If you are stopped by an officer and receive a minor traffic ticket in Chicago or the suburbs, you likely have three options to handle it, which are usually listed on the back of the ticket or envelope provided by the police officer.
Details regarding how to respond to your ticket can vary from county to county, but usually – you have three options to choose how to move forward.
Option 1: Pay for a Conviction
This is the worst option to select and we never recommend it. You will have to plead guilty to the offense, pay a fine and receive a conviction on your driving record. We like to stress: don’t pay that ticket – call Driver Defense Team instead.
When you receive a conviction on your record, it is often referred to as “points” against your driver’s license. This can cause your insurance rates to increase and your driver’s license to be suspended – depending on your overall record. In the long run, a conviction will often cost you the most money.
Pleading guilty also forfeits an opportunity to get your case dismissed.
Option 2: Plead Guilty, Request Supervision
This option is like the first – but it allows you to avoid a conviction on your driving record. You will be required to plead guilty, pay a higher fine to the court and request court supervision.
You also will have to complete an online traffic safety school. The course is typically four (4) hours, but it may be as many as eight (8) hours if you have already received supervision within the past 12 months.
Keep in mind, you are not guaranteed to receive court supervision by doing this, you can only ask for it. If you are denied, the court will instead enter a conviction on your record.
Pleading guilty and requesting supervision is a good option if you’ve never received traffic tickets, do not have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and have not previously received supervision.
Option 3: Have Your Day in Court
If you have not received your court date, we would request a court date on your behalf. On your court date, often your lawyer can attend on your behalf. Otherwise, you both can attend.
In court, your attorney will speak with the prosecutor, the police officer – if necessary, and any other parties involved. Your attorney also will review your ticket(s), review your driving record and look to reach the best outcome possible, which may result in getting the ticket dismissed.
It’s important to understand, your ticket will NEVER get dismissed if you choose Options 1 or 2. The only chance of getting your ticket dismissed is by having your day in court.
Your attorney may be able to work out a deal – such as reduced charges, some tickets dismissed, court supervision or any combination. While negotiating, we will take your priorities into account.
If you are worried about a criminal record, don’t want to complete community service, or have some other concern – we can do our best to make that happen. Everyone’s situation is different, and we are happy to discuss your options. We’re available for a free consultation six days a week. Call us at 312-940-8330.