You may have seen The Ticket Clinic’s billboards the last few years around Chicago and the suburbs. They all say “Don’t Pay That Ticket.”
(Note: As of November 2016, The Ticket Clinic Illinois began operating as Driver Defense Team.)
What did they mean by “Don’t pay that ticket”? They meant to encourage you to fight your traffic tickets instead of just paying them. We completely agree.
When you are issued a petty traffic ticket in Illinois, you usually have 3 options:
- You can mail in a payment and plead guilty.
- You can mail in a payment and request supervision.
- You can request a court date to fight the ticket.
Let’s review each option in detail.
Mailing in a payment and pleading guilty
This is the least desirable option. Police officers and prosecutors want you to do this. Even your friends will tell you to just mail it in because it seems like the easiest option. No court. No more hassle. You’re done.
However, this does not tell the whole story. This conviction will go on your driving record. This can cause your insurance to increase by almost $900 over the next 5 years.
Also, if you have 3 convictions within 12 months, the Secretary of State will suspended your driver’s license. If you are under 21, it only takes 2 convictions in 24 months to suspend you.
This conviction will be on your record permanently. Your employer might hold it against you. Or it could prevent you from receiving a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or driving for Uber or Lyft.
This option seems to make sense. Many people choose this option. However, there can be problems.
Court supervision is often denied. Sometimes there is a good reason and sometimes it seems to be for no reason at all. When this happens, it’s entered as a conviction instead.
Nearly everyday we get calls from clients that had this happen. We then need to file a motion to re-open their case, go into court, and get it resolved the right way. They wish they had just hired a lawyer in the first place because this way cost twice as much and took twice as long.
Also, you may have driver’s school. That’s an extra fee and extra time.
Finally, do you know what supervision means for your record? If you’re a CDL driver, it is as bad as a conviction.
So what is the solution? Hire a lawyer and request a court date.
Request a Court Date
When you pay it, you have one option – conviction.
When you request supervision, you have two options – get supervision or get a conviction.
When you request a court date, a whole new world of opportunities becomes available to you to you and your attorney to fight your traffic ticket.
When we go to court for you, we look for a way to get your ticket dismissed. Sometimes this is possible. Sometimes it is not. But we know the tricks of the trade and we always look to get it dismissed. If the opportunity is there, we will take it.
If you mail in your ticket, you’ll never get it dismissed.
It is impossible to get your charge amended via mail. But when we are in court for you, we will look at your circumstances, your background, talk to the prosecutor, and possibly speak with the police officer. Quite often we can get your ticket amended to a lesser charge.
Supervision is still an option if you don’t pay that ticket. In fact, your lawyer may even be able to get you supervision if you were otherwise ineligible. It happens.
If your attorney goes to court for you and gets you supervision, quite often driving school is not required. This can save you four or eight hours of time, plus fees.
Another added benefit is knowing exactly how supervision will affect your record before agreeing to it.
Police officers occasionally make mistakes or break the rules. We believe innocent people are stopped and ticketed everyday. It’s important to fight that. The truth is important.
Our traffic lawyers are prepared to go into court, take your case to trial and win.
Requesting your “day in court” is not only your right, it’s usually your best option. When you hire Driver Defense Team, we will request the court date for you. So give us a call today to discuss your options.