Cook County Traffic Tickets
When you receive an Illinois traffic ticket, you will be notified on the bottom of your ticket whether or not you are required to appear in court. For certain offenses, such as: Driving While License Suspended, No Insurance, Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident, and Speeding 26+ miles per hour over the speed limit, you will have no choice but to appear in court.
However, for most petty offenses, you have the option of pleading guilty and mailing in your payment to the Clerk's Office (thereby avoiding a court appearance and court costs that are added to your fine). Should you wish to appear in court to contest the ticket, it is always advisable that you mail in your ticket, plead "not guilty," and request your court date. Even though most counties will automatically generate a court date if they don't receive your payment by the deadline set forth on your ticket, Cook County has changed their policy in this regard and other counties may soon follow suit.
If you receive a traffic ticket in Cook County and you intend to contest the ticket in court, you must mail in your ticket and request a court date. If you fail to do so, the Clerk's Office will enter a conviction against you and notify the Secretary of State accordingly. Your only option once the conviction has entered is to file a Motion to Vacate with the Clerk's Office, which requires payment of a filing fee. This would allow you to schedule a court date at which you can ask the Judge to vacate your conviction and allow you to start over. Of course, the Judge is not required to do so, and if you wait too long to file your motion to vacate, the Judge will not grant you any relief. To avoid these extra steps, additional fees, and the risk involved, always mail your ticket back to the Clerk's Office as instructed clearly marking whether you are pleading "guilty" or "not guilty."
Should you receive a traffic citation in Cook County, or other collar counties, such as: DuPage, Will, Kane or Kendall, and are unsure of whether you need to appear in court or whether it is advisable that you contest the traffic ticket in court, contact our traffic attorneys at Aldrich & Siedlarz Law for a free consultation. First and foremost, we will honestly assess your situation and advise you if hiring an attorney is necessary. If so, we will be ready and willing to fight for you in court.