If you don’t think traffic tickets are worth fighting, consider hiring an experienced Chicago criminal traffic lawyer for the following reasons. Pleading guilty means you will have to pay a fine and have points added to your driver’s license. Once you accumulate enough points on your license—or if you get 3 or more traffic tickets within a single year—your license will get suspended or revoked. Finally, any blemish to your driving record will result in an increase in insurance premiums.
For these reasons, you should consider retaining the services of a reputable Chicago traffic lawyer who can maximize your chances of avoiding the consequences of a traffic ticket. You may think it’s not worth it to appear in court and to contest your ticket, but you may have to appear anyways—regardless of your intention to contest or not. According to Illinois Supreme Court rule 551, any traffic violation involving a fine greater than $95 requires a court appearance.
Avoid a License Suspension by Fighting Your Traffic Ticket
Points on your license can add up quickly, so you should always fight your traffic tickets to avoid accumulating points. Once you reach 15 points on your license—the amount of points you accumulate for driving only 11 mph over the speed limit—you may face a license suspension of 2 months. Being unable to drive for this amount of time can seriously affect your ability to get to work or to socialize.
With a Chicago traffic ticket lawyer by your side, you may be able to avoid the inconvenience of a license suspension in such a case. If the police have evidence that you drove 11 or 12 mph over the speed limit, your lawyer can request that the citation be knocked down to driving only 10 mph over the speed limit, for which you will not face a license suspension. And depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to contest the police’s evidence of your speeding and avoid the fines and points altogether.
Hiring an Experienced Lawyer Will Maximize Your Chances of Success
Although it’s possible for you to fight your traffic ticket in court without a lawyer, having a trained legal advocate by your side can make a big difference. Attorneys such as Michael S. O’Meara possess the experience and legal knowledge to optimize your case outcome, while saving you the stress and time it would take to organize your evidence and present your case to the court on your own.
Your lawyer also knows that most claims that motorists make to avoid a traffic ticket simply will not work. Some common excuses that a court will never accept include:
- Claiming that you couldn’t judge your speed because of sun in your eyes
- Arguing that you weren’t technically speeding because you were keeping up with the flow of traffic
- Presenting evidence that your speedometer was broken
- Claiming that you did not see the speed limit, construction zone, or school zone sign
- Telling the judge that you shouldn’t be held responsible because you were lost or distracted at the time you were caught speeding or committing a moving violation
Instead, your lawyer can fight your speeding or moving violation citation by showing that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether you sped or broke the rules of the road. For example, in a speeding case where the police relied on a visual estimate of your speed, your lawyer stands a good chance at proving that you were not necessarily speeding. Even in cases where the police rely on radar equipment, your lawyer may be able to show that the equipment was faulty or used improperly.
You Can Avoid a Hike in Insurance Premiums by Requesting Court Supervision
As an Illinois driver, you may benefit from court supervision up to twice a year. Court supervision means that the traffic violation for which you were found guilty will not show up on your driving record, and thus be invisible to your insurance company. You will also avoid added points on your driver’s license. In exchange, you must not commit any additional moving violations and attend a driver’s education course.
To keep the traffic infraction off of your driver’s record, you will first need to obtain the court’s agreement. The court isn’t obligated to accept your request for court supervision—this is why it can help to have a lawyer convince the court that you deserve to be enrolled in the program. Once you pay for and attend the court-approved driver’s course, you will need to give the court proof that you successfully completed the course within the allotted time.
If you get a new moving violation during your court supervision period (generally 90 to 120 days), you will have your original moving violation conviction reinstated. This means that you will have to pay the fine, and the points will be added to your license. Your new moving violation will be considered as the second one within a one-year period, so just one more moving violation will result in an automatic driver’s license suspension.
Hiring a Chicago Criminal Traffic Lawyer Will Help You Contest Your Traffic Ticket
No matter the reason, having to appear in court can be a time consuming and stressful experience. But when you have a good attorney working on your case, you can rest at ease knowing that a professional is ensuring that you get the best outcome possible. When it comes to traffic tickets, the best outcome possible is to either obtain a verdict of not guilty or to qualify for court supervision on your moving violation.
At O’Meara Law LLC, we have a proven track record of helping our clients avoid the harsh consequences of their traffic citations. If you’re considering what course of action to take after receiving a citation from a police officer, we can help. Call us today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation of your case.