Illinois Bar Journal

July 2015Volume 103Number 7Page 30

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From the Newsletters - Traffic Law

Judge strikes ban on supervision for aggravated speeding

A Cook County judge rules that categorically denying court supervision for 'excessive speeding' is unconstitutional.

artwork for articleA Cook County judge held recently that categorically denying supervision to someone convicted of driving 40 or more miles per hour over the speed limit violates the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution. Aptly named Washington County lawyer Tom Speedie wrote about the case, People v. Rizzo (Cook County Case No. 37997158), in the May Traffic Laws & Courts newsletter.

Judge Deborah J. Gubin ruled that "the prohibition on court supervision for aggravated speeding [is] an unconstitutional violation of the proportionate penalties clause because it is cruel and degrading," Speedie wrote. "She lists the charges for which court supervision is unavailable, noting that many of them involve bodily injury. She goes on to observe that offenses for which court supervision is available include driving while suspended or revoked, driving under the influence, and theft.

"Judge Gubin concludes that mandating a misdemeanor conviction on a first offense, and not allowing a judge to consider mitigating factors, resulting in a non-expungable, permanent (barring a pardon) criminal conviction, with ongoing ramifications in many areas of a person's life, is cruel and degrading, thus unconstitutional," Speedie wrote.

The state's attorney's petition for leave to appeal in this case was granted by the first district appellate court, and the ISBA Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council is seeking leave to file an amicus brief jointly with the DuPage County Criminal Bar Association and the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. For more about that, read Jennifer B. Wagner's entertaining article in the June issue of Traffic Laws & Courts.

The Illinois aggravated speeding statute is at 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5, and the provision precluding court supervision for the offense is at 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(p). The proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution is at article I, Sec. 11.

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