It depends. There are many different types of traffic tickets in Illinois. Whether or not court appearance is required depends upon the type of ticket, the rules in your courthouse, and your desired outcome. The easiest way to get an answer to this question is to simply call our office and speak with one of our legal assistants or attorneys.
With one phone call, we will be able to tell you if the attorney can handle your case without you present or if you must attend court. On the phone, we will also review your case, quote you a flat rate to handle your case and advise you of the next steps. At Driver Defense Team, our Chicago traffic ticket attorneys are strong, experienced advocates for drivers throughout Northern Illinois. Using a team-oriented, proactive approach, we work tirelessly to help our clients achieve the best possible results. Call us now for a free, strictly confidential initial consultation.
Types of Traffic Tickets in Illinois
In determining whether or not you need to go to court in Illinois, the most important factor is the type of traffic ticket you received. Broadly speaking, there are two types of traffic tickets – petty offenses and criminal offenses.
Petty Traffic Violations
Petty tickets are less serious in nature and are punishable by a fine only. In other words, you cannot be imprisoned solely for a petty traffic violation. Some of the most common examples of petty traffic offenses include minor speeding violations, running stop signs, and unsafe lane changes.
As a general rule, you are not required to attend court to resolve these tickets. The bottom of the ticket is usually marked “No Court Appearance Required.” Check for this language on your ticket. If you see this, you do not have to go to court. You can mail your ticket in and plead guilty. In fact, this is what the system wants you to do. Your case is over when you mail in the ticket.
Unfortunately, most people do not realize that when they mail in the ticket, they are pleading guilty. It is guaranteed money for the court and a guaranteed conviction for the officer. Instead, we recommend contacting the experienced Illinois traffic ticket lawyers at the Driver Defense Team.
You can challenge a petty traffic ticket without going to court. Some drivers incorrectly believe that they only have two available options: pay the ticket or take a day off work to attend court. In most cases, there is a third option available. You can hire an attorney who goes to court on your behalf.
This means that you do not automatically have to plead guilty nor do you have to spend an entire day waiting around in a courtroom. Further, we are often able to get you a more favorable outcome than you would have received by mailing it in. We can frequently get the ticket dismissed, amended, or resolved in a way that protects your driver’s license and prevents your insurance from increasing.
Call our office and we are happy to discuss your options.
Criminal Traffic Violations
While the majority of traffic tickets in Illinois are petty violations, some traffic tickets are actually criminal offenses. Notable examples include:
When a driver is charged with a criminal offense, they are required to attend court. Further, for most criminal offenses, the driver will often be required to have an attorney represent them. When you receive one of these tickets, it’s smart to call our office for a free consultation. If you are not in court, the judge can find you guilty and issue a warrant for your arrest.
If you are charged with a criminal offense and cannot attend court due to work, medical reasons, or being out of town, please call our office to discuss. Sometimes we can attend court on your behalf and minimize the impact.
Understanding the Rules of the Courthouse
One of the many things that can make preparing for a court appearance challenging is that each courthouse and each judge has their own set of rules. To make matters more difficult, some of the rules are unwritten. You only learn them by being in their courtroom. This is where an experienced attorney can make all of the difference.
At Driver Defense Team, our law firm handles thousands of cases each and every year. We practice in virtually every courthouse in Chicagoland on a near daily basis. As a result, our team is deeply familiar with the judges and prosecutors and we understand the rules—including the unwritten rules.
As an example, if a judge prefers the driver to be in court, we will let you know. If we think we can get a better outcome by having the driver in court, we will tell you that. Our attorneys use our unique experience and knowledge of the system to ensure that we get the best results for our clients.
What Is Your Desired Outcome?
You deserve personalized, reliable representation from an experienced attorney. We know that each client has different concerns when they receive a traffic ticket. You may want to do whatever you can to get an unfair case dismissed, you may want to save as much money as possible, you may be worried about your license being suspended, or you may just want to get the whole thing over and done with as fast as possible.
Regardless, our goal is always to achieve the best outcome. But first, we need to determine what is actually best for you. So, we will always try to understand your concerns, and then determine the best way to handle your case and achieve your desired outcome.
You Can Rely on Driver Defense Team
Our legal practice is dedicated to defending the rights and interests of drivers in Illinois. We believe in the power of teamwork. With seven traffic and DUI defense lawyers who have worked on all sides of the legal system, our team meets regularly, discussing our clients’ cases and sharing input and experience on how to best move forward. You do not simply get one attorney; you get an entire Driver Defense Team. Among other things, our Chicago, IL traffic ticket defense attorneys are prepared to:
- Conduct a comprehensive review of your traffic ticket;
- Listen to your story and explain your options;
- Investigate the matter—securing relevant evidence;
- Negotiate with the prosecutors; and
- If appropriate, go to trial and win.
Speak to Our Illinois Traffic Ticket Lawyers Right Away
At Driver Defense Team, our Chicago traffic ticket attorneys are skilled, attentive advocates for our clients. Practicing in Illinois courts every day, we have a deep familiarity with the region’s judges and prosecutors. To set up a free, no commitment initial consultation, please contact our legal team today. From our law office in Stone Park and Chicago, we are well-positioned to handle traffic tickets throughout Northern Illinois.