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Court Supervision
I got a speeding ticket back in April. It was the first time I've been caught by the Illinois State Police and apparently the rules for dealing with tickets are quite different from city or county cops.

First, you do not have a 14 day payment deadline. In fact, you don't receive a court date automatically, instead they mail your court date within 14 days. The court date is usually within 2-3 months and you have until 4 days before to plead guilty and pay your fines.

Second, the state police do not offer the ability to plead guilty and avoid a conviction by taking a defensive driving course, let alone the on-line version by Northwestern.

Third, the court date assignment process is different. In Chicago, if you continue (postpone) your court date, the chances of the officer appearing in court decreases. You can continue your court date a second time and the chances of the officer appearing on the third date is even smaller, increasing your chances of getting the case thrown out. This is not true for the state. State officers are assigned one day a month to go to court and court dates are automatically assigned based on this date. The result is that officers rarely miss their court dates so cases are rarely dismissed.

Fourth, fines and fees are cheaper with the state. The largest fine you can get without having to go to court is a scant $95. I believe the basic fine in Chicago is $115 and $135 for the higher fine. Of course, the state does break triple digits with their $5 credit card payment fee.

Fifth, the only way to avoid a conviction is to request court supervision. If you get another ticket while under court supervision, your original ticket will be re-instated and entered as a conviction, along with your new ticket. On the plus side, court supervision by the state only lasts 90 days instead of 12 months.

Unfortunately I didn't realize all these differences. If I had requested court supervision in April, my time would already be done. Instead I continued my case and then procrastinated, which means I have to behave for another 90 days until my record is clear again.

Posted 08/12/2008 09:03 PM in Cars, Who knew? | Total Comments: (0)
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