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.
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.
If you do end up going to traffic court, remember that even though this is not a criminal court, you should still behave as if it is. You should come to traffic court dressed appropriately in business casual clothing, such as a button-down shirt and slacks or a dress. Be sure to arrive at your hearing with plenty of time to spare and prepared with any necessary documentation for your trial.
Most of the time, traffic court trials are bench trials, meaning there is no jury present to decide your fate, just a judge. In some cases, the first time you attend traffic court may only be for your initial hearing to declare if you plead guilty or not guilty. Sometimes, your trial will commence the same day.
When it comes to traffic citations, the prosecution has the burden of proving that you are guilty. If you are charged with a municipal citation, the prosecution only needs to prove that you are guilty “by a preponderance of the evidence.” However, if you are charged with a state offense, your guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
The sentence you receive for a traffic violation depends almost entirely on the violation itself. If you are found guilty of a petty traffic offense, you will likely only be required to pay fines and court costs and in some situations, you might be required to attend traffic safety school. If you are found guilty of a more serious traffic offense, you could be facing fines, court costs, traffic safety school, community service, or even jail time depending on the circumstances.
If you have been issued a traffic ticket, you should discuss your case with a skilled and dedicated Arlington Heights, IL traffic violations defense lawyer. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has been helping clients for more than 25 years with all types of criminal cases. With his vast knowledge and experience, he can help you determine whether or not you should fight your traffic citation and guide you through your trial, if necessary. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 847-253-3400.
Client accused of burglary was acquitted due to our skillful cross examination of eye witness identification.
Client accused of causing the death of another while driving under the influence - Acquitted.
Client accused of first degree murder - Acquitted.
Client accused of embezzlement - Charges never filed.
Hundreds of Secretary of State hearings for Drivers License Reinstatement - Won.