Traffic Court

Complete Information about Traffic Court is available at the Traffic Court Website.

First Municipal District

traffic ticket

Il state police no court required

How do I know if I have to go to Traffic Court?

A ticket marked “YOU MUST APPEAR” or “COURT APPEARANCE REQUIRED” is issued for a violation for which the violator must appear in court on the date and time indicated. Tickets do not all look the same (see examples)–check your ticket carefully.
traffic violation

Why do I have to appear in Traffic Court?

The Illinois Supreme Court requires individuals cited for violations which create a great potential for harm or carry mandatory minimum penalties to appear in court to answer the charges.

Can they send me to jail because of a Traffic Ticket?

Traffic violations requiring a court appearance are distinguished in the following way: those for which the only punishment on conviction is a fine (petty offenses) and those for which the punishment on conviction can be a jail sentence. Traffic violations that can result in a jail sentence are known as misdemeanors.

Persons charged with such offenses should consult an attorney immediately. Even if they have to pay only fine, a judgment of guilty results in a criminal record which can never be expunged.
texting and driving

What Traffic Violations are Petty Offenses (NOT Misdemeanors)?

The following is a partial list.

  • failing to secure a child in a moving vehicle
  • driving without a valid license or permit
  • driving an uninsured vehicle
  • passing a school bus while loading children
  • speeding in excess of 20 mph but not over 26 mph over limit
  • speeding in school zone when children are present
  • speeding in construction zone when workers are present
  • violation of cruising zones
  • using an alley as a through street in violation of signs
  • failing to yield to an emergency vehicle

car passing stopped school bus

What Traffic Violations are Misdemeanors?

  • driving under the influence (DUI)
  • driving on a suspended or revoked license
  • speeding 26 mph or more in excess of the limit
  • drag racing
  • reckless driving
  • leaving the scene of a property damage accident
  • fleeing or attempting to elude the police
  • driving a commercial vehicle while license is suspended, revoked or driver has been placed out of service
  • any other Class A or Class B misdemeanor

chase crash

What will happen in court on my court date for a Petty Offense?

Your trial will be held on that date. Moving the trial to another date (getting a continuance) will happen only if there is a very good cause.

Do I need an Attorney for court for a Petty Offense?

dangerous driving

What will happen in court on my court date for a Misdemeanor?

The initial court date for a traffic violation classified as misdemeanor is an arraignment date. This is not a trial date. The trial date will be set at the arraignment.

Do I need an Attorney for court for a Misdemeanor?

Yes. Persons charged with a misdemeanor should appear in court with an attorney. Illinois Law requires that you have an attorney to defend you if you could go to jail if convicted.


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