able to use that fact and other evidence to fight the charges against you to be dropped. Call 312-909-0706 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Cook County to Reduce Prosecution of Certain Traffic Offenses
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office stated it will not move forward with prosecuting you if you were charged with driving without a license when the license was suspended or revoked due to financial reasons, like unpaid parking tickets, tolls, or child support. This new policy, which will go into effect later this year, also creates a higher standard for when prosecutors will raise the charge for causing a car accident while on a revoked license for financial reasons from a misdemeanor to a felony. Soon prosecutors will only charge you with a felony in this situation if you have five or more previous convictions for driving on a revoked or suspended license.
Bear in mind: If your license was revoked or suspended for a non-financial matter, such as a drunk driving or violent offense, then prosecutors will move forward with charges against you. There will be no leniency unless the reason for the loss of your license was purely financial.
The Reason Behind the New Policy
It is no secret the reason behind the new policy is that the state’s attorney’s office has fewer resources and personnel than it used to. There are simply not enough prosecutors to focus on pursuing minor and non-violent traffic offenses. While it is recommended assistant state’s attorneys handling misdemeanor cases have about 400 cases each, Cook County prosecutors handling misdemeanors have 5,700 cases. By not prosecuting individuals found to be driving on a suspended or revoked license based on a financial issue, county prosecutors could free up numerous prosecutors and two entire courtrooms at the Daley Center.
Cities Can Pursue Charges
While Cook County is cutting back on prosecuting minor cases that does not mean you can assume you will never face charges for driving on a revoked or suspended license for financial reasons. Cities will have the power to prosecute these traffic offenses if they have the means and desire to do so.
Contact Our Chicago Traffic Lawyers for Help
If you were ticketed or arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked license or for another minor traffic offense, contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers at O’Meara Law LLC right away. We will do everything in our power to help you get through this tough situation, whether that is fight for the charges to be dropped or to prove your innocence in court.
Call us today at 312-909-0706 to schedule a consultation.