If you receive a traffic ticket while driving in the state of Illinois, the police officer who issued the ticket will tell you if you are required to appear in court to settle the ticket. If you are not required to appear in court, you will have three options:
- Plead guilty, pay the fine, and receive a conviction on your record.
- Plead guilty, pay the fine, attend traffic safety school, and forego a conviction.
- Plead not guilty and request a trial.
If you request a trial, or if the officer informed you that you must attend a court date, you are legally required to do so. If you forget about your court date, or if you simply decide not to show up, you could face more severe consequences.
Consequences for Fine-Only Violations
If you receive a fine-only violation, and you ignored the ticket, or if you requested a court date and then did not attend that court date, both the judge and the court will not appreciate this waste of their time. The judge will almost always enter what is called an ex parte conviction (meaning the judge will sentence you guilty, even though you were absent) and require you to pay the fine....