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Q

I received a speeding ticket in Utah (90 in a 75), and I have an Illinois driver's license. If I take an online safety course and enter a plea in abeyance, will that help me with the State of Illinois? Granted that I received another moving violation previously in Colorado and already payed the citation. I just don't want the points to add up.


A

Yes, to the best of our understanding if you enter in a plea in abeyance and attend the proper traffic school then it will help you so that your Illinois driver's license is not affected by this Utah speeding ticket.

As you are likely aware if you are convicted of the Utah speeding ticket Illinois would be notified so that the offense and associated points would go on your IL driving record. This is because the state which you received your speeding ticket in, Utah, and your home state of Illinois are both members of the Drivers License Compact (DLC). This means that the UT courts will report to the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) Driver's Services Division any moving violation conviction you had in their state.

In the State of Utah a plea-in-abeyance is a guilty or no contest plea which is submitted to the court in writing. If approved, it is not entered against you during the agreement period. It is held by the Court and not reported to the UT Driver License Division as a conviction, but as a plea-in-abeyance.

From what we have read it can differ as how to make this type of plea depending upon the County court in Utah that your speeding citation is with. In some to enter into the agreement, you must completely fill out the necessary paperwork with the Judge or Hearing Officer. You then will be instructed on certain terms and conditions which must be met in order for your plea to be held. Unless you are notified to the contrary, you must fully comply with each of the terms and conditions of the agreement. If you fully comply, then, at the end of the plea-in-abeyance period, your guilty or no contest plea will be withdrawn and the case will be dismissed. The matter will not appear as a conviction on your driving record and no points will be assessed. Thus also the Illinois Secretary of State should also not be informed since it was not a conviction.

Utah County's Justice Court is a bit different in that it states on their page for traffic school and a plea in abeyance that you must decide your own eligibility to attend traffic school for this court. Here you have no more than (30) days from the date of the citation to complete the online "Traffic School" and submit to the Court a Traffic School Completion Certificate, a signed Plea in Abeyance Agreement and pay the fine to the Court.

The Utah County court notes that for this jurisdiction one can make a determination to see if they may qualify for Traffic School by looking at the list below of requirements:

  • I have a valid driver's license now
  • At the time of my citation I had a valid driver's license
  • My citation is not for offenses related to a traffic accident or injury
  • I was not cited for going more than 20 mph over the speed limit
  • I was not cited for more than one violation
  • Within the past 18 months I have not taken Traffic School, a Defensive Driving course, or entered into a Plea in Abeyance agreement to either reduce or dismiss a traffic citation
  • Within the past 3 years I have not received three (3) or more moving violations, including this citation and any that have been dismissed or modified by any court
  • It has not been (30) days or more since I received this citation.

For this jurisdiction if you decide that you are eligible for traffic school you can try entering into a (9) month Plea in Abeyance with the Court. Here they define a Plea in Abeyance as an agreement that allows the court to dismiss your violation upon completion of certain criteria. When you enter into a Plea in Abeyance Agreement you must sign a document that states you are giving up your constitutional rights to a trial and are entering a plea of guilty. This guilty plea is held for a specific amount of time (referred to as a period of probation), and at the end of the plea in abeyance period if you have complied with all of the conditions set forth in the agreement, your citation will be dismissed. So you may be required to not only take traffic school but also keep from getting any new traffic tickets for a certain amount of time with this type of plea.

You will want to check with the Utah court listed on your 15 mph speeding ticket to find out what their specific process is to take traffic school and make a plea in abeyance. That way you can make certain you follow proper procedure and keep the violation from becoming a conviction and sent to Illinois. The Utah Country court points out that if you fail to comply with the agreement and /or the court finds that you were not eligible to take traffic school, the court will reject your course completion certificate and the Plea in Abeyance agreement, the citation and any associated points will be placed on your driving record and any fees associated with the Plea in Abeyance and the "online" Traffic School will not be refunded. This means you will be found guilty and the conviction of the speeding offense would be sent to the IL SOS.

Before signing up for online traffic and making this plea check with the court about your particular situation, including the fact that you recently had a ticket in Colorado as well. You will want to be certain that you are eligible for this option to take care of your ticket before you pay out the expense of taking an online safety course.

If you are eligible and are able to keep the speeding violation from becoming a conviction then the IL SOS should not be notified from all the information we have read. Without it being a moving violation conviction or being on your Illinois motor vehicle record it would not normally affect your car insurance rates.

If the CO and UT tickets do go on your Illinois driving record and affect your auto insurance premiums then shop around for better rates. Use CarInsurance.com to automatically find the best rates available; you may learn that you already have the best rate available - that is the power of switching to CarInsurance.com and using it to shop and compare auto insurance rates.


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