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Trying to resolve a traffic ticket or ordinance violation can be confusing and stressful, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the court system. Many people choose to have an attorney represent them to help explain the procedure and make sure their case(s) are resolved fairly. However, the decision to hire an attorney is entirely your own. You may have the right to have an attorney appointed by the court to represent you if you cannot afford one on your own, depending on the type of offense charged. The judge will explain your rights to you when you make your first court appearance.
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If you were ticketed for Operating Uninsured Motor Vehicle, No Valid Registration or No Valid Driver’s License, but had valid insurance, registration or driver’s license on the date of the citation, you must appear on your court date. Bring a copy of your ticket(s) along with proof of valid insurance, registration or driver’s license to the City Attorney’s Office no later than one week prior to court appearance. Your insurance agent/company will be contacted to verify that the insurance was in effect at the time of your citation.
In order to avoid a court appearance, you must provide proof that your insurance, driver’s license or registration was valid at the time of the arrest to the City Attorney’s Office no later than one week prior to your court appearance. Bring this information, along with a copy of your traffic citation, to the City Attorney’s Office.
Do not assume that your ticket was dismissed. It’s important to always follow-up before your scheduled court date to verify that your case was dismissed. If you submit your proof of compliance by email, you will receive a reply email indicating the status of your request. If you have not received verification of your dismissal, you must appear on your court date. If you do not send proof of compliance one week prior to your court date, you may still be eligible for dismissal. However, you must appear in court and bring the required proof. It is recommended that you arrive 30 minutes early.
Court dates may be obtained by the Jackson County Circuit Clerk’s Office, located on the first floor of the Jackson County Courthouse, call (618) 687-7300 or visit www.judici.com.
Case status information may be obtained at the Jackson County Circuit Clerk’s Office, located on the first floor of the Jackson County Courthouse, call (618) 687-7300 or visit www.judici.com.
Some traffic tickets do not require a court appearance. Look at the bottom of your ticket to determine whether you need to appear in court at all. Many minor traffic tickets may be marked “No Court Appearance Required.” However, if your ticket is marked “Court Appearance Required,” you must appear on the date and time indicated on your ticket.
If your traffic ticket is marked “No Court Appearance Required,” you may pay your ticket at the Circuit Clerk’s Office, on the first floor of the Courthouse. However, if your ticket is marked “Court Appearance Required,” you must appear on the date and time indicated on your ticket.
Attorneys from the City Attorney’s Office are responsible for the prosecution of traffic offenses and ordinance violations issued in Carbondale. Since their duty is to represent Carbondale, they are legally prohibited from giving legal advice to people charged with crimes, including minor traffic offenses. In addition, the attorneys in the City Attorney's Office are prosecuting your case, and anything you tell them could be used against you in court. Your best option is to consult your own attorney.
Your driver’s license status is decided entirely by the Secretary of State. The City Attorney’s Office has no involvement in issuing or suspending driver’s license. For questions regarding your driver’s license, contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 1-800-252-8980.
Court dates are set by the judge who presides over City court. The City Attorney cannot change your court date for you. In order to request a new court date, you must file a Motion to Continue with the Circuit Clerk and have the judge grant the motion prior to your scheduled court date.
It is important to be present and on time at all required court dates. If you fail to appear, several things could happen:•In a minor traffic case, the judge could enter a judgment against you, just as if you had plead guilty. You are then responsible for paying the fines assessed.•If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, and you fail to make your court appearance, the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. Any bond you previously posted could be forfeited.
If you wish to ask the court to vacate (or undo) a judgment against you, or quash (take back) an arrest warrant, you must file a motion with the court. There may be a fee for this motion, and there is no guarantee that the court will grant your motion. For more information, contact the Circuit Clerk’s Office, located on the first floor of the courthouse, or call (618) 687-7300.