Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses in Illinois: Speeding, driving 26-34 miles per hour or more, 35 miles per hour or more

Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses in Illinois can be punishable by a fine, a jail sentence or both. Persons charged with such offenses should consult an attorney immediately.

The most commonly prosecuted misdemeanor traffic offenses include the following:

  • driving under the influence (DUI)
  • driving on a suspended or revoked license
  • speeding 35 mph or more in excess of the limit
  • speeding 26 mph or more in excess of the limit
  • drag racing
  • reckless driving
  • leaving the scene of a property damage accident
  • fleeing or attempting to elude the police
  • driving a commercial vehicle while license is suspended, revoked, or driver has been placed out of service

The initial court date for a traffic violation classified as misdemeanor is an arraignment date. This is not a trial date. Persons charged with a misdemeanor should appear in court with an attorney.

Every person receiving a traffic ticket is entitled to receive a copy of the charge in writing.

The ticket must contain the following information:

  • name of the accused;
  • nature of the charge;
  • statute or ordinance alleged to be violated; and
  • date, time and location of the alleged violation.

Other information on the ticket is statistical in nature and not required to properly charge a violation. When there is a defect in a ticket, in most instances any objection to this defect must be made before a trial occurs.

§ 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5. Driving 26 miles per hour or more in excess of applicable limit.

Sec. 11-601.5. Driving 26 miles per hour or more in excess of applicable limit. (a) A person who drives a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed that is 26 miles per hour or more but less than 35 miles per hour in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit established under this Chapter or a local ordinance commits a Class B misdemeanor.

(b) A person who drives a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed that is 35 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit established under this Chapter or a local ordinance commits a Class A misdemeanor.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENTS.

  • The 2010 amendment by P.A. 96-1002, effective January 1, 2011, substituted “30 miles” for “40 miles” in the section heading; added (a); and added the (b) designation.
  • The 2011 amendment by P.A. 96-1507, effective January 27, 2011, in the section heading and in (a), substituted “31 miles” for “30 miles”.
  • The 2013 amendment by P.A. 98-511, effective January 1, 2014, substituted “26 miles” for “31 miles” in the section heading and in (a); and substituted “35 miles” for “40 miles” in (a) and (b).

The maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year incarceration as well as a fine of $2500.

(730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55)
Sec. 5-4.5-55. CLASS A MISDEMEANORS; SENTENCE. For a Class A misdemeanor:
(a) TERM. The sentence of imprisonment shall be a determinate sentence of less than one year.
(b) PERIODIC IMPRISONMENT. A sentence of periodic imprisonment shall be for a definite term of less than one year, except as otherwise provided in Section 5-5-3 or 5-7-1 (730 ILCS 5/5-5-3 or 5/5-7-1).
(c) IMPACT INCARCERATION. See Section 5-8-1.2 (730 ILCS 5/5-8-1.2) concerning eligibility for the county impact incarceration program.
(d) PROBATION; CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE. Except as provided in Section 5-5-3 or 5-6-2 (730 ILCS 5/5-5-3 or 5/5-6-2), the period of probation or conditional discharge shall not exceed 2 years. The court shall specify the conditions of probation or conditional discharge as set forth in Section 5-6-3 (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3).
(e) FINE. A fine not to exceed $2,500 for each offense or the amount specified in the offense, whichever is greater, may be imposed. A fine may be imposed in addition to a sentence of conditional discharge, probation, periodic imprisonment, or imprisonment. See Article 9 of Chapter V (730 ILCS 5/Ch. V, Art. 9) for imposition of additional amounts and determination of amounts and payment.
(f) RESTITUTION. See Section 5-5-6 (730 ILCS 5/5-5-6) concerning restitution.
(g) CONCURRENT OR CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE. The sentence shall be concurrent or consecutive as provided in Section 5-8-4 (730 ILCS 5/5-8-4).
(h) DRUG COURT. See Section 20 of the Drug Court Treatment Act (730 ILCS 166/20) concerning eligibility for a drug court program.
(i) CREDIT FOR HOME DETENTION. See Section 5-4.5-100 (730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-100) concerning credit for time spent in home detention prior to judgment.
(j) GOOD BEHAVIOR ALLOWANCE. See the County Jail Good Behavior Allowance Act (730 ILCS 130/) for rules and regulations for good behavior allowance.
(k) ELECTRONIC HOME DETENTION. See Section 5-8A-3 (730 ILCS 5/5-8A-3) concerning eligibility for electronic home detention.
(Source: P.A. 97-697, eff. 6-22-12.)

