While traffic violation fines can be a nuisance, they can also mean losing your license if those fines are unpaid. Under current Illinois law, if a driver has five or more unpaid camera tickets, their license can be suspended. If a driver has just one unpaid traffic ticket, the state can put a hold on their license that stops the driver from being able to renew it. But a new Illinois law about to go into effect July 1 will put an end to all that.
Illinois SAFE-T Act
Several months ago, Illinois lawmakers approved a massive criminal justice reform omnibus, the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity – Today (SAFE-T) Act. Included among the many issues the bill addressed were:
All Illinois police officers will be required to use body-worn cameras by January 1, 2025.
A citizen will no longer be required to sign a sworn affidavit or another legal document in order to file a complaint against a police officer.
All probationary police officers are now required to take crisis intervention training.
Stringent limitations are not placed on the amount of – if any – a police officer may use, as well as the use of chemical irritants (i.e., pepper spray) and projectiles (i.e., rubber bullets).
Starting in 2023, all monetary bail will be abolished. Defendants will be released on their promise to appear for trial. The court is allowed to put conditions in place if warranted. Defendants facing certain felony charges or those that may pose a flight risk will not be released.
There were several issues included in the law that some people, especially law enforcement, were unhappy about, so lawmakers recently came up with and passed a trailer bill. The trailer bill addresses those issues that concerned law enforcement, including use of force, chokeholds, training requirements, and body camera implementation.
The bill also addressed issues with license suspension over traffic violation fines. Under the new law, which goes into effect next week, all license suspensions for unpaid traffic tickets, speed camera tickets, and red-light camera tickets will end. All license renewal holds for unpaid parking tickets will also end. It is estimated that the new law will end suspensions and holds for about 350,000 Illinois drivers.
Let a Will County Defense Attorney Help
While the new law prohibits loss of license if you fail to pay certain fines, traffic violation citations can still cause issues with your driving record and insurance premiums and result in those expensive fines that will eventually need to be paid. If you have been cited for a traffic violation, contact an experienced Joliet traffic violations attorney to find out what legal options you may have in fighting the citation. Call McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC at 815-727-0100 to schedule a free consultation.