History of Aggravated Misdemeanor Speeding in Illinois

The Illinois state legislature criminalized the offense of Speeding in the year 2000.  At that time, pursuant to Public Act 91-469, 625 ILCS 11-601.5 made speeding a class A misdemeanor offense if the speed was 40 mph over the posted speed limit.  Prior to 2000, no matter what the speed, speeding was a non-criminal (petty) offense that could be punished by fine only.  With the enactment of 625 ILCS 11-501.5 an individual could now be sentenced up to 364 days in jail if caught speeding 40 mph over the limit.  However, a person charged under this provision was eligible for supervision.

Since that time, the Illinois Legislature has made numerous amendments to the 601.5 statute.  In 2011, a class B misdemeanor (punishable up to 180 days) was created if a person was caught speeding 31-39 mph over the limit.  However, a person charged with the class B provision was eligible for supervision.  The 2011 amendment eliminated the possibility of supervision for a person charged with a class A misdemeanor.  In 2013, the 601.5 statute was again amended making an individual ineligible for supervision for both class A and B misdemeanors.  In 2014, amendments went into effect changing the Class B provision to 26-34 mph over the posted limit and 35 mph and above for the Class A provision.  Individuals were still ineligible for supervision for a class A and B misdemeanor speeding.

In 2015, Governor Rauner signed House Bill 1453, which goes into effect on January 1, 2016, that makes a person eligible for supervision for aggravated misdemeanor speeding for both class A and B provisions.  However, supervision will only be available to persons that do NOT have a prior aggravated misdemeanor speeding charge or similar provision in another state.

What to do if charged with Aggravated Misdemeanor Speeding

It is advisable to contact an attorney if charged with this aggravated misdemeanor speeding.  Even if supervision is obtained, it is still a finding of guilty on a criminal offense and may be visible on one’s criminal record.  Such a criminal background may have a negative impact on one’s ability to obtain employment.  Also, especially for out-of-state drivers, a person may experience insurance rate increases as a result of a finding of guilty on the charge of aggravated speeding. 

If an individual has an extensive traffic history, even for petty moving violations, it is highly recommended that legal counsel be retained.  Even if a person is eligible for supervision, a prosecutor may not offer, and/or a judge may not accept, a sentence of supervision.    

If an individual has a prior Aggravated Speeding finding of guilty, it is then a no-brainer.  That person is not eligible for supervision and an experienced trial attorney is essential.  An experienced traffic attorney will be able to assess the charge, review your traffic background (driving abstract) and, if not able to obtain a dismissal or finding of not-guilty, negotiate for a disposition with far less serious consequences than a conviction for aggravated misdemeanor speeding.