While some traffic tickets may seem relatively minor and not worth fighting, serious traffic violations such as DUI and Leaving the Scene of an Accident can result in revocation of your driver’s license, points assessed to your driving record, mandatory driving classes, outrageous fines, and even jail time. If you have been wrongfully accused of violating traffic laws or if you simply want assistance with reducing traffic violation penalties, you need to seek the advice of a skilled traffic violation defense attorney.
Chicago traffic ticket lawyer David L. Freidberg represents clients charged with traffic offenses in Cook and DuPage Counties. Mr. Freidberg and his team have over twenty years of experience with litigating and representing clients in court. With a long history of acquittals, dismissals, and reduced charges, he has developed a reputation in the Chicago community for excellent representation and unparalleled dedication to fighting for justice. Criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg can counsel you on the severity and consequences of each violation, your various legal options, and which course of action is best for you considering your needs and goals. Our firm serves clients charged with traffic violations in Beverly,Bridgeview, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Evanston, Harwood Heights, Hyde Park, Markham, Maywood, Morton Grove, Naperville, North Riverside, Rolling Meadows, Skokie, Summit, Tinley Park, Wheaton, and Wheeling. With offices in Chicago, DuPage, and Skokie, The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with your case. For a free initial consultation, call The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg 24/7 at (312) 560-7100 or (800) 803-1442 toll free.Traffic Tickets
Traffic tickets can be completed by a police officer with a copy given to you during a traffic stop or mailed to the address on your driver’s license. When an officer stops you and gives you a ticket, the ticket must include the following information (see 625 ILCS 5/11-212):
- Your name, address, gender, and race
- Why you were stopped
- Your car’s make and year
- The date and time of stop
- Where you were stopped
- Whether a search was conducted (and if so, by consent or other means) and whether contraband was discovered during the search
- Whether a police canine searched the vehicle and whether contraband was discovered by the canine
- The name and badge number of the officer writing the ticket
You may receive a ticket in the mail for a violation detected by digital cameras installed at intersections in your Illinois city. These violations are administrative violations, not moving violations. Thus, you do not face any points on your driving record. However, they are very expensive. You may receive a ticket in the mail for speeding, running a red light or turning right on red. An independent, third-party company reviews the video footage for any violations, then submits potential violations to your city’s Department of Revenue for final review and ticket processing. If the Department of Revenue decides to issue a ticket, it will be placed in the system, the Department of Transportation and DMV will be notified of the violation, and you will receive a citation in the mail.
There are two types of traffic violations – violations that require a court appearance and violations that can be finalized without court assistance. The ticket will state whether a court appearance is required. According to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 551, the following types of violations require a court appearance:
- Class A and Class B misdemeanors
- Violations that include Operating Without Insurance ( 625 ILCS 5/3-707), Operating When Registration Suspended for Noninsurance, No Valid Driver’s License (625 ILCS 5/6-101), Driving While License is Revoked (625 ILCS 5/6-303), and more
- Violations of the Child Passenger Protection Act
- Violations involving accidents that result in injury or death
- Conservation offenses
- Violations arising from numerous charges
- Violations facing minimum fines that are greater than $95
- County or city violations that mirror any of the above offenses
If you are required to appear in court, the ticket will state all necessary information, such as which Illinois county court you must appear in. Contact Chicago traffic ticket defense lawyer David L. Freidberg immediately if you have received a ticket and are in this situation.
Some of the more serious traffic violations carry severe consequences and mandate the use of a skilled traffic violation defense attorney. Some of these violations include:
- Driving Under the Influence/Operating While Impaired
- Reckless Driving and Aggravated Reckless Driving
- Drag Racing and Street Racing
- Failing to Yield to Emergency Vehicles or in Construction Zones
- Hit-and-Run/Leaving the Scene of an Accident
- Unrestrained Child in Violation of the Child Passenger Protection Act
- Committing a Crime While Using a Car
- Driving Without Insurance, a Driver’s License or Registration
- Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
- Fleeing a Police Officer
The penalties for each traffic citation will vary depending on the county in which your ticket was issued and the type of violation. Your ticket will state the violation and penalties. Common penalties include:
- Court costs or fees
- Traffic school or drug and alcohol classes
- Points on your driving record
- Increased car insurance premiums
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Criminal conviction on your record for more serious offenses like DUI
- Potential jail time
- Ignition interlock device
- Disqualification from using CDL if issued a ticket while driving commercially
- Community service
If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, your license may be suspended or revoked. For most traffic convictions, the Illinois Secretary of State will assess points to your record. The number of points assessed for each violation will vary by the type of violation. For instance, a reckless driving conviction incurs 55 points. Not every violation faces penalty points. See the Illinois Traffic Offenses chart for a complete list of offenses and their assigned points. When you accumulate 15 points, the state can suspend or revoke your license. In addition, if you accumulate 3 traffic convictions in a 12-month period, the state can suspend or revoke your license.Fighting a Traffic Ticket
When you receive a traffic ticket, you have two main options: (1) plead guilty or no contest or (2) plead not guilty. If you plead guilty or no contest, you are giving up the right to fight your ticket. If the violation is non-criminal, you will likely pay the associated fine, complete any required traffic school, and incur any points and car insurance premium increases. You can pay the fine via the county website, by mail or at the county court. If you need to complete Illinois traffic school, you can complete the course online, then submit the certificate of completion to the Illinois DMV or the county court. You may also be eligible for court supervision, but you must appear in court to request this type of disposition.
You may think that an attorney is not necessary if you decide to plead guilty. However, a defense attorney who is experienced with Illinois traffic violations can help you reduce the charges to lesser violations or advocate for a reduced penalty.
If you plead not guilty, you then fight the ticket. A hearing will be scheduled during which you can contest the ticket. The police officer who issued the ticket must appear in court to testify about the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop. If you are found not guilty by the judge, the case is over, and you will not incur any penalties. If you are found guilty, you face the same penalties as pleading guilty.
If the violation is criminal in nature, such as a DUI, you must appear before a criminal judge to be prosecuted. You have the right to a full criminal trial during which you can present your own evidence and argue why the prosecutor failed to prove the violation beyond a reasonable doubt.
Fighting a traffic violation in traffic court or criminal court is a daunting process. In addition to your lack of familiarity with courtroom procedures, the prosecutor will also have more resources than you. A skilled Chicago traffic ticket lawyer can assist you with preparing a defense strategy, including negotiating with the prosecutor for a favorable plea bargain or diversion or presenting a defense theory at trial.Skilled Traffic Violation Defense Attorney Prepared to Review Your Case
If you have received a traffic ticket in Cook or DuPage County, you need to immediately contact criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg for a free case consultation. David L. Freidberg can review the circumstances of your ticket to determine if the stop was conducted in accordance with the law and can help you craft a successful defense strategy to negotiate a lesser penalty or fight the violation in court. To speak with an experienced attorney at The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, contact us at (312) 560-7100 or (800) 803-1442 now. We are available 24/7 for your legal needs.