A Class B misdemeanor by comparison, basically has a punishment with half the severity of a Class A misdemeanor. This type of offense has a maximum penalty of 180 days incarceration in the county jail, with a maximum fine of $1500. (730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-60)

(730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-60)
Sec. 5-4.5-60. CLASS B MISDEMEANORS; SENTENCE. For a Class B misdemeanor:
(a) TERM. The sentence of imprisonment shall be a determinate sentence of not more than 6 months.
(b) PERIODIC IMPRISONMENT. A sentence of periodic imprisonment shall be for a definite term of up to 6 months or as otherwise provided in Section 5-7-1 (730 ILCS 5/5-7-1).
(c) IMPACT INCARCERATION. See Section 5-8-1.2 (730 ILCS 5/5-8-1.2) concerning eligibility for the county impact incarceration program.
(d) PROBATION; CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE. Except as provided in Section 5-6-2 (730 ILCS 5/5-6-2), the period of probation or conditional discharge shall not exceed 2 years. The court shall specify the conditions of probation or conditional discharge as set forth in Section 5-6-3 (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3).
(e) FINE. A fine not to exceed $1,500 for each offense or the amount specified in the offense, whichever is greater, may be imposed. A fine may be imposed in addition to a sentence of conditional discharge, probation, periodic imprisonment, or imprisonment. See Article 9 of Chapter V (730 ILCS 5/Ch. V, Art. 9) for imposition of additional amounts and determination of amounts and payment.
(f) RESTITUTION. See Section 5-5-6 (730 ILCS 5/5-5-6) concerning restitution.
(g) CONCURRENT OR CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE. The sentence shall be concurrent or consecutive as provided in Section 5-8-4 (730 ILCS 5/5-8-4).
(h) DRUG COURT. See Section 20 of the Drug Court Treatment Act (730 ILCS 166/20) concerning eligibility for a drug court program.
(i) CREDIT FOR HOME DETENTION. See Section 5-4.5-100 (730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-100) concerning credit for time spent in home detention prior to judgment.
(j) GOOD BEHAVIOR ALLOWANCE. See the County Jail Good Behavior Allowance Act (730 ILCS 130/) for rules and regulations for good behavior allowance.
(k) ELECTRONIC HOME DETENTION. See Section 5-8A-3 (730 ILCS 5/5-8A-3) concerning eligibility for electronic home detention.
(Source: P.A. 97-697, eff. 6-22-12.)

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Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:

Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by changing Sections 1-187.001, 11-601, 11-601.5, 11-602, and 11-603 as follows:

(625 ILCS 5/1-187.001)

Sec. 1-187.001. Serious traffic violation.

(a) A conviction when operating a motor vehicle for:

(1) a violation of subsection (a) of Section 11-402, relating to a motor vehicle accident involving damage to a vehicle;

(2) a violation of Section 11-403, relating to failure to stop and exchange information after a motor vehicle collision, property damage only;

(3) a violation of subsection (a) of Section 11-502, relating to illegal transportation, possession, or carrying of alcoholic liquor within the passenger area of any vehicle;

(4) a violation of Section 6-101 relating to operating a motor vehicle without a valid license or permit;

(5) a violation of Section 11-403, relating to failure to stop and exchange information or give aid after a motor vehicle collision involving personal injury or death;

(6) a violation relating to excessive speeding, involving a single speeding charge of [A> 26 30 , unless some other speed limit is designated, (d-1) Unless some other speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit outside an urban district for any vehicle is (1) 70 miles per hour on any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code; (2) 65 miles per hour for all or part of highways that are designated by the Department, have at least 4 lanes of traffic, and have a separation between the roadways moving in opposite directions; and (3) 55 miles per hour for all other highways, roads, and streets. The counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair, and Will may adopt ordinances setting a maximum speed limit on highways, roads, and streets that is lower than the limits established by this Section. and 1.5. 70 miles per hour upon any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code outside the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will; and 26 31 26 31 35 40 35 40 conform with the maximum speed limit restrictions provided for in Section 11-601 of this Code not exceed 65 miles per hour on a highway or street which is especially designed for through traffic and to, from, or over which owners of or persons having an interest in abutting property or other persons have no right or easement, or only a limited right or easement, of access, crossing, light, air, or view, and shall not exceed 55 miles per hour on any other highway and the speed limit shall conform with the maximum speed limit restrictions provided for in Section 11-601 of this Code not exceeding 65 miles per hour

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