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Illinois Sign and Drive Law Lets You Keep Your License

 Posted on April 29, 2015 in Traffic Law

sign and drive, Illinois Law, Lake County criminal defense lawyerIf you are like most Illinois residents, your driver’s license is your primary form of identification. You have probably been asked to present it while cashing a check, seeking medical care, or purchasing a bottle of wine. Up until recently, however, certain traffic offenses in Illinois could require you to post your license as a bond, ensuring you would comply with the directives of the citation. Fortunately, state lawmakers recognized the inherent problem with that system and spent much of the last two years working to change it. On January 1, 2015, the change became reality as the new “sign and drive” law took effect.

Sign and Drive Legislation

The measure was introduced before the Illinois Senate by Senator Michael Noland, D-Elgin, back in May of 2013. Noland sponsored the bill as an acknowledgement that confiscating a person’s license as bond, rather than as an administrative penalty for wrongdoing created undue hardship for that person. Being found guilty of an offense, such as DUI or failing to comply with court procedures, should certainly have consequences, which may include suspended driving privileges, lawmakers contended. However, “with this bill,” Senator Noland said, “Illinois drivers will be able to keep their driver’s license which is used as a primary form of identification for receiving services related to banking, travel, education, and more.”

After taking nearly a year to clear the Senate, the bill was introduced to the State Assembly by Representative John D’Amico, D-Chicago, a co-sponsor of the legislation. There it gained traction fairly quickly, and was approved for then-Governor Pat Quinn’s by June 2014. Governor Quinn signed the measure in August and the law became effective January 1.

Sign and Drive Provisions

Under the terms of the new law, bond shall not be required in petty offenses, such as traffic violations. Therefore, a cited driver’s license may not be held as such. Instead, the driver must sign the issued citation, agreeing to abide by its provisions for entering a plea or appearing in court. Failure to appear in court may result in a suspension of the individual’s driver’s license, reinstatement of which is dependent upon the resolution of the original violation or citation.

Legal Representation for Traffic Offenses

When you are issued a citation for any type of traffic offense, you may feel that you have no option but to plead guilty and pay the fine. This is not always the case. Sometimes, fighting the ticket may be in your best interest and Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt can help you do just that. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Lake County criminal defense attorney, contact our office today and put our team to work for you.

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