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I forgot to pay a ticket for drinking a beer in public...

Chicago, IL |

i received a ticket from a police officer last summer for drinking alcohol in public. i think they might have said it was cta property too. i went to court and opted to take the fine over doing community service. the fine was 150 and i totally forgot to pay.i'm a little scared now, because i do not know what the repercussions are. it's over a year late i think. is it possible i could have a warrant for my arrest? what will happen if i need to go to a dmv for a new ID? will i get arrested? is there anyway to find out what the fine is now? i haven't received anything from the city of chicago asking to pay or telling me what to now. i don't know what to do.

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Attorney answers 3


You should get in contact with the clerk's office and ask them what happened. They should be able to give you whatever information you need. You can call, or go in person. Be warned, though, calling the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court can be a lesson in frustration at times. So can showing up in person, but either of those options may be better than not knowing.


For the most part courts in Illinois would treat this situation by entering a bond forfeiture conviction against you and would not waste time on a warrant. A bond forfeiture effects your ability to renew a driver's license, and that is generally how they try to induce you to come to court.

Call the clerk in the courthouse the case was heard in. I bet you need to go back into court on a motion to vacate the conviction.

John Yetter


The most efficient way to clear your record is to physically go to the initial Court, explain the situation of not paying on time, have the case reinstated on a motion, lift the presently entered judgment for that unpaid fine and have either pay the fine in full or put it on the schedule. I agree with prior responses that this particular violation usually does not trigger an Arrest Warrant, yet, the judgment will not allow you to procure any Illinois IDs.


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