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Cook County Announces Plan to Stop Prosecuting Certain Traffic Offenses

Posted on in Traffic Tickets

Chicago criminal defense attorneysMost drivers in Northern Illinois have been stopped by police for traffic violations at some point in their lives. In some cases, a driver may be stopped for a moving violation—such as speeding—only for the officer to discover other offenses—such as driving with an expired registration. As the citations pile up, it can lead to serious problems for a driver, but things may soon get a little easier for drivers in certain situations, as Cook County has announced a plan to limit prosecution on specific, financial-related traffic violations.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was elected in November, and since then, she has been changing the way the county’s prosecutors handle non-violent, low-level cases. Part of her efforts have been aimed at reducing crowded jails and prisons, but a reduction in available resources is also a major factor. According to some sources, county prosecutors are operating on about 70 percent of the resources they had just ten years ago, meaning that cuts must be made somewhere.

A New Approach

The new policy in Cook County—which is expected to go into effect later this year—provides that state’s attorney’s office will not aggressively prosecute drivers cited for driving on a suspended or revoked license if the license was suspended or revoked for financial reasons. These include suspensions or revocations for failing to pay child support, tolls, or parking tickets.

Drivers who are accused of driving on a suspended or revoked license that was taken away for more serious reasons—such as failing or refusing a blood-alcohol content (BAC) test, DUI conviction, or reckless homicide—will still face full prosecution under the new policy. The change is intended help county prosecutors reduce the number of cases each assistant state’s attorney is assigned. Experts suggest that each state’s attorney who handles misdemeanors should have about 400 cases. Currently in Cook County, each attorney’s caseload consists of nearly 5,700 cases.   

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said that individual municipalities have the authority to continue prosecuting such cases, even if the county will not. Some may choose to do so, while others may take an approach similar approach to that of the county.

Traffic Citation Assistance

While the new policies have yet to go into effect, traffic violations can still add up and lead to costly fines and, possibly, the suspension of your driver’s license. If you have been cited for a moving violation or any other traffic offense, contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Call 773-273-5541 for a free consultation at Luisi Legal Group today.

 

Source:

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