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.