Illinois Speeding Ticket

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If you get a speeding ticket in Illinois, you can either plead guilty and pay the fine, appear in court for a trial, or request “court supervision” to remove the conviction by completing a traffic school course. 
The penalty for a citation varies from a minor fine and points on your license to possible license suspension depending on where and how fast you were speeding. Each state has different options for how you can deal with a ticket, so it’s important to know how they work where you live.
Here, the car insurance broker and comparison app Jerry breaks down what you should know about receiving, fighting, or accepting a ticket in Illinois—from estimated costs to standard traffic court procedures.
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What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Illinois? 

When you get pulled over for speeding in Illinois, the officer will ask for your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Though they may let you off with a warning, you will most likely receive a ticket or “complaint.”
You will be asked to sign the back of the ticket to acknowledge receipt of the citation and confirm that you will either pay the fine or appear in court by the disclosed date. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt—you will still have the opportunity to fight the conviction if you so choose. 

What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Illinois? 

As of July 1, 2019, a new law affecting Illinois Vehicle Codes increased fines for most minor traffic violations to a minimum of $164. These fines are additionally subject to court fees and miscellaneous fees—like mandatory donations or traffic school—that can add up quickly. 
That said, the exact total depends greatly on where the ticket was issued and how much you were speeding. Your fines are also going to be much higher if you’re caught speeding in a construction or school zone.
Ultimately, the judge decides the fine for each specific case, but here are some estimated costs for speeding in Illinois:
Speeding over 26 mph in Illinois constitutes an aggravated speeding ticket, which is a major traffic offense and results in higher fines and a criminal record if convicted. 
Key Takeaway Minor traffic violations cost a minimum of $164 in Illinois with additional court fees. 

Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Illinois 

If you receive a speeding ticket in Illinois you have three options: 
  • Plead guilty and pay the fine 
  • Plead guilty and request court supervision 
  • Plead not guilty and request a trial 
Depending on the severity of the traffic offense, you may be required to stand trial. Check your citation to see what options are specifically available to you. 

How to pay a speeding ticket in Illinois 

The easiest way to handle a speeding ticket is to pay the fine. Note that this will be registered as a guilty plea and the points and conviction will go on your record
Payment methods will depend on the court and municipality handling your case. Usually, you can pay in person, online, by mail, by dropbox, or through a call center.
Failure to pay your citation by the court date listed can result in license suspension and/or higher fines. If you have any issues with payment or payment methods, you should contact your court immediately. 

How to fight a speeding ticket in Illinois 

In Illinois, you’ll need to appear in court if you believe your ticket was unfair or want to keep points and violations off your record. There, you’ll have two options: request a trial to plead your innocence or request to take traffic school to dismiss your case. 
Tip Speeding tickets vary by county in Illinois, so directions to plead either way are not always uniform. You’ll want to look at the back of your citation to confirm what your next steps should be.

Plead not guilty in court 

No matter what county your court is in, you’ll need to notify them of your plea. Typically, this will require doing one of the following: 
  • Head to the court on or prior to your court date—hand in your signed plea in person and receive a trial date
  • Mail in your signed plea on or prior to your court date and receive a trial date in the mail
If you mailed in your plea and have not yet received a trial date by your court date, contact your court to ensure one has been set. Failure to appear in court can result in an automatic judgment against you, so you’ll want to make sure the court is aware of your plea. 
During your trial, you can present a brief argument of your innocence and relevant evidence to the presiding judge. The judge will then determine to either dismiss or charge you with the violation—but you will need to pay court fines either way. 
If you choose to, a traffic attorney can attend court on your behalf. You will need to notify the court clerk of this prior to your trial. Illinois does not provide a court-appointed traffic attorney, so you’ll need to find and pay for one on your own.

Plead guilty and request court supervision

If this is your first speeding ticket within the last 12 months, you have the option to request that the court place you under supervision. Doing so offers a chance to dismiss the charge upon your completion of an approved traffic school course by a certain date—usually around three months from the citation date. 
Here’s what you should know: 
  • Requesting court supervision counts as a guilty plea and waives your right to a trial
  • You are still required to pay the appropriate fines to the court 
  • Should you receive any other traffic violations or fail to pay your fines, your guilty plea will turn into a conviction 
Each court handles requests for supervision differently. Contact your individual court for specific instructions. 

What if you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket? 

If you can’t afford to pay your fines, some courts allow you to request an appointment with a Payment Hearing Officer to determine alternative payment methods—like community service or a payment plan. 
The state has also recently introduced a waiver program, in which individuals who make up to 400% of the federal poverty level can apply for reduced fines. You will need to complete a waiver application and provide information regarding your income and assets. 
Failure to pay your ticket fines by your court date can lead to license suspension and a reinstatement fee. To avoid this, be sure to settle payment concerns with your court ahead of time. 
Key Takeaway To dismiss or reduce fines and penalties for a speeding ticket in Illinois, you can plead not guilty and request a court trial or plead guilty and request court supervision. Both options are subject to the court’s decision. 

Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance? 

Unfortunately, speeding tickets can have a significant impact on insurance rates. If you’re found guilty of speeding up to 15 mph over the posted limit, your premiums can increase by as much as 21%. Speeding over that amount can raise rates by 29%
Getting a ticket does not mean affordable insurance isn’t possible, though. The car insurance super app Jerry can help!
Jerry cross-analyzes quotes from 50+ top insurance companies to find the best deals. Once you pick a new policy, Jerry handles the paperwork to finalize it and helps cancel your old one. 
The average user saves $887 per year on their car insurance! 
“My past tickets were making it hard to find affordable insurance. With Jerry, I went from paying $450/month to $273/month. They took care of everything—such a relief!” —Josephine R.
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FAQs

While you likely won’t lose your license from speeding in Illinois, you will have your license suspended if you receive three violations within 12 months. The more points you acquired from these violations, the longer your suspension—usually it ranges from 1 month to a year. 
If you’re under 21, you can only receive two or more violations within 24 months before your license is suspended.
If you believe your ticket was unfair and have proof to confirm your innocence—fighting the ticket is in your best interest. You can additionally try to lower your penalty in court if you feel that you were speeding less than what you were charged for. 
You will need to be able to argue your case, though. If you’re lacking evidence or an explanation, you may be better off just paying the fine.

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