Illinois Traffic Violation and DUI Lawyers

City of Chicago Ordinance Violations


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The City of Chicago has established a municipal code. A violation of the code can result in a ticket. These tickets are commonly called ordinance violations, code violations or ANOVs. The City writes thousands of these tickets each month. These affect drivers, businesses and property owners.

Read below to get answers to some of the most common questions about these tickets. Driver Defense Team represents clients that have received city of Chicago ordinance violation tickets. Our lawyers are former prosecutors, are in this courthouse every day, and have the skill and experience to find you not liable.

Save time and money by calling our office and letting us fight this ticket for you.

Common Questions on City of Chicago Ordinance Violations

1. Is the ticket a criminal charge?

All city of Chicago ordinance violations are civil, meaning the only punishment associated with the ticket is a fine (with the exception of Drinking on the Public Way and Possession of Cannabis, which the City can ask for jail time or a warrant if the ticket is neglected). The City only needs to prove more likely than not (more than 50% chance) the violation occurred. They do not need to provide the violation beyond a reasonable doubt, as in a criminal case.

2. Will an officer appear?

An officer may appear, but it is not mandatory. On many occasions, the City proceeds without the officer present. They do this by admitting into evidence the officer’s sworn statement (the ticket). If it is properly filled out, the judge will accept this as establishing the City’s case.

3. What if the named party is a corporation?

If the named party is corporation, only a lawyer can represent the corporation in court. The owner or representative cannot represent the corporation if they are not a licensed attorney. The judge will grant one continuance for the corporation to hire an attorney.

4. What if I miss my hearing?

If a hearing is missed the City defaults the case. This means the City finds liability based upon the fact that the named party did not fight the case. The default finding will typically be for the maximum penalty allowed under the ordinance. After this finding of liability, the City mails a default notice and stamps the mailing date on that notice. The named party then has 21 days from that stamped date to come into court, file a motion to set aside, and explain why the original hearing was missed. If the motion is granted, the default amount is set aside and the case resumes as if the named party showed up on the original court date. The only difference is that after a set aside, court costs are $15 more than usual for cases with less than $100 in fines and $20 more for cases with fines of $100 or more. If the motion is not granted, the default judgment stands and the only option is to appeal the decision to the Circuit Court of Cook County within 35 days.

5. What if I do not pay the fine?

If you do not pay the fine, the City of Chicago can take action such as garnishing wages or taking tax returns. Also, outstanding debt to the City can prevent one from obtaining a business license or even retrieving a vehicle that is later impounded or towed.

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