You are driving on I-55 or I-270 in Madison County. A trooper conducts a stop on your vehicle. He claims you were exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph. You don't think you were driving that fast, although you were over the speed limit. You receive a citation and are told that you don't have to contest it. You can simply sign the guilty portion and mail in your citation with payment. No court appearance is needed.
Is this the best way to take care of the ticket? No. It definitely is not.
If you hire an attorney to take care of the citation you will not need to appear in court (unless it is much more serious than a Speeding citation). The attorney will conduct negotiations with the prosecutor, see if the ticket can be dismissed, and if not work out a disposition whereby no points will be placed against your driving record. This process works for both in-state and out-of-state clients. Most attorneys offer credit card payments so a personal appearance to their office is unnecessary.
The disposition most commonly used is called court supervision. Supervision is an authorized disposition whereby no judgment is entered even after the client pleads guilty. It is known as diversion or suspended sentence in other states. After the term of supervision is completed the case is dismissed. Typically, supervision periods for simple speeding violations is 30 days. There is also a fine and cost assessed by the court. Typically these amounts begin at $130.00. The court gives an offender up to 90 days to pay the fine. When a client pleads guilty and is sentenced to supervision the Secretary of State is notified but the record is only kept in their internal records system. The case is not divulged to the general public or other state of residence.
Taking care of tickets is a simple process and the ease of mind it provides when done properly is worth the small legal fee to handle it. Typical fees begin at $150.00 for this service.