Anyone who entered courtroom 402 at The Daley Center today was left wondering, what is going on in here? There was literally a line to get in the door. The main issue: Aggravated Speeding Charges. Because of recent legislation the State's Attorney's Office no longer offers supervision on a speeding ticket that is greater than 40 MPH over the legal limit, even for a first offender. A conviction for this type of speeding ticket will not only be a conviction for a Class A Misdemeanor but will also lead to a suspension of this person's driving privileges. It is extremely rare for the State to offer to reduce the charge below the 40 MPH even in cases where the allegation is that the speed was exactly 40 MPH over the legal limit. It is causing an immense problem of backlog in the court system.
If someone is charged with going 30-39 MPH over the posted speed limit, they are facing a Class B misdemeanor but are at least still eligible for supervision which will protect their license from being suspended.
So the judges, the state's attorney's, public defenders, and private attorneys are stuck in a system with very few options for people charged with Aggravated Speeding even if they have never been pulled over or arrested before.
People v. D.C.
Defendant was placed under arrest after a one car accident with no injuries. He was charged with DUI (a2), operating an uninsured vehicle, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to display/carry a license/permit, and consumption of liquor by a minor. After a bench trial, Defendant was found not guilty on all counts after defense counsel cross examined two witnesses. The State Trooper admitted that Defendant's speech was not slurred, he had no issues with his balance, no difficulty walking, never admitted to drinking, AND the Trooper never saw the Defendant driving. An EMT contradicted the Trooper's testimony but there was still not enough evidence to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.