Knowing your rights and potential consequences is essential when you receive a traffic ticket. That’s why this guide will cover everything from the types of traffic violations to the possible penalties you may face.
Types of Traffic Violations
Moving Violations Speeding Tickets
Speeding is among the most common moving violations. If you receive a speeding ticket in the city of Chicago, you may be required to pay a fine and attend traffic safety school.
It’s important to note that if caught speeding in a construction or school zone, the fines and penalties may be higher.
Additionally, Illinois has a child passenger safety act that requires children to be adequately restrained in a car seat or booster seat until they are eight years old.
Reckless driving is another serious moving violation that can result in fines, points on your driver’s license, and even jail time. Examples of reckless driving include weaving in and out of traffic, passing on the right, and tailgating.
Construction Zone Violations
If you receive a ticket for a construction zone violation, you may be required to pay a higher fine than a typical moving violation. The fines for construction zone violations can range from $375 to $1,000, depending on the severity of the violation.
Red Light Violations
Running a red light can result in a fine and points on your driver’s license. In Chicago, many intersections have traffic light cameras automatically issuing tickets to drivers who run red lights.
Non-Moving Violations Parking Violations
Parking violations include parking in a no-parking zone, parking too close to a fire hydrant, or blocking a driveway. If you receive a parking ticket, you can pay the fine online, by mail, or in person. If you wish to contest the ticket, you can request a hearing and present your case to an administrative law judge.
Equipment violations include broken headlights or taillights, tinted windows, or loud exhaust systems. If you receive an equipment violation ticket, you may be required to fix the issue and have it inspected by a mechanic before you can have the ticket dismissed.
Traffic Violations Statistics in the City of Chicago
Traffic violations are common in the city of Chicago, with thousands of tickets issued yearly. In 2021, over 2.7 million parking violations were issued in the city, with an estimated $264 million in revenue generated from these violations alone.
When it comes to moving violations, there were over 480,000 traffic tickets issued in 2021. Of these tickets, the most common violations were speeding and traffic light violations. These violations can result in fines, points on your driver’s license, and potentially the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
The Importance of Responding to Traffic Tickets in Chicago
If you receive a traffic ticket in the city of Chicago, it’s essential to respond promptly and follow the instructions on the ticket. You may have the option to contest the ticket in court, request a hearing, or plead guilty and pay the fine. You can appeal the citation if you believe new evidence has come to light that may impact your case.
Failure to respond to a traffic ticket issued by police can result in additional penalties, including the suspension of your driver’s license and a warrant for your arrest. To avoid these consequences, pay the fine, request a hearing, or contest the ticket in court.
Options for Responding to a Traffic Ticket
- Paying the Fine and Pleading Guilty: If you pay the fine for your traffic ticket, you essentially admit guilt. It can result in points on your driver’s license and potentially higher insurance premiums.
- Attending Safety School: Another option for responding to a traffic ticket is to attend a safety school. It can help you avoid points on your driver’s license and keep your insurance premiums from going up.
- Contesting the Ticket in Court: If you contest the ticket in court, you must present your case before a judge. You can choose to represent yourself or hire a traffic court attorney.
Traffic Court and Court-Ordered Traffic Safety School
Traffic violations in Chicago are handled by either the Circuit Court or one of the municipal district courts. If you receive a traffic ticket, you will typically have the option to either pay the fine or contest the ticket in court. If you contest the ticket, you must appear before a judge at the Daley Center or one of the municipal district courts.
Possible Penalties Beyond the Fine
You may face additional penalties beyond the fine if you are found guilty of a violation. These penalties can include points on your driver’s license, a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, and increased insurance premiums. It’s important to note that if you accumulate too many points on your driver’s license within a certain period of time, your license may be suspended or revoked.
Court-Ordered Safety School
If you must attend safety school as part of your penalty, you must complete the course within a specific timeframe. Failure to complete the course could result in additional penalties or the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
Traffic school can cover various topics, including defensive driving, the dangers of drunk driving, and safe driving practices.
An Overview of Administrative Hearings: Administrative hearings determine whether a person should face additional penalties beyond the initial fine for a traffic or parking violation. These hearings are typically held before an administrative law judge and can be requested by either the person who received the ticket or the police officer who issued the ticket.
Your Traffic Violation Options
Traffic tickets can be a frustrating and stressful experience for anyone. Whether you’ve received speeding tickets or parking violations, it’s essential to understand your options for responding to the citation and resolving the issue.
In the city of Chicago, there are specific rules and procedures that you must follow if you want to avoid additional penalties and protect your driving privileges.
- Types of Violations: Chicago has two categories of violations: moving and non-moving. Moving violations include things such as speeding citations and driving recklessly, while non-moving violations include things like parking violations and equipment violations.
- Responding to Violations: When you receive a traffic ticket, you have several options for responding to the citation. You can plead guilty, pay the fine, attend traffic safety school, or contest the ticket before a judge.
- Court Appearance and Pleading Guilty: If you plead guilty, you may be required to appear in court. The judge will review your case and determine the appropriate penalty during your court appearance. It’s important to note that pleading guilty can result in points on your driving record and potentially higher insurance premiums.
- Traffic Tickets and Municipal District Courts: The Circuit Court or municipal district court typically handles traffic cases in Chicago. The Daley Center is the main courthouse for traffic cases in Chicago.
- Speeding Tickets and Driving Record: If you receive a speeding ticket, it can result in points on your driving record. Accumulating too many points on your driving record within a certain period of time can result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
Protecting Your Driving Privileges
You can avoid additional penalties and protect your driving privileges by protecting your ability to drive legally.
Seeking Further Information and Assistance
- City of Chicago’s Department of Finance Website: The City of Chicago’s Department of Finance website can provide additional information on paying traffic tickets, requesting a court date, and appealing a decision.
- Traffic Court Attorneys and Legal Assistance: If you need assistance with a traffic case, you may consider hiring a traffic court attorney or seeking legal assistance. Legal assistance may be available to low-income individuals who cannot afford an attorney.
Request an Administrative Hearing
To request an administrative hearing, follow the instructions on the back of your traffic ticket. You will typically have a certain number of days from the date of the alleged violation to request a hearing.
Present Evidence and Build a Defense
If you contest the ticket at an administrative hearing, you must present evidence and build a defense. It may include presenting witnesses, submitting documents, and arguing before the administrative law judge.
Dealing with a traffic violation in Chicago can be complicated, but understanding your rights and options can help you protect your driving privileges and minimize the potential penalties.
By following the instructions on your traffic ticket and seeking additional information and assistance when necessary, you can navigate the court system and achieve a favorable outcome.
Hire a Lawyer to Resolve Your Traffic Violation Case
Are you facing a traffic ticket in the city of Chicago?
Consider hiring a Chicago personal injury lawyer from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to help resolve your case. A lawyer can provide valuable guidance and support, ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
When you hire a lawyer to represent you, you will benefit from their expertise and experience. They can help you plead your case in court, cross-examine witnesses and police officers, and appear in court on your behalf.
A lawyer can also work to get your vehicle released if it has been impounded and help you navigate getting your driver’s license reinstated if it has been suspended.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you navigate the legal process and get the best possible outcome for your case. We look forward to hearing from you!