What is court supervision on a traffic ticket and will it keep my record clean?

Court supervision, to most people, is a way to keep one’s record clean of an offense.  It’s often called many names: deferred prosecution, traffic school, dismissal, etc.  While this sounds good on paper, it’s important to know what exactly court supervision is so you can protect your license.  The explanations that follow relate only to Illinois drivers license holders.  Out of state drivers are governed by different systems and should consult an attorney in their home state to verify how an offense will impact their record.  Additionally, commercial license holders and other license holders with special privileges such as bus operation do not apply to the below advice.  They are governed by special rules that are beyond the scope of this article.  Due to the importance of their license, they should consult a traffic attorney in their home state for assistance.  With that said, let’s discuss court supervision.

When one is found guilty of a traffic violation, they can be convicted or given supervision.  A conviction is a public reporting of guilt that is available to insurance companies and employer driving record checks.  A conviction can harm your insurance rates.  A conviction also may impact your driving privileges resulting in suspension or revocation.   Court supervision by contrast is less publicly recorded.  Only police, prosecutors, courts, the Secretary of State, attorneys like myself, and the driver themselves can see supervisions.  This prevents insurance rate increases and employer record checks from seeing these offenses.  In almost all circumstances, court supervision will not affect your driving privileges (some exceptions exist such as underage alcohol related tickets and insurance violations where this is not the case).  Having a traffic attorney review your case can verify your risk of driving record harm.

With its many benefits, court supervision is often sought in traffic court.  Unfortunately, it is not a guarantee.  Court supervision may generally only be granted twice in a twelve month period with some offenses like insurance violations being more limited.  For more details, you can read our article on the subject. Other offenses like school zone speeding and bus passing tickets are ineligible for supervision.  With so many violations and restrictions, it is important to speak to a traffic attorney in a free consultation before proceeding to verify supervision is even possible.

Should you have any questions, you can contact us for a free “Walk-In” phone consultation with an attorney.