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If the officer who writes you a citation files it after the allotted 48 hours with the circuit clerk you may move to have the case dismissed.

Brian L. Polinske
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Edwardsville Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

Recently, the Fifth District appeallate court ruled that citations filed with the clerk more than 48 hours after their issuance may be dismissed.  if the police deparment has persistently failed to file the citations in compliance with the 48 hour rule it appears clear that the citations must be dismissed.  If the department has only sporadically failed to do so the State has a greater chance of preventing the dismissal.

This is a huge development in case law.  Rule 552 states  "Uniform Citation and Complaint forms and conservation complaints shall be in forms which may, from time to time, be approved by the Conference of Chief Circuit Judges and filed with this court. The uniform forms shall be adapted for use by municipalities. The arresting officer shall complete the form or ticket and, within 48 hours after the arrest, shall transmit the portions entitled “Complaint” and “Disposition Report” and, where appropriate, “Report of Conviction,” either in person or by mail, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the violation occurred. Each Uniform Citation and Complaint form and conservation complaint shall upon receipt by the clerk be assigned a separate case number, chronologically, including multiple citations issued to the same accused for more than one offense arising out of the same occurrence (see Rule 503(a)). A final disposition noted on the reverse side of the “Complaint” shall be evidence of the judgment in the case. Upon final disposition of each case, the clerk shall execute the “Disposition Report” and promptly forward it to the law enforcement agency that issued the ticket. On a plea or finding of guilty in any traffic case, the clerk shall also execute the “Report of Conviction” portion of the Uniform Citation and Complaint, if and as applicable, and such other reports as required by section 6–204 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, as amended (625 ILCS 5/6–204) and promptly forward same to the Secretary of State. This rule does not prohibit the use of electronic or mechanical systems of record keeping, transmitting or reporting.

The appellate court's ruling solidifies the Rule's impact.

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