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How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Illinois

Traffic tickets in Illinois State are notices that officers of the state's law enforcement agency issue to road users for the violation of traffic rules and regulations. Traffic violations can include DUI, reckless driving, over speeding, running a red light, and driving without a license. Minor offenses, such as speeding above the limit and broken tail light, incur fines that offenders may pay off without passing through the state's judicial process. However, paying off fines indicates admission to guilt and this counts as a conviction under Illinois state laws. Convictions reflect as points on an offender's driving record for at least five years. If a driver accumulates three or more offenses during a 12-month period, it may lead to suspension or revocation of their driving license.

If a traffic violator has a good driving record, they may qualify to plead guilty and request an order for supervision. Offenders will be required to pay a fine and attend traffic school without any convictions incurred. During the supervision period, the driver must incur no further offenses and convictions.

Alternatively, drivers may contest traffic tickets and plead not guilty to request a trial court date. The assignment of a court date comes within 21 days via mail and failure to attend is a conviction. When a traffic case goes to trial, the defendant may resolve the case by agreeing on a plea bargain with the prosecutor. Traffic cases are usually heard by a presiding judge who gives a verdict after a presentation from all the parties involved. However, a defendant reserves the right to request a trial by jury under state laws. Verdicts in traffic cases depend on the severity of the offense and arguments presented by both the defendant and the prosecutor.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary

Is it Worth it To Fight a Traffic Ticket in Illinois

If an offender contests traffic tickets at an Illinois traffic court, a judge presides over the case and gives a verdict which may include payment of fines and court costs, depending on the severity. Fighting traffic tickets also consumes time. Compared to pleading guilty to avoid a trial, fighting traffic tickets is more costly due to court costs and attorney fees. However, if offenders feel they didn't deserve a traffic ticket, they may contest traffic tickets. If an offender isn't required to appear in court, pleading guilty to traffic charges and requesting an order for supervision is the best option. Offenders may escape convictions after paying fines and attending a state traffic school. To be eligible for this, drivers must be above 21 years of age and not have any prior convictions at least twelve months before the ticket issuance.

Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Illinois

Persons issued traffic tickets may decide to plead not guilty and contest the charges. The traffic tickets contain information on how to notify the appropriate court of their intentions. Under state laws, a date for a first court hearing is assigned no less than 14 days and no more than 60 days since the ticket issuance. The defendants may prepare and present their argument to the court for the judge to give a verdict.

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court

Fighting a traffic ticket in Illinois requires motorists to appear in court. If a motorist pleads not guilty to the issuance of a ticket, they will have a trial at an Illinois traffic court. However, defendants may cut court proceedings short if they successfully negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor and notify the judge. Failure to appear in court is a conviction.

How do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Illinois?

Persons charged with traffic violations may request a mitigation hearing in a bid to explain the traffic violation event to a judge. This may result in a fine reduction, a monthly payment plan, or community service. A mitigation hearing request may be put in writing and submitted to the traffic court in the county the offense occurred. Defendants cannot appeal a judge's decision in a mitigation hearing.

Can you Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Illinois?

An order for court supervision can lead to the dismissal of a speeding ticket in Illinois. Basically, offenders plead guilty but do not get a conviction for their offense. Offenders receiving court supervision may pay fines and attend traffic school for a period specified by the court. Upon successful completion of the driving school with no further charges incurred during the term, the court may dismiss the speeding ticket and the infraction would not affect the offender's driving record. The following factors disqualify offenders from receiving a court supervision order:

  • If the traffic offender is below 21
  • If the speeding ticket is in a school zone
  • Poor driving record
  • If the offender already had a prior court supervision order within the last 12 months

What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Illinois

If an offender pleads guilty after the issuance of a traffic ticket, it is legally seen as an admission of guilt. They are required to pay the fine stated in the traffic ticket. Pleading guilty to traffic charges also incurs a conviction on an offender's driving record. The Illinois Secretary of State office allocates points for convictions on motorists' driving records. Accumulation of points under the point system may lead to the suspension or revocation of offenders' driver's licenses. Some offenses such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs lead to immediate suspension or withdrawal of driver's license.

How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Illinois

If persons issued traffic tickets decide to plead not guilty, they may need to hire a traffic law attorney to aid them. Traffic law attorneys are knowledgeable about Illinois traffic laws and may be able to get tickets dismissed or negotiate good plea bargains with prosecutors. It is always advisable to hire an attorney for traffic ticket issues.