Illinois traffic court supervision

Traffic court supervisions are one way that a driver can be punished for a traffic violation. A supervision is different than a conviction. Generally, the information with a supervision is less public, meaning that it will often not affect a driver’s insurance rates. But court supervision is not always a given. So how does traffic court supervision in Illinois work in the first place? Let’s take a look at the mechanics of court supervision below:

What is a Traffic Court Supervision?

A person may be convicted or given court supervision if they are found guilty of a traffic violation.

A guilty ruling on a traffic offense resulting in the defendant’s non-conviction is known as court supervision.

Conversely, a conviction is a reporting of guilt that insurance companies and employers can access through driving record checks.

Since a conviction is totally public, it may have a negative impact on your insurance rates. Your driving privileges can be revoked as a result of a conviction. Court supervision, on the other hand, is less publicly recorded. Supervisions are only available to police, courts, the Secretary of State, lawyers, and the individual driver.

Traffic Court Supervision Orders

Most people who get a traffic ticket go to court and ask for a supervision order.

In most traffic violations that are only punishable by a fine, this option is available. An Order of Supervision is available to offenders who are unlikely to commit further traffic offenses or crimes, and who are in a situation where it is in the best interests of the public that the defendant does not receive a record of conviction. The obvious advantage to the offender is that no conviction is reported.

With court supervision, the court submits a report of supervision to the Secretary of State. The Clerk of the Circuit Court’s keeps a record of the traffic court supervision.

How Does Supervision Work in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, court supervision is not considered a conviction. It is Illinois’ minimum sentence, allowing the charge(s) to be removed after some time in compliance with certain requirements.

The court normally orders the person to pay a fine as well as court costs. He or she may be required to attend traffic school in some cases. All offenders under the age of 21 must attend traffic school.

The court will drop the case without a conviction if the person pays the fine and court expenses and finishes any applicable traffic school. There are no lasting effects on a person’s legal ability to drive since there was no conviction.

A supervision in lieu of a conviction is generally conditional on the driver not obtaining any additional tickets within 120 days.

When Will a Judge Refuse to Grant Supervision?

Court supervision is not a right and is subject to limitations. Generally, in three cases, the defendant would be refused court supervision:

  1. The violation, such as a second offense of driving without insurance or any offense of speeding in a school zone, does not provide for supervision;
  2. The defendant has a poor driving record; and,
  3. In the previous 12 months, the defendant has been placed under court supervision twice for traffic violations.

More specifically, judges may generally not grant supervision in the following cases:

  • speeding in a construction or school zone, endangering staff or schoolchildren
  • illegally passing a school bus
  • a second offense of driving without insurance
  • a second offense of showing false insurance documentation
  • certain violations of trucking and weight regulations

A person put under supervision is under the court’s jurisdiction. The case will be dismissed and the defendant will be discharged if no more violations are brought to the court’s attention during that period. A hearing will be held if the court is notified of a violation within this period.

A traffic violation may result in a suspension if the driver is not eligible for supervision.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Court Supervision

As discussed above, the benefits of receiving court supervision for the average driver in traffic cases is that it does not appear on the driver’s public record and is practically inaccessible to employers or insurance providers. Furthermore, it would not result in a person’s driver’s license being revoked or suspended.

However, if the driver has a Commercial Driver’s License, these benefits are not the same. If a CDL holder was driving a commercial vehicle or a personal vehicle, the offense would appear on his or her public driving record.

If a CDL holder gets two serious violations while driving a commercial motor vehicle within three years, their CDL driving privileges will be suspended, regardless of whether they undergo court supervision or are convicted. There are several potentially severe violations, including exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph or more, lane use violations, and using a mobile phone while driving.

To protect a CDL holder’s record, the person must successfully contest the ticket at trial or have it decreased to a non-moving violation, since a court supervision will not make a significant difference in that case.

Consult with an Illinois Traffic Court Attorney

Receiving court supervision is almost always the best outcome for a traffic violation. However, not every traffic case will result in one. Certain cases will require a more complex legal defense in an effort to waive violations or reduce punishments.

Competent and experienced traffic lawyers are your best defense. Traffic lawyers are familiar with the complexities of traffic violations and will allow you your best chance at success in traffic court.

For Illinois traffic cases, the experienced attorneys at Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC can help you weigh your options. Call us today at (847) 549-0600 or email us at to schedule a free consultation.

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