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Traffic Tickets May Be More Serious Than You Think

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 1:00pm

Almost every driver in the Chicago area will get pulled over by law enforcement at one point or another and, many times, they will receive a traffic ticket for a violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code. While many people believe that traffic tickets are simply a minor annoyance or inconvenience, the truth is that traffic tickets may often escalate into a much more serious matter.

Not paying your Traffic Ticket

Most people in Chicago lead very busy lives with a lot to worry about. Therefore, when you look at a traffic ticket and see the due date for the fine may be weeks in the future, you may set it aside to worry about later. However, this leads many people to forget about the traffic ticket completely and not pay the fine on time. Other people may worry that they cannot afford to pay the fine for their traffic ticket, so they simply ignore the ticket, thinking that it is not a big deal. This is a mistake.

If you fail to pay your traffic ticket on time and also fail to show up in traffic court on your assigned date, you will likely find yourself facing very serious consequences. For example, a court can issue a warrant for your arrest and the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) can suspend your driver’s license. Most people—especially if they simply forgot about their ticket—will not be immediately aware of either a warrant or license suspension. This can lead to troubling and possibly humiliating circumstances.

For example, imagine you are driving your car with your family inside, believing that everything you are doing is completely legal. Suddenly, a police officer pulls you over and places you under arrest. This is a surprisingly common occurrence when someone forgets to pay a traffic ticket.

Now, instead of the original fine for your minor violation, you will likely be facing the some or all of the following as well:

  • Being placed in handcuffs and taken away in front of your family or friends;
  • A night spent in jail;
  • Bond payment to get out of jail;
  • Charges for failing to appear in court; and
  • Charges for driving on a suspended driver’s license.

All of these additional charges can come with expensive fines and very serious consequences, such as additional license suspension. In order to avoid such complications, you can always hire an experienced Chicago traffic ticket attorney to handle your ticket for you. An attorney will make sure everything is handled in a timely fashion to avoid any further consequences.

Accumulation of Moving Violations

Even if you do pay your traffic ticket on time, you are admitting guilt for the offense. If you are found guilty of three or more moving violations in a one year in Illinois, the SOS can take away your license for a certain period of time. For this reason, you may want to avoid ever paying a ticket for a moving violation as charged. Instead, a traffic lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to have your ticket reduced to a non-moving violation so you can avoid any further repercussions.

If you have received any type of traffic ticket, contact experienced Chicago attorney Steven Goldman for help today.

Posted in Criminal Defense