You may represent yourself or retain an attorney to represent you. Because you cannot go to jail for ordinance violations, no public defenders or court-appointed lawyers are available for ordinance violation cases.
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Your court date is listed on the ordinance violation ticket. If you cannot locate your ticket, you may check the McLean County Public Access Search System and search for your name under the “Traffic and Criminal Cases” heading. Ordinance violation tickets are assigned case numbers containing “OV.” If your ordinance violation case does not appear on the public access site, you should contact the Legal Department at (309) 454-9507.
Only a licensed attorney may appear on your behalf and represent you. However, you are welcome to bring a friend and/or family member to the courthouse with you.
You may plead either guilty or not guilty.
If you plead guilty, a payment plan or pay-by date will be given to you. Court assessments (costs) will be added on to the fine.
If you plead not guilty, the matter will be set for trial. You will not owe anything unless you are found guilty by the court.
You will be fined and assessed court assessments (costs). For unlawful possession of alcohol or unlawful consumption of alcohol, a guilty plea will also result in suspension of your driving privileges.
You may be given more time to pay the fine and assessments (costs) or you may be given a monthly payment plan. If you pay according to the payment terms in your guilty plea, you will not need to return to court for the ordinance violation case.
You will incur assessments (costs) in addition to a fine. You may incur a higher fine than was offered by the Town as a settlement. By appearing in court, you will then have a court record, which becomes part of a public record and is accessible when searching McLean County’s Public Access Search System. While a settlement with the Town is also a matter of public record, rarely do background checks include a check for an ordinance violation.
The only way to be found not guilty and avoid a fine and court assessments (costs) is to plead not guilty.
You will have an additional court appearance for trial. If you lose, you may receive a higher fine than that offered by the Town for a settlement or guilty plea and the payment terms may be less favorable than you could have agreed to with the Town.