Illinois DMV Point System
The Secretary of State (SOS) office assigns penalty points in Illinois for a wide range of traffic violations. Per the rules of the state point system, more serious offenses lead to the accumulation of a larger number of IL demerit points on the driver’s record. Also, the traffic violation penalties for certain offenses may also include immediate license suspensions, jail sentences and/or community service sentences. Depending on your circumstances, you may be allowed to complete a defensive driving course in IL for purposes of ticket dismissal. Learn more about the SOS driver point system and learn how to fight a traffic ticket in Illinois by reading the following sections:
- Moving violations and points in Illinois
- Penalties in Illinois
- How to fix a driving record in Illinois
- Disputing a moving violation charge in Illinois
Moving Violations and Points in Illinois
Drivers are generally assessed moving violation points in Illinois whenever they violate the state motor vehicle laws. Note that the state SOS does not report demerit points for all types of offenses. Also, the number of driving points you accumulate for a certain offense varies based on the seriousness of the infraction. Several violations punished under the IL demerit point system and their corresponding point penalties are outlined in the following list:
- Driving below the minimum speed limit: 5 points.
- Speeding 1 to 10 mph above the limit: 5 speeding ticket points.
- Negligent driving: 10 points.
- Failure to use a stop or a turn signal: 15 points.
- Failure to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian: 20 points.
Note: The amount of accumulated demerit points for speeding varies based on how fast the driver was traveling over the posted limit.
Certain, more serious, offenses are not sanctioned with driver violation points in IL, since the state SOS issues administrative driving license suspensions or revocations in such cases. For instance, instead of assigning DUI points for a conviction for driving under the influence, the SOS will immediately suspend your driving privileges.
Penalties in Illinois
The Illinois traffic violation penalties issued when a conviction is reported on your driving transcript generally vary based on the type and severity of the committed violation. In addition to the traffic ticket penalty administered by the state SOS, the court that convicts you will also sentence you appropriately. Per the rules of the IL point system, drivers who commit three or more offenses within a 12-month period are penalized with an administrative suspension or revocation of their licenses. The court will, however, mandate you to pay a specific traffic ticket fine upon each conviction. If you commit a serious offense, the resulting DUI penalties or reckless driving penalties may also include jail time in addition to the steep fines. Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence, for instance, are subject to drunk driving penalties in IL that may include any of the following:
- A driving license revocation.
- A jail sentence.
- A mandatory enrollment in a drug and/or alcohol program.
- A community service sentence.
How to Fix a Driving Record in Illinois
The option to reduce license points in Illinois by completing a driving safety course is not currently available to drivers within the state. The SOS removes infraction points in IL after a certain time period. However, even if you may not be able to clean your driving record by completing a defensive driving course, you may still be able to avoid a conviction on your record by enrolling in one. Certain courts, for example, allow you to complete a classroom or an online driving school program in order to prevent the addition of a conviction on your record. You will not accumulate the subsequent IL demerit points in such cases.
Note: Avoiding the accumulation of driver violation points by completing an IL driver improvement course is an option that is only available a select number of times within a specific time period.
Disputing a Moving Violation Charge in Illinois
To initiate the process of contesting a speeding ticket in Illinois or another type of citation, drivers must first submit a plea of “not guilty” to the court that is processing their ticket and request a trial date. You may be able to inform the court of your decision to fight a traffic ticket in IL via various methods, which vary based on the practices of the presiding court. Note that, if you are appealing a traffic ticket issued as a result of a misdemeanor offense, you will be required to make a mandatory court appearance.
To successfully contest traffic tickets in IL, drivers must prepare a thorough traffic ticket defense, bring in witnesses that can support their case and present any relevant evidence. Also, you can hire a traffic ticket lawyer who will represent you in court. If you are found guilty, the conviction will be reported on your driving record. The resulting traffic violation penalties will also be more costly than just paying the original fine. Depending on the severity of the charges, you may also be subject to other penalties. For instance, DUI penalties in Illinois may include a jail sentence, in addition to the fine associated with the ticket.