Clients frequently ask me do I need a lawyer for an Ordinance Violation? In fact, most clients say:
I was given an Ordinance Violation for a OFFENSE (Insert: Fake I.D., Public Urination, Retail Theft, or Disorderly Conduct) in LOCATION (Insert: Chicago, Naperville, Normal, or Broadview) and the police officer told me I do not need a lawyer and I can just pay the fine.
A person accused of a crime should not rely on the advice of an arresting police officer. If you are charged with an ordinance violation you should consult an attorney, review the language of the statute, and the statutory penalties.
The most frequent calls I receive are for Retail Theft (15-24-3) in violation of the Village of Broadview Administrative Code and Public Urination (8-4-081) in violation of the City of Chicago Code.
Retail Theft is punishable by “by a fine not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00).” Read the statute.
Public Urination is punishable by “a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00, or shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five days nor more than ten days or by both such fine and imprisonment.” Importantly, Public Urination is a jailable offense. Check out the worst places for public urination arrests and the amount of money the city of Chicago makes from these citations: DNA Info Article.
The second question I often hear from clients about ordinance violations are, “will this show up on a background check?” Private companies perform criminal background checks and the software they use is getting better and more inclusive. Further, as more public records become available online it is also possible that this information could be reachable via the web. Therefore, this may or may not show up on a criminal background check now, but it could show up in the future.
If you are charged with an ordinance violation in Chicago, Naperville, Broadview or a city or village in Cook County, DuPage County, Will County or Lake County please contact Fenbert & Associates, LLC, for a free consultation at 630-917-2051 or email Richard at [email protected].