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What Is a Moving Violation in Illinois?

 Posted on August 13, 2019 in Criminal Defense

Joliet traffic violations attorneyEvery motorist is responsible for driving safely and following the rules of the road. Statistics show that almost all U.S. drivers have been or will be pulled over by law enforcement at least once in their lifetime for a traffic violation. The fact that these violations are fairly common should not mean they should be taken lightly. Any act that breaks the law is serious, and a moving violation has the potential to cause other drivers or pedestrians harm.

Moving Versus Non-Moving Violations

It is important for all drivers to understand the difference between a non-moving and a moving violation. A non-moving violation is just like it sounds; the offense committed was at a time when the vehicle was stopped or parked. If a car is in motion when the driver commits a traffic violation, that is considered a moving violation. 

Examples of non-moving violations include parking in a handicap space without proper license plates or signage; stopping in a no-stop zone, or having an expired vehicle registration or license. Under Illinois law, many traffic offenses are considered moving violations, which carry stiffer penalties compared to non-moving traffic violations. Moving violations include but are not limited to:

  • Speeding;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Drag racing;
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Following too closely;
  • Failure to use turn signal when turning;
  • Disobeying traffic signs or lights; and
  • Texting while driving.

Another difference between a moving violation and a non-moving violation is the manner in which they are treated by the Department of Licensing (DOL) and the court system. A moving violation ticket is reported to the DOL, but a non-moving violation is not. 

Penalties for Illinois Traffic Violations

According to the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles, if a motorist is convicted of a moving violation (pays the fine for the ticket), then points will be added to his or her driver’s license. If a driver receives so many points on his or her driver’s license in a short amount of time, then an individual’s driving privileges can be suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State.

A motorist has three ways in which he or she can respond to a traffic ticket:

  • Pay the fine;
  • Request a mitigation hearing; or
  • Request a contested hearing.

If a driver pays his or her Illinois traffic ticket, it is an admission of guilt. Requesting a mitigation hearing can potentially result in the original ticket fine being reduced, or a monthly payment plan, or community service. Only a small percentage of drivers contest their hearings or plead “not guilty" to the violation through the court.

A person’s driver’s license can also be suspended if he or she is convicted of three moving violations within a year. For those drivers under 21, their license can be suspended after two convictions. No matter which plea a defendant chooses, it must be entered before the ticket’s due date. In the majority of cases, this will be approximately 15 days from the infraction date. The first two options are guilty pleas, but requesting a contested hearing is another way of pleading not guilty.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

There are many actions that could potentially lead to a traffic violation on Illinois roads. If the vehicle was in motion when a traffic law was violated, that is classified as a moving violation and it carries harsher penalties than a non-moving violation. If you or someone you know is facing traffic-related charges, you need legal representation to make sure your rights are not violated. A knowledgeable Will County traffic violation defense lawyer at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC will review the details of your case in order to build a strong defense. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 815-727-0100.





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