If you are cited for a traffic infraction in the state of Illinois, you’ll likely have the opportunity to challenge the assertion that you did something wrong. However, it may not necessarily be in your best interest to do so. Generally speaking, it’s only a good idea to challenge a ticket in court if you can clearly demonstrate that you were cited by mistake.
Was there probable cause for the traffic stop that led to a citation?
An officer must have some valid reason to conduct a traffic stop. For example, that person may have observed your vehicle traveling faster than the speed limit or failing to maintain its lane. That individual may have also discovered that your car is out of inspection or that the license plate was registered to another vehicle. Absent any legitimate reason to stop your car, any evidence obtained during a traffic stop may be considered inadmissible. That might be enough to get your citation dismissed.
Is there a video or photographic evidence of your innocence?
A photo or video may serve as conclusive proof that you weren’t parked illegally or that you didn’t run a stop sign. It could also help verify that you were cited for speeding based on a reading from a faulty speed gun.
Is it worth having the citation dismissed?
Fighting a traffic ticket may mean taking time off work to attend a court hearing. You may also have to spend money on a babysitter or put gas in your car to get to the local courthouse. If the costs associated with disputing a citation are more than the costs associated with pleading guilty, it may be best to mail your payment to the court at your earliest convenience.
If you are found guilty of a citation, you may be subject to a fine, points on your license or other consequences. However, assuming that the ticket is dealt with in a timely manner, it’s unlikely that you’ll be sentenced to any time in custody.