Pictured above: Park City Branch Court – Lake County Illinois
Lake County, Illinois is different than other jurisdictions in some ways when it comes to handling speeding and traffic tickets. In Lake County there are three branch courts that handle all minor traffic matters including speeding tickets, suspended licenses, traffic accident tickets and other traffic matters. These branch courts have only one or two courtrooms each, but feature large, ample seating for the often heavy court calls, and free parking is also available at each location. The three branch courts are located in Mundelein, Park City, and Round Lake Beach respectively. Cases are assigned geographically to each of these courts based on where the offense took place. The cases at each location are handled by Assistant State’s Attorney’s from Lake County as well as Village Prosecutors that vary from town to town. A scan of the ticket should show the location, date and time for the first appearance. Lake County courts run all day with several start times at 9:00am, 10:30am, 1:30pm, and 3:00pm. Depending on the day you may spend quite a long time in court if you don’ have an attorney. The cases in which people do have an attorney are handled first as the attorneys often have to make other appearances in other locations and then the rest of the case are called. If you want a continuance to hire an attorney tell the judge that and the request will generally be honored one or twice, until you retain an attorney. It is always the best practice to consult with an attorney right from the start though to avoid unnecessary court appearances.
Drivers who may have gone to court before in other counties may have had the experience of getting a case dismissed when they went to court the first time because an officer was not in court to proceed with the case. This is not how things work in Lake County. The first court date after the ticket offers a chance to plea guilty tot he charge but nothing else. The case must be set for trial and the person must return to see if the officer will be present to proceed with the case the next court date.
Often a Lawyer may make court appearances on a client’s behalf with proper authorization and the case may be resolved with the client not having to take time off work, school or family. Each court session also begins with a judge generally informing the crowd that the court costs in Lake County can often exceed the fine imposed by 2-3 times. To minimize the financial costs of speeding tickets and other offenses it is often wise to retain an attorney to give you a voice in court. A premature plea of guilty or sending in money to pay a ticket in the mail can often have unseen disastrous results, depending on the offense and priors, such as the loss of driving privileges, increased insurance premiums or other unnecessary increased financial burdens. A lawyer is essential for misdemeanor traffic offenses such as speeding 30 miles or more over the speed limit, passing a school bus or school zone violations, suspended license or accident cases that may have additional consequences of civil liability. The misdemeanor traffic offense will result in a criminal record in addition to the fines and costs but can often be amended or mitigated by the negotiations of a skilled traffic attorney. Call the Richard Albanese Law Office today at 312-882-1973 or visit our office on the Web at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com for a free consultation on your speeding ticket in Lake County or elsewhere.