What to Do About a Traffic Ticket

A traffic ticket is an official notice that someone violated a traffic law. If you receive a traffic ticket, you may be wondering what your next step is.

According to the Illinois Court Records, a traffic violation may be a minor or major offense, and the consequences of it vary based on severity and other factors.

Requirement of a court appearance

Certain traffic violation categories require the driver to appear in traffic court:

  • Major offenses
  • Violations related to no driver’s license, excess weight permit, restricted license or no auto insurance
  • Minor offenses with fines over $95
  • Offenses related to crashes that resulted in the death of an individual
  • Child Passenger Protection Act violations

Points assigned to driving record

For offenses that do not require a court appearance, one can contest the ticket or plead guilty and pay the associated fine. However, pleading guilty often results in getting points assigned to your driving record.

The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State shows the points assigned for each traffic violation. Points range from 5 to 55. Examples of 5 and 10-point offenses include no turn signal, obstructing street car traffic, speeding up to 10 mph above the speed limit and violating a graduated driver’s license requirement.

Violations that earn a high number of points include reckless driving, driving too close to a bicyclist, improper turns, passing a school bus with its red lights flashing, abuse of a video device and aggravated speeding in a construction zone.

License suspension or revocation may occur if a driver commits three offenses in a 12-month period, or if a driver less than 21 years of age commits two or more offenses in a 24-month period.

Immediate revocation or suspension of driver’s license

Some traffic offenses result in an immediate suspension of the driver’s license. Examples include modification of the rear license plate, violating an instruction permit, fleeing a law enforcement officer, failure to report on an accident and a DUI.