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Arlington Heights, IL traffic citation defense attorney

Traffic courts are some of the busiest courtrooms around, especially in Illinois. There are many different types of traffic citations with which you can be charged, but the most common violations in Illinois tend to be running red lights, failing to have a copy of insurance information on hand, DUI, drag racing, reckless driving, and speeding. While some of these tickets do not require an appearance in traffic court, you can request one if you feel the need to do so. Going to court may seem daunting, but knowing what to expect can help you be more prepared to secure a positive outcome.

Preparing for Your Hearing

Not all citations require you to appear in traffic court. When you received the ticket, the officer should have informed you of whether or not you are required to attend a hearing. If you are required, you should show up to traffic court at the specified date and time. If not, you can request a hearing to challenge the ticket or plead guilty and pay the fine.

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Rolling Meadows, IL traffic crimes defense attorney

There are many different types of traffic tickets that a driver can receive in the state of Illinois. Some traffic citations are considered “fix it” tickets, or correctable offenses, such as a broken headlight. Other traffic offenses are more serious and can result in criminal charges, costly fines, and in some cases, jail time. Some people may think that just paying the fine for the ticket will make it go away, but every time you pay a traffic ticket, you are basically pleading guilty to that offense. Because certain consequences can come from pleading guilty to traffic citations, it could be more beneficial for you to fight your traffic ticket. If you have been cited for any type of traffic offense in Illinois, a traffic violations defense attorney can help you clear your record.

To Fight or Not to Fight?

For some traffic offenses, such as running a red light, it may just be better to pay the ticket, accept the guilty charge, and move on. For other traffic violations, such as aggravated speeding or DUI, it may be better to take the case to court. With this option, evidence can be presented, and in certain situations, law enforcement may have made a procedural error when issuing the ticket. 

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Rolling Meadows, IL traffic violation defense attorney

Every motorist in Illinois is required by law to move out of the way when an emergency vehicle is coming down the street. If you do not move, then you may be issued a serious traffic ticket. What some people may not know is that you are also required to move to the farthest lane if you approach an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road. This is called the “Move Over” law, and it was created to attempt to prevent harm from coming to police officers and other emergency workers when they are responding to a call.

What Is Scott’s Law?

The Move Over law is also known as Scott’s Law, and it is named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver when he was helping at the scene of a car accident on a Chicago expressway. Scott’s Law states that when an authorized emergency vehicle gives a signal or displays flashing lights, all drivers must make an effort to change lanes to one that is not next to the emergency vehicle or reduce their speed and proceed with caution if changing lanes is unsafe or impossible.

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Rolling Meadows, IL CDL traffic violation lawyer

Speeding is a rather common traffic offense in Illinois and throughout the United States. It is easy to speed, because in many cases, a person does not even realize they are going over the speed limit. Traveling over the speed limit may seem like a victimless offense, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding killed more than 9,700 people in 2017 alone, or around 26 percent of all people killed in traffic accidents that year. Because of the danger speeding poses, Illinois laws can be rather serious when it comes to punishing violators. Any person who speeds is technically breaking the law, but those who have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may face other consequences that could potentially damage their careers.

Speeding Laws in Illinois

If you are driving a designated amount over the speed limit, you may face criminal charges. These speeding laws are the same whether or not you hold a CDL. If you are going 26 mph or more over the posted speed limit, but not more than 35 mph over the limit, you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. This means you will face up to six months in jail and up to $1,500 with a minimum fine of $75. If you are caught going 35 mph or more over the posted speed limit, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, meaning you will face up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

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Arlington Heights traffic violations lawyerIf 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:

  1. Plead guilty, pay the fine, and receive a conviction on your record.
  2. Plead guilty, pay the fine, attend traffic safety school, and forego a conviction.
  3. 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.

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