What Are My Options After Receiving a Speeding Ticket in DuPage County, Illinois?
Whenever you are issued a speeding ticket or any sort of traffic violation in the state of Illinois, the police officer will present with you a copy of ticket. On the ticket, it should indicate whether or not your court appearance is required. If the ticket states that your court appearance is not required, you have three options;
You can plead guilty and pay the fine without going to court, but you will receive a conviction for your record.
You can plead guilty and request an order for supervision which will avoid any potential conviction on your record assuming that you pay off the fine that is attached.
You can plead not guilty and you can request a trial.
If you do decide to go the route of pleading not guilty, you have to include within the ticket detailed information as to why you believe that you are not guilty. It should include also within the ticket any other relevant information that the court will require in order for you to do so. If you are required to appear in court, you appear on that date and the judge in your case will ask you how it is you wish to plead. You can decide on that day to plead guilty and once again request supervision on that date. Whether or not you will get it is a question for the judge. You can plead not guilty at which point in time the judge will set your case aside in order for it to go to trial.
In most instances in which an individual proceeds pro se, meaning that they are proceeding without an attorney, and they wish to go to trial, you should assume that the trial will proceed on that day. I have not seen many instances where the trial proceeds on a separate day once a defendant pleads not guilty, barring circumstances where the arresting officer is not in court.
Regardless of whether or not you are required to appear in court, I would still advise any individual that has received a traffic ticket to speak with an attorney, so that you know what your options are and that they can properly guide you as to what steps you can take. You may very well find yourself in an instance where you get a traffic ticket. You want to plead guilty to get it over with, but after talking with an attorney, they may tell you that there is a viable case that can be challenged in court. My office allows for free consultations, so it will cost you absolutely nothing to come in and explain the certain circumstances of your case. From there on, we can figure out what the best next steps are to protect your record and to ensure that you do not have a conviction for a speeding ticket or other traffic violation on your record.
Can I Avoid a Driver’s License Suspension if I Was Ticketed for Not Having Auto-Insurance?
Illinois law requires that every individual that operates motor vehicle carry on person or at least within their vehicle, proof of that insurance. Obviously, a ticket of this nature can be very serious, not only for the charge itself, but for the consequences that it can have an individual’s driving privileges. A conviction of driving without insurance, if it is a first or second time, can result in penalties ranging from $500 to $1,000. It can also carry with it a suspension of an individual’s license for three months. Every subsequent violation of this carries with it a $1,000 fine and additional $1,000 for driving with suspended plates due to insurance violation. It is then an additional $2,500 fine, if you have been convicted twice and involved in an accident. Every subsequent offense after two offenses will result in your driving privileges being suspended for four months. The potential violations that you are facing while driving without valid insurance can be very detrimental not only to your wallet, but also to your ability to move about freely as everyone requires a car to get around these days. If you are able to obtain insurance, after having been charged with driving without insurance, the attorney can go to the Prosecutor and negotiate with the state for a potential plea agreement that will allow you to get court supervision. This is so important because court supervision is not treated as a conviction on your record, and the Secretary of State will not issue a suspension of your license if you’re able to show valid proof of insurance subsequently obtained after receiving the charge of driving without insurance.
What Happens if I Live out Of State but Received a Traffic Ticket While Visiting Illinois?
You absolutely have options in terms of what will occur if you get a traffic ticket in Illinois but live out of state. First, look at your ticket to determine if you are to appear in court. If you are obligated to appear in court but live out of state, you should obtain an attorney to go to court in your stead. The attorney will explain the situation to the judge. Most of the time, the judge will allow an attorney to appear in lieu of the offender to negotiate with the State on their behalf. Some judges might require an affidavit from the driver saying that the attorney can enter into a guilty plea for the individual who received the ticket.
If your court appearance is not required, you can absolutely take the same steps that you normally would if you were to live in the state of Illinois. You can pay the fine, resulting in a conviction on your license. You can pay the fine but also request supervision. You may be able to obtain supervision which would keep the conviction off your record. Lastly, you can plead not guilty, have included within the ticket that you send back any pertinent information that would prove your innocence. Also, you would need to have someone appear in your stead assuming that you do not appear on your own.