What is a Court's finding of Supervision, really?

Clients often ask: what is supervision and what does it mean? Supervision is a client's best friend, and while it is a common term, many people do not know exactly what it means.

So what is a supervision?

If you receive a traffic ticket for a minor traffic offense and attend your court date in person, you can seek this disposition in Cook County. It is granted often in traffic cases that are subject to fines only. However, there are limitations for more serious traffic violations, such as driving without insurance or speeding in a work zone, to name a few.

By receiving a supervision, you do not receive a conviction, which is more harmful to your record. Essentially, a supervision means you will be under the court's supervision for a certain amount of time, usually for 4 months for minor offenses. If in that time you do not violate any other laws, then at the end of the time period required by the court, your case will terminate without a conviction. If you do violate the rules of supervision, you will be brought back to court and have a hearing, at which time the court can punish you with a conviction and other penalties.

It is important to remember, you can not always receive a supervision. Further, you can only receive two supervisions in one year for minor offenses. After that you will be subject to other more serious findings of guilt, even on these basic traffic tickets. This is extremely important in light of new speeding laws in 2013 which are misdemeanor crimes, and some may not even be eligible by law for supervision.

Similar rules of supervision apply to DUI and other misdemeanor traffic offenses, but the ramifications are more serious. You cannot always get a finding of supervision in a criminal or DUI case, but you will want one. If you are arrested for DUI you can only receive a finding of supervision 1 time in Illinois. After that, you will receive a conviction on your record, which means you will suffer a revocation of your driver's license, in addition to other criminal penalties, such as jail time and/or fines.

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