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Chicagoans’ Due Process Rights Violated by City Regarding Red-Light and Speed-Cam Tickets

March 18th, 2016 at 7:03 am

red-light and speed-cam tickets, Rolling Meadows Traffic Offenses AttorneyThere are more than 300 red-light cameras in Chicago, and in many cases tickets that have been issued from these cameras may be void because the issuance of the tickets violates due process laws. According to a recently issued news report by the Chicago Sun-Times, Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy issued a ruling, potentially worth millions of dollars, against the city of Chicago to reimburse fines and penalties collected on red-light and speed-cam tickets that were issued without due process.

How Was Due Process Violated?

Due process is your right as an individual to be respected by the state or other governmental entity when it comes to your legal rights. When you are charged with a crime, you are granted certain due process rights, meaning that law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors must treat you in accordance with the law before finding that you are liable for a crime.

When it came to tickets issued based on information captured by the red-light and speed-cams located all over the city, the city was found by the Circuit Court to have violated the due process rights of those motorists who stood accused of speeding or running red lights, by:

  1. Failing to provide a second notice of the alleged traffic violation to the accused motorist, which is a violation of the Municipal Code of Chicago Section 9-100-045(b)(2);
  2. Failing to provide the specific make of the vehicle that was issued the ticket, which is a violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code; and  
  3. Indicating that late penalties on the issued tickets would begin to accrue within 21 days of the issuance of the ticket, which is a violation of the Municipal Code of Chicago Section 9-100-050(c) and provides that motorists have a 25-day grace period from the determination of liability in which to pay the ticket without incurring penalties.

Each of the above are violations of motorists’ due process rights, and in effect, the city was not following the law when it made liability determinations without giving accused motorists the chance to contest their charges. The city has collected millions upon millions of dollars on these types of tickets going back as far as 2003, and along the way, some Chicagoans have had their due process rights violated.

The judge held that tickets that were issued and paid by motorists when the motorist’s due process rights were violated are void, and that these motorists can bring collateral actions against the city to recoup their lost fines and penalties. Those motorists who may be affected need to contact an experienced traffic offenses lawyer, and should keep an eye out for a class action suit against the city.  

Contact Our Office for Help

Many people are issued traffic tickets by automated detection systems in Chicago. However, even when a ticket is automated, you still have rights, such as the right to contest the charges that are against you. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic offenses attorney right away. Our legal professionals are ready to help you today.

Sources:

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/1345175/judge-declares-red-light-speed-cam-tickets-void-city-violated-due-process

http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title9vehiclestrafficandrailtransportati/chapter9-92impoundingandrelocationofvehi?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1815&

http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title9vehiclestrafficandrailtransportati/chapter9-92impoundingandrelocationofvehi?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

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