Beware of Traffic Tickets Issued to Truck Drivers in Illinois.

It used to be simple when dealing with traffic tickets that were issued to commercial drivers. We would simply tell the driver to plead NOT GUILTY and then “negotiate” a plea arrangement where the driver would be placed on “court supervision” for 30 or 60 days. If the driver successfully completed his “court supervision” without obtaining any additional tickets or convictions, the traffic ticket would not appear on his record. There would be no record of a conviction and no reporting to the Secretary of State. As a result, when the driver’s MVR is examined, there is no record of the ticket or the accident.

Illinois, and other states, have recently amended their laws to close this loophole and make sure that the plea arrangement and “conviction with court supervision” appears on the driver’s record. This not only has the consequence of a traffic conviction on the MVR, it can also operate to disqualify the driver if he has additional tickets. In Illinois, if a commercial driver is convicted of two “serious traffic violations” within a three year period, he is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of two months. Under Illinois law, a “serious traffic violation” can include “improper lane change”, “following too closely”, or driving in excess of 15 m.p.h. over the speed limit. Also, keep in mind, that if the driver obtains a ticket in his personal auto, it counts if it is a “serious traffic violation.”

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