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Why It’s Worth it to Fight a Traffic Violation

Mockaitis Law Group LLC Nov. 15, 2023

When you're handed a traffic ticket, it can feel like your world is crashing down around you. The stress and worry that accompany this event are often overwhelming. But remember: you do have options, and one of those is to fight the traffic violation if you believe it was unjust or if there's a valid defense.  

In many cases, it's definitely worth it to challenge a traffic ticket, especially when the violation carries a hefty fine or will rack up points on your driving record. 

When you're ready to speak with a skilled traffic lawyer about your situation, contact me at Mockaitis Law Group LLC. From my Oswego office, I represent clients across Chicago's West Suburbs, including Kendall County, Kane County, DuPage County, Grundy County, and Dekalb County.  

Understanding the Point System in Illinois 

In the Prairie State, we operate under a point system for traffic violations. Every time you commit a traffic offense, points are added to your driver's license. The more serious the violation, the more points you receive.  

This might seem straightforward, but it's crucial to understand just how this system works. Points range from 5 to 55 based on the severity of the offense. If you rack up 15 or more points within a year, you could find yourself without a driving license. The length of license suspension depends on the number of points you've accumulated.  

Understanding the point system is not just important, it's vital to retaining your driving privileges. 

Possible Penalties for a Traffic Violation

Now let's talk about potential penalties for traffic violations in Illinois. The severity of the offense and the jurisdiction determine these penalties. Consider these examples: 

  • If you're caught speeding, fines can vary from a few dollars to several hundred, depending on how far over the speed limit you were going.  

  • If you run a red light or a stop sign, be prepared to pay a fine ranging from $100 to $300. 

  • More serious offenses like reckless driving can result in heavier fines, license suspension, or even jail time in some cases.  

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to fines of several thousand dollars, license suspension, and possibly jail time.  

  • If you're caught driving without a valid license or insurance, you could face fines of several hundred dollars and have your vehicle impounded.  

Knowing these potential penalties is crucial when deciding whether to fight the charges. It's always worth exploring your options, as fines and other penalties can have a significant impact on your finances, driving privileges, and even future employment opportunities. 

Why Fight a Traffic Violation?

Now that you understand the point system and potential penalties, let's discuss why it's worth your time and effort to fight a traffic violation. There are several reasons why it might be in your best interest to challenge the ticket: 

  • It can save you money: As we've already discussed, traffic violations often come with hefty fines. By fighting the ticket, you might be able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. This could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fines and fees. 

  • It can prevent points from accumulating on your license: Remember, collecting too many points can result in a suspended driver's license. By successfully challenging the traffic violation, you can avoid adding those points to your record, and thus keep your driving privileges intact. 

  • It can protect your insurance rates: Insurance companies often raise premiums for drivers who have a history of traffic violations. By fighting the ticket, you're potentially avoiding those higher rates, which can save you money in the long run. 

  • It can protect your reputation: Having a clean driving record is essential for many professions, especially if your job requires you to drive. By fighting a traffic violation, you're defending your reputation and ensuring that any background checks come back clean. 

Possible Defenses for Traffic Violations

If you choose to fight a traffic violation in Illinois, there are several defense strategies you can consider: 

  • Disputing the officer's account of the events: In some cases, an officer may have made a mistake in issuing the ticket or may not accurately remember what happened. This can be challenging to prove, but it's not impossible with the help of a skilled attorney.  

  • Disputing the evidence: Sometimes, the equipment used to measure your speed or capture an offense is faulty, resulting in an incorrect ticket. In these cases, disputing the evidence can lead to your ticket being dismissed. 

  • Challenging the legality of the traffic stop: In some cases, an officer may not have had probable cause to pull you over, which could make the entire traffic stop and subsequent ticket invalid. 

  • Arguing a mistake of fact, where you genuinely didn't believe you committed the offense you were cited for. For example, if you received a citation for running a stop sign, but the sign was obstructed or not visible, you could argue that you did not intentionally break the law. 

  • Arguing that your actions were justified, such as speeding to maintain a safe flow of traffic or swerving to avoid hazardous road conditions. This defense strategy requires evidence and strong arguments, but it can be effective in many cases.  

If you find yourself in this situation, it's important to consult with an experienced traffic violations attorney who can evaluate your case and determine the most effective defense strategy. 

Get the Support You Deserve

Fighting a traffic violation may not be easy, but with the right support and resources, it can be worth it. Remember, understanding your rights and options is crucial in determining whether to fight a ticket.  

As a criminal defense attorney who's successfully advocated for countless drivers throughout Chicago's West Suburbs, I'm here to tell you that it's absolutely worth it to fight a traffic violation when you believe it was unjust or have a valid defense. Don't let a simple mistake or misunderstanding ruin your driving record. Stand up for your rights and fight the charge. Contact my office in Oswego, Illinois, to start building your best defense.