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What Happens if I Do Not Show Up to My Traffic Court Hearing in Illinois?

Posted on in Traffic Violations

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.

Next, the Secretary of State will be notified, and the conviction will be put on your driving record. The Clerk of the Circuit Court will send you notice of the fine, which will include the amount of the fine and the date when it should be paid. If you do not pay the fine within 46 days, the Secretary of State will then be notified and will place a hold on any attempts you make to renew, replace, or reclassify your driver’s license until you have paid that fine.

What if I Have an Ex Parte Conviction?

If a judge entered into an ex parte conviction for you, it is possible that you can have that conviction reversed. An attorney can help you “vacate” the conviction by filing a motion with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, which also entails paying a non-refundable $45 filing fee. You must have the motion filed before 30 days have passed after the ex parte judgment. It is still possible to vacate the judgment after the 30 days have passed, but you must be able to prove that you were taking necessary steps to proceed with filing the motion and that you have a good reason for passing the 30-day mark.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Traffic Violation Defense Attorney 

If you are required to appear in traffic court, or if you requested a court date, it is extremely important that you show up on the designated day and time. If you do not, you could risk putting yourself through a lot more legal trouble than should be necessary. Whether you need legal advice about a traffic ticket you received, or you neglected to attend your court hearing, it is always smart to hire a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows, IL traffic ticket defense lawyer. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has dealt with many types of traffic violations and can help you avoid a conviction at all costs. Call our office today at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

Source:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/MunicipalDepartment/FirstMunicipalDistrictChicago/TrafficSection/IfYourAppearanceIsNotRequired/FailureToRespondOrAppear.aspx

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