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sign and drive, traffic violation, Illinois criminal defense attorneyWhen you have been pulled over for a traffic violation, there are probably about a dozen different thoughts going through your mind. What did I do? How much will this cost me? Will I lose my license? All of these questions are perfectly understandable in such a situation. Depending on the violation, of course, the impact to your wallet and driving record may certainly be fairly serious. However, thanks to Illinois’ new Sign and Drive law that took effect this year, your license can no longer be taken as bail during a roadside traffic stop.

Old Rules

Prior to the law taking effect, a law enforcement officer could confiscate your driver’s license on the spot if you were pulled over for most traffic violations. The old laws required drivers cited for traffic offenses to post bail ensuring they would pay their fine or appear in court to contest the ticket as necessary. This left most drivers with three options: pay $75 at a police station, present a bond card (often available from an insurance carrier), or surrender their drivers’ license. According to reports, however, some drivers were not given a choice at all, and their licenses were confiscated.

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In a given year, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of pieces of legislation which make their way through the state government and end up being signed into law. Many bills set a future date on which they are set to take effect and in a large number of cases, a new year provides a convenient starting date for new laws. This year, more than 200 new or amended laws became effective on January 1, covering a wide range of issues from traffic and vehicle concerns to children and family interests to the criminal code and law enforcement, including record expungement.

While many of the new laws seem rather bureaucratic, there are several which may be of interest to the public at large.

Ban on Ticket Quotas (PA 98-0650)

It is not uncommon for a driver who has received what he or she perceives to be a questionable traffic ticket to assume the issuing officer was just trying to make his numbers. However, beginning in 2015, it is now illegal for a police department to mandate ticket minimums for its officers. Additionally, the number of citations issued by a police officer may no longer be used a job performance measure.

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