I recently got a speeding ticket and learned that the laws in Illinois had changed in January of 2014. I was not aware of the change until the cop who pulled me over and ticketed me laid it out. Maybe some of you already knew this, but in case you didn't, here is a summary of the changes: Prior to Jan 2014, if you were speeding up to 40 mph over the limit, it was a traffic offense, and you were eligible for supervision. Speeding more than 40 mph was a Class A misdemeanor, required a court appearance and was potentially punishable by jail time, though realistically, you got a lawyer, went to court, paid a fine and court costs plus attorney fees, got it knocked down to a simple speeding ticket and got supervision anyway, assuming you were not a habitual offender. As of January 2014, though speeding more than 25 mph over the limit is a Class B misdemeanor (newly created) and a Class A misdemeanor is now speeding 35 mph or more over the limit. Both now REQUIRE a court appearance, which means you have to hire an attorney, pay fines and court costs, etc. Technically you can get up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1500 fine for going 81 mph on a 55 mph expressway or tollway, and up to 12 months in jail and a $2500 fine for going 90 mph. From a practical point of view, assuming you are not a habitual offender, getting clocked doing 81 will be expensive!! So I went to court today. There was a young lady called first who was ticketed for going 29 mph over the limit. She did not have a lawyer. The judge basically told her (and I am paraphrasing) "I am giving you a new court date to give you time to hire an attorney. If you come back without an attorney, I coould sentence you to jail time and a $1500 fine". She was visibly shaken. WHAT A RACKET! In my case, (I, of course, had an attorney) the cop and prosecutor agreed to drop it to 20 mph over the limit (last time I had a ticket was more than 4 years ago...I don't know if they checked, probably not) making it a simple traffic offense, eligible for supervision. All done matter of factly, no questions, zip-zip in and out. I paid a $200 fine and $231 in court costs. I haven't gotten the attorney's bill yet, but I expect it will be around $150. An expensive lesson, but also stressful to think that there was a possibility I could have had a misdemeanor conviction on my record. Soooooo...be careful out there! I now try to keep it under 80 as cars zip by me on my left!