Aggravated Speeding – Illinois’ Newest Criminal Offense

“Aggravated speeding” is a relatively new criminal offense in Illinois. It is classified as a class B misdemeanor if the speed is between 26 – 35 mph in excess of the posted speed limit and classified as a class A misdemeanor if the speed exceeds 35 mph over the posted limit. Both are
offenses potentially punishable by a jail sentence.

Most Illinois misdemeanor offenses, including DUI and reckless driving, are eligible for a diversion program known as “court supervision”. Court supervision is the preferred sentencing option, if available, as it allows for a deferred dismissal of the charge. No conviction enters for
the misdemeanor offense as long as the period of supervision is completed successfully.

No such option exists for someone charged with an aggravated speeding offense. A first time DUI offender can, and usually does, receive court supervision; thereby avoiding a criminal conviction. A person charged with aggravated speeding is not eligible for the same luxury. Arguably, aggravated speeding is a more serious misdemeanor offense than DUI because the law mandates the imposition of an actual conviction that will remain on a person’s driving and criminal history forever.

This disparity in the law takes most people by surprise. Many people ticketed for aggravated speeding initially appear in court without the benefit of an attorney wrongfully assuming the matter will be handled like any other petty offense moving violation. In Joliet, Will County, the judge will typically strongly admonish the person to seek the services of a skilled lawyer due to the potential consequences.

Only an attorney who regularly practices in Will County will have the knowledge of how to navigate the local criminal justice system to best increase a persons chances of avoiding the mandatory criminal conviction required by an aggravated speeding charge.