Illinois Traffic Violation and DUI Lawyers
10 Simple Answers To Your Traffic Ticket Questions (Updated: 2020)
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These are short, simple answers to complex questions. The typical lawyer answer to these questions is, “It depends.” But we realize that is not helpful to you. So we do our best to give you honest, straight-forward answers on our website. We hope they’re helpful. But if you have received a traffic ticket and have questions or want a proper defense, let’s talk. Just give us a call to speak to a legal assistant or traffic attorney about your current situation. We are always happy to discuss your traffic matter…for free.
1. Will this get dismissed?
Every client wants their case dismissed. And we want to get every case dismissed for our clients. Although this is your attorney’s main objective, we cannot guarantee that a case will be dismissed. A client’s chance of their case being dismissed depends on many factors. Some we can control. Some we cannot.
Rest assured, all Driver Defense Team attorneys have the experience and skills to identify opportunities for dismissal. If dismissal is not an option, the attorney will seek the most favorable outcome, which usually includes keeping the ticket off your record.
2. What happens if I do not pay for my ticket?
When you receive a petty traffic ticket, you often have the option of pleading guilty and paying for your ticket. Most of the time, we do not recommend this. Instead, we suggest requesting a court date and having your day in court.
On the other hand, if your case is resolved and you’re required to pay, failure to do so can hurt you in the long run. When you fail to pay a ticket, the court may submit that information to the Illinois Secretary of State. The Secretary of State can then suspended your license or refuse to issue you a new license if yours is lost or expired.
If you receive supervision for your ticket and then do not pay the court fines, your supervision is taken away and a conviction will be entered. Not only will the failure to pay cause you problems, but the conviction may also cause a suspension and increased insurance rates.
3. What happens if the officer does not show up?
An officer is only required to be in court when the case is set for trial. In some counties, the case may be set for trial on the first court date. But depending on the county, courthouse, and type of case, the officer may not be required to appear in court until trial.
Even when an officer does not show up, the judge may give the prosecution a continuance. We see many people upset when they expect their ticket to be dismissed but it is not.
In general, your chances of getting your case dismissed increase when you hire an experienced traffic defense attorney to represent you.
4. If I have to pay the court fines, will I still have to pay the price of the ticket as well?
One option is to plead guilty and pay the amount due on the ticket. If you choose to attend court instead, you forego the opportunity to pay that amount. In court, your case can be dismissed or you can be found not guilty. If this happens, you will not owe any money to the court. If you receive supervision or are guilty, you will likely owe court costs and possibly a fine. Those amounts will not coincide with the original ticket amount.
5. Do I have to go to court?
If you are charged with a criminal offense, it is required that you appear in court. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, courts are often allowing the defendant to be excused from attending court. Talk to your lawyer about this possibility.
For petty offenses, you are not usually required to appear as long as the attorney has a signed affidavit. There are a few exceptions to this.
Some judges require the defendant to appear in court. If you want to take your case to trial and tell your side of the story, you must come to court on the date that your trial is scheduled. It is also recommended that you come to court if you were involved in an accident. Again, the court procedure is changing due to COVID-19 so talk to your lawyer about whether you should attend court.
If you have a conflict or cannot attend court, give us a call and we will let you know if we can appear on your behalf.
6. What is court supervision?
Court supervision means that as long as you comply with the terms of the supervision, the ticket will not appear on your driving record as a conviction. Terms of the supervision will vary.
For petty offenses, the driver may be required to pay court fines/costs, take traffic safety school or complete community service.
For a criminal case, the defendant may also be required to complete S.W.A.P., Victim Impact Panel, or drug and alcohol treatment.
Additionally, supervision requires that the driver not get any tickets during the supervision period. That time can vary depending on the ticket or offense.
If supervision is completed satisfactory, it will not cause points on your license, will not lead to insurance premium increases, and will not lead to license suspensions.
7. Will this be on my record?
The attorney’s goal is to keep tickets off your driving record. If your case is dismissed, it is like it never even happened. If you receive court supervision, it will not be a conviction on your record, as long as you satisfactorily complete the terms of your supervision.
For drivers holding a commercial drivers license (CDL), court supervision is considered a conviction. For that reason, the attorneys at Driver Defense Team work hard to try and get your charge dismissed or amended so that it does not appear on your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR).
8. Will my driver’s license be suspended?
Certain traffic offenses have mandatory suspensions attached to them. Also, the Secretary of State of Illinois may suspend your license if you receive 3 convictions in a twelve-month period. A driver under 21 years of age may be suspended if they receive 2 convictions within a 24 month period. Driver Defense Team lawyers work hard to help you retain your driving privileges.
9. Do I need an attorney for this?
If you are charged with a criminal offense, you will likely be required to have legal representation.
If you are charged with a petty traffic offense, you may be able to represent yourself or plead guilty and mail in your ticket. However, we speak with drivers every day that attended court on their own and are not happy with the outcome. These drivers would have been better informed and more comfortable if they had an experienced traffic attorney on their side. It’s also very likely that they would have saved money in the long run and achieved a better result if they were properly represented.
If you were in a traffic accident and received a ticket, we suggest having an attorney to protect your interests.
10. What happens if I go to court myself?
Unfortunately, we are not able to predict what will happen if you choose to go to court without an attorney. If you choose to go to court on your own when you are charged with a criminal offense, the judge will likely suggest that you come back on a later date with an attorney. Even if the judge allows you to defend yourself, it is likely that you will not get the same offer or opportunity as you would with a traffic ticket lawyer defending you.
Bonus Question: Ok, what next?
Now that you have answers to the general questions, we should discuss the specifics of your ticket. We want to know about the traffic stop, which tickets you received, your driving history, etc. We can also do our best to answer your questions about possible outcomes, legal fees, and attending court.
If you fill out the form below during business hours, someone from our office will contact you within 15 minutes. If you submit it after hours, we’ll contact you the next morning to discuss your traffic matter. Or, just give us a call to speak with a legal assistant or traffic attorney now.