The following rights are applicable to defendants in all traffic cases.


Right to know the charge

Every person receiving a traffic ticket is entitled to receive a copy of the charge in writing. 


Right to know the penalty

Traffic violations range in seriousness from a parking violation carrying a maximum fine of $100.00 to a felony offense resulting in a prison sentence of more than 10 years. 


The range of penalties for cases heard in traffic court are: 


Petty Offense    fine of $1 to $1,000 

examples: speeding, disobeying a red light


Business Offense    fine set by law creating each offense 

example: driving without insurance



Class A    jail up to 364 days or fine of $1 to $2,500 or both 

examples: driving under the influence, driving on a suspended or revoked license or speeding 40 or more miles over the speed limit


Class B    jail up to 6 months or fine of $1 to $1,500 or both 

example: to advertise or distribute any information or material that promotes the selling, giving or furnishing of a fraudulent driver's license or permit or speeding 30 or more miles over the speed limit


Class C    jail up to 30 days or fine of $1 to $1,500 or both 

example: third conviction for a petty offense traffic violation within one year


Right to an attorney

Every person charged with a traffic violation has the right to be represented by an attorney of his or her own choice. 


Right to a jury trial

Persons charged with a violation of an Illinois state law have a constitutional right to trial by jury. Ordinance violations punishable by fine only will be heard by a jury in cases where the defendant files a jury demand and pays a non-refundable $100.00 jury fee on or before the first court date. 


Right of confrontation

Every person accused of a violation has the right to have witnesses brought to court to testify in his or her presence. 


Right to remain silent

Every person has the right to say nothing and require the prosecutor to prove the charges. 


Right to an appeal

Every person found guilty of a traffic violation has the right to an appeal to the appellate court. 

© 2018 by The Law Office of C. N. Norris, LLC.