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New speeding ticket laws in Illinois. Solving a problem that doesn't exist.

Posted by Jeffrey A. Fagan | Jul 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Beginning July 1st, new laws go into effect that may affect drivers, especially those of us who, on occasion, exceed the speed limit here in Illinois.

From now on, anyone caught speeding 25 miles per hour over the speed limit in an urban area and anyone caught speeding 30 miles per hour over the speed limit in rural areas (e.g. highways) now face the very real prospect of a conviction because supervision is no longer an available disposition.

Court supervision in Illinois is a finding of guilt without a conviction.  Until recently, supervision was an option utilized frequently by experienced Illinois traffic ticket lawyers to prevent convictions, which could lead to a loss of driving privileges in the form a revoked or suspended driver's license and a hefty increase in insurance premiums.

This new law, dubbed "Julie's Law", is an example of the Illinois legislature trying to fix problems by over-criminalizing violations.  The real problem here is that the new law has nearly nothing to do with the tragedy that inspired it.

On June 10 of 2012, two young women were driving in Orland Park, Illinois.  When the driver attempted to make a turn, the car they were in was hit by someone allegedly driving 76 mph in a 40 mph zone.  Julie Gorczynski, one of the women in the vehicle that was hit, died from her injuries.  The individual who struck the vehicle was sentenced to 180 days in prison.  Naturally, politicians seeking to be viewed as responding to this awful accident, wrote a law that removed the possibility of supervision for people driving 25 over the limit in urban areas (like where the accident occurred) and 30 over in rural areas.  What you might notice is that neither speed has anything to do with the tragedy that inspired this new law.  No study was done to determine if Julie Gorczynski would have survived an impact at 25 miles per hour over the limit.  Or 20.  Or 10.

In other words, there is no evidence that Julie Gorczynski would have survived an impact if the vehicle she was in was struck by a car driving 24 miles per hour over the limit (64 mph in a 40 mph zone).  The legislature seldom refrains from quickly reacting to tragedy in a way that ensure the average voter believes their elected officials care, even if it means failing to make any difference in possible outcomes.

What is important is that you understand that if you face an Illinois speeding ticket that this law affects, you need representation in order to protect your best interests.  There are many strategies a competent, experienced attorney can employ to ensure you get the best possible result.

If you face a speeding ticket in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, contact the Illinois traffic ticket defense lawyers at Fagan Fagan and Davis so we can help defend your case.

About the Author

Jeffrey A. Fagan

Jeff graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management.  He earned his law degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago Illinois.   Jeff left college before completing his undergraduate degree, spending 11 years in the restaurant business, working his way from bar back to General Manager and becoming the youngest General Manager in that restaurant company's history.  Jeff specialized in turning around restaurants with problems, making them run more efficiently, improving the customer experience, and earning them record profits. Jeff's life changed when he was selected to serve on a Special Grand Jury for 30 days, an experience that few people have enjoyed.  His experience on the Special Grand Jury inspired him to return to college to complete his undergraduate degree with an eye towards attending law school.  Jeff turned down a job offer to become a district manager for a major coffee company and oversee their growth throughout the Midwest to return to school.  After graduating from Columbia, Jeff spent three years working for a Fortune 500 technology company where he was a founding member of their Healthcare division.  Upon gaining acceptance to law school, Jeff left his lucrative career in sales to pursue his passion for the law.  While attending law school, Jeff won two CALI “Excellence for the Future” awards for earning the top grade in Federal Criminal Law and Real Estate Transactions. Jeff is devoted to serving his client's needs.  He brings his years of real world experience to the firm and believes in treating the client the way he would want to be treated.  Jeff is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  One of the things that differentiates him from other attorneys is his desire to ensure that every client understands their case, the underlying law, and the possible outcomes.  Jeff also plays guitar, drums, and trumpet, loves dogs, and lifts weights at least three times a week.

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