Getting traffic tickets in Illinois can bring severe consequences. As a responsible driver, you owe it to yourself to learn about Illinois traffic tickets before you map out your action plan. Although Illinois is one of the most aggressive states to deal with regarding driving infractions, you do have rights.
What to Do If You Get a Traffic Ticket in Illinois
Be aware that speeding in Illinois is dealt with severely. Three convictions for moving violations within 12 months buys you a suspended license!
All traffic tickets in Illinois are driven by a hard line point system. For example, you can get ten points for screeching of tires. You can get 20 points for speeding in a school zone, and a whopping 55 points for reckless driving!
Is a Court Appearance Required?
Some drivers who receive Illinois traffic tickets may have to appear in court. This will be indicated clearly on the ticket and verbally communicated to you by the officer. Depending on your driving record and the offense itself, you might want to hire an attorney to represent you. You can attempt to do the research yourself, but there is a massive amount of specialized information on Illinois traffic tickets, and Illinois traffic tickets are hard to beat without the representation of an attorney.
If you want to represent yourself, you most likely lose. Review Illinois Rules of the Road online for in depth information on traffic infractions. Illinois is way ahead of the game with regard to providing online information to drivers, as well as online methods for those cited for violations to handle their tickets efficiently.
If you do choose to hire an attorney, he or she will explain the different pleas available and best suited for you. An Illinois traffic attorney will also be well versed in the online plea system, and can help you navigate the waters. There are strict deadlines in print that leave no loopholes for a "not guilty" verdict to slip past any traffic judge if you do not do due diligence. If your infraction is a serious one, do not take chances. Hire an attorney.
You do have options when it comes to managing traffic tickets in Illinois. Below are some options for you to consider:
Option 1 - Pay Your Ticket
In some situations you may desire to pay the ticket and avoid the hassle of a plea deal. The state's online system makes it easy. As long not as your ticket does not contain the words “Mandatory Appearance,” you may pay your Illinois traffic ticket before to the due date. The ticket itself provides information on how to pay, which is all done online.
Option 2 - Plead Not Guilty and Request Trial
You can use the Online Traffic Plea System to plead “not guilty.”
You will then need to print a court pass with your appearance information. Additional information regarding your upcoming hearing is sent by the state to your e-mail address. You must have this pass with you when you come to court. You must appear on time and, if represented by at attorney, let the attorney do the talking for you. Don't try to plea your case verbally in a courtroom. That is why you pay a lawyer.
If you are found guilty of the charge, you must pay the fine as well as any surcharges. You can also still accrue the appropriate points on your license, depending on the judge's decision. The judge may also suspend your license if he or she feels you did not conduct yourself properly, such as leaving the scene of an accident.
Option 3 - Appeal Your Case
When you receive a ticket in Illinois, may submit a Notice of Appeal to the local court requesting an appeal hearing. It is best to hire an attorney to help you with this.
A moving violation traffic ticket in Illinois can most certainly cost you points on your license. However, if your infraction is not serious, consider carefully before wasting your time on an appeal.
Several Illinois courts offer you the opportunity you to take an Illinois defensive driving course to avoid the costly points. Check the state's web site for more information on this.
You can also contact the Illinois jurisdiction where you received your traffic citation and inquire if online traffic school is an option for you. Traffic school saves points, meaning lower insurance—and you may even get your traffic ticket dismissed altogether!