Monday, September 4, 2017
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Is Aggravated Speeding doomed to be the new Illinois DUI?
Many shake their heads in disbelief. It might seem bizarre, but in Illinois Aggravated Speeding is a crime.
What's more, while Illinois criminal penalties begin with Class C misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, Aggravated Speeding races right by that mark. At speeds as low as 26 MPH over the limit (so 81 miles per hour on the average Chicago area highway), motorists face a Class B misdemeanor offense. That's up to 180 days in jail and up to $1500 in fines plus court costs. Then at 35 miles per hour over the limit or more, Class A misdemeanor penalties apply, for up to 364 days in jail and up to $2500 in fines plus costs.
Just like a DUI.
Supervision may be available, but only in a non-urban district (what that means is as clear as mud under the statute), but it's only available for the offense of Aggravated Speeding one time, lifetime.
Just like a DUI.
"But wait!", you say "it's just driving! No one even got hurt!" And you'd be right. This is an offense more about what could happen as a result of the defendant's behavior than it is about what did actually happen.
Just like DUI.
Here's the question, and I'm curious as to your thoughts, so please comment below:
In the '80s and earlier, a DUI on your record was certainly not desirable. But it typically didn't cost your job or relationships (sometimes, but not always). It typically didn't have a social stigma. It typically was a glorified traffic violation that meant maybe you needed to dial back the drinking a bit and get your house in order. Sure, penalties existed and they were serious even then. But DUI since that time moving forward wears more like a scarlet letter of shame for some, with far ranging consequences that are sometimes totally unexpected. And, just like DUI, the penalties and consequences are serious enough that experienced trial counsel like the lawyers at Fagan, Fagan & Davis become a necessity, not a luxury.
So in ten, twenty or thirty years time, will motorists charged with Aggravated Speeding be similarly stigmatized and vilified for it?
Just like DUI?
You tell me, in the comments section.