Illinois drivers generally do not treat traffic tickets seriously until it is too late. Even if a ticket is for a seemingly minor traffic violation, it can still result in fines and even license suspension. Losing driving privileges, even temporarily, is simply not an option for most people. Fighting a traffic ticket can minimize the risk of these consequences, but doing so can be difficult without the right information.
The fine usually stands out as the most important thing on a traffic ticket, but there is plenty of other valuable information. When issuing a ticket, an officer should write a note detailing the reason he or she decided to ticket the driver, as well as any relevant conditions. Drivers should be sure to request an official copy of the notes, even if they have handwritten copies on their tickets.
Once a driver has an official copy of the officer’s notes, he or she can examine it for any information that may be helpful in fighting the ticket. For example, if the officer failed to include important details, it is much easier to create doubt about the validity of the ticket. Details that people should look for include which lane a driver was in, road conditions, recorded speed, exact location and the presence of nearby vehicles. A driver’s statement in the officer’s notes can also be helpful if the written statement appears to be an approximation instead of an exact quote or if there is no accompanying recording.
Whether accused of speeding or running a red light, drivers in Illinois have the right to defend themselves against traffic tickets. However, it takes a lot more than simply denying the accusation to prevent consequences like license suspension. Drivers should be prepared when going before a judge, which includes bringing along applicable information from an officer’s notes and more.