In most cases, a speeding ticket is essentially a costly nuisance — and a reminder to slow down. If, however, you receive a school zone speeding ticket, you could be facing significantly harsher consequences, including a criminal conviction and an exorbitant fine. To ensure that you understand the potential ramifications of the ticket you were issued, a Chicago traffic violations attorney explains what happens when a motorist receives a school zone speed limit ticket.
The Illinois Speeding in a School Zone Law
We all know it is a violation of the traffic laws to operate a vehicle at a rate of speed in excess of the posted speed limit. Within a school zone, however, the speed limit is lower (20 mph) and the penalties are higher for exceeding that speed limit. For purposes of the school zone speed limit law, a “school” applies to:
- A public or private primary or secondary school
- A primary or secondary school operated by a religious institution
- A public, private, or religious nursery school
Furthermore, a “school zone” typically refers to the area immediately surrounding the school as well as any public thoroughfare where children pass going to and from school. The law also requires that children be present and be “so close thereto that a potential hazard exists because of the close proximity of the motorized traffic.” As such, school zones only operate on school days which include Monday through Friday generally from 7 am to 4 pm.
How Much Is a Speeding Ticket in a School Zone?
Of course, what you undoubtedly want to know is how much does a school zone speeding ticket cost? School zone fines and penalties are governed by 625 ILCS 5/11-605 which makes speeding in a school zone a petty offense, punishable by a minimum fine of $150 for a first offense and a minimum fine of $300 for a second or subsequent offense. Note that the fine could be significantly more than the minimum required by law.
Speeding in a School Zone as a Criminal Offense
You could also be charged with a criminal offense for aggravated speeding in a school zone. If you are accused of exceeding the speed limit by 26 mph to 34 mph you may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. If you are accused of exceeding the speed limit by 35 mph or more you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
If convicted of a Class B misdemeanor, you face up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1500. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you face up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Speeding in a School Zone and Supervision
Unfortunately, a school zone speeding ticket is not eligible for supervision. Supervision is an alternative sentencing option that allows a defendant to avoid a conviction by completing a period of court supervision, similar to probation. Because a school zone speed limit ticket is ineligible for supervision, pleading guilty could result in points on your driving record, increased insurance rates, and even a criminal conviction on your permanent record.
Contact a Chicago Traffic Violations Lawyer Today
If you were stopped and ticketed for speeding in a school zone, it is imperative that you understand all the potential negative consequences should you be convicted or plead guilty. Moreover, you may have a viable defense that could prevent a conviction. Contact an experienced Chicago traffic violations lawyer at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today by calling (312) 644-0444 or by filling out our online contact form.
This blog is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on specific legal questions.