What are the rights of a person charged with a traffic ticket in Illinois?

  1. Right to contest the ticket: You have the right to plead not guilty and challenge the ticket in court rather than simply paying the fine.
  2. Right to an attorney: For traffic violations that carry potential imprisonment, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford one, the court may appoint an attorney for you if you show proof of financial hardship.
  3. Right of confrontation: You have the right to confront and cross-examine the arresting officer and other prosecution witnesses in court.
  4. Right to present evidence: You can bring witnesses to testify on your behalf and present evidence such as photographs to support your testimony.
  5. Right to review evidence: You have the right to see any paperwork the officer presents before it’s submitted to the judge.
  6. Right to options for handling the ticket: For tickets marked “No Court Appearance Required,” you can choose to:
    • Plead guilty and pay the fine without going to court
    • Plead guilty, request supervision, pay the fine, and attend traffic safety school
    • Plead not guilty and have your day in court
  7. Right to a payment plan: If you owe money for a ticket, you may be able to create a payment plan.
  8. Right to seek legal help: You can hire an attorney to represent you, and in some cases, an attorney may be able to attend court on your behalf.

It’s important to note that traffic violations can carry serious consequences in Illinois, including fines up to $1,000, potential license suspension, and the accumulation of points on your driving record. If you’re unsure about how to proceed, it’s advisable to consult with a traffic attorney who can guide you through the process and help protect your rights.