As Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx looks to make ends meet in her office, motorists who find themselves in trouble for failing to pay fines and fees could get a break starting this summer.
According to a statement released by the State’s Attorney’s office, misdemeanors stemming from drivers failing to pay tickets or fines will no longer be prosecuted.
More serious traffic offenses like drunk driving and reckless homicide will still be prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s office, but lower-tier crimes will not be.
“Given its limited resources, the State’s Attorney’s office no longer intends to prosecute misdemeanor cases of driving on a suspended licenese where the basis for the underlying suspension is financial – that is, a failure to pay tickets, fees, or fines,” the statement said.
The shift in focus on the part of the office will begin in August, according to the statement.
“We are trying to shift as many resources as we can into the gun cases, the murder cases, the things that really impact public safety,” First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Last week, Foxx’s office announced that they would begin to back release of suspects without bond for minor offenses pending resolution of their cases.
Under the new policy, judges will still make the final decision about a defendant’s bail. However, prosecutors of misdemeanor and low-level felony cases will recommend the defendants be released if they do not have a history of violent crime or pose a risk to public safety.