Proven Trial Attorney
Handling The Toughest Cases

Illinois Traffic Ticket: Do I need to go to court?

| Sep 7, 2015 | DUI & Traffic Defense |

If you are charged with a traffic offense and receive an Illinois Traffic Ticket there a lot of issues you should consider before talking to an Illinois traffic or criminal lawyer. Check out a list of Illinois Traffic Offenses (moving and non-moving violations): Cyber Drive Illinois

You may also want to check out Cyber Drive Illinois and review the Driver’s Services FAQ page: Cyber Drive FAQs

The first question clients tend to ask their lawyer is, do I need to go to court? To answer this question it depends on what you were charged with. You may be required to go to court. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 551 entitled Traffic and Conservation Offenses for Which a Court Appearance is Required, states:

A Court appearance is required for:

(a) All alleged Class A and Class B misdemeanor violations of the Vehicle Code, as amended (625 ILCS 5/1-100 et seq.);

(b) All alleged violations of the following sections: Operating Without Insurance (625 ILC 5/3/-707), Operating When Registration Suspended for Noninsurance (625 ILC 5/3/-708), No Valid Driver’s License (625 ILCS 5/6-101), Violation of Classification (625 ILCS 5/6-104), Operating in Violation of Restricted License or Permit (625 ILCS 5/6-113), Unlawful Use of License or Permit(625 ILCS 5/6-301), Making False Report(625 ILCS 5/11-409), Passed School Bus–Loading or Unloading(625 ILCS 5/11-1414(a) ), Refusal to stop and submit vehicle and load to weighing after being directed to do so by an officer, or of load prior to weighing (625 ILCS 5/15-112(g)), Violation of Excess Size or Weight Permit (625 ILCS 5/15-301(j));

(c) All alleged violations of the Child Passenger Protection Act, as amended (625 ILCS 25/1 et seq.);

(d) Any traffic offense which results in an accident causing the death of any person or injury to any person other than the accused;

(e) Conservation offenses for which more than $120 bail is required under Rule 527, or for which civil penalties are required under section 20-35 of the Fish and Aquatic Life Code, as amended (515 ILCS 5/20-35), or section 3.5 of the Wildlife Code, as amended (520 ILCS 5/3.5);

(f) Offenses arising from multiple charges as provided in Rule 503;

(g) Violation of any ordinance of any unit of local government defining offenses comparable to those specified in subparagraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (h) of this Rule 551;

(h) Any minor traffic offense where the statutory minimum fine is greater than $95, except those offenses involving truck violations under Rule 526(b)(1) or similar municipal ordinances.  

If you are not required to go to court, the follow up question that potential clients ask me is, should I go to court? The answer to this question is not statutory, but personal and financial. You have to weigh the value of your time and money against the potential fine, conviction, likelihood to get another charge in the next year, and the number of points on your Illinois or out of state driver’s license.

We defend people charged with traffic offenses in Chicago, Addison, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Burr Ridge, Calumet City, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Elgin, Elk Grove, Elmhurst, Evanston, Hoffman Estates, Homewood, Joliet, Lombard, Maywood, Oak Brook, Oak Park, Orland Park, Schaumburg, Skokie, Woodridge, and more.