1. #1
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    Traffic accident - court date

    My wife was involved in a traffic accident, she was rear ended and the driver who hit her was issued a citation (for what I don't know). We were told the traffic court location/date/time and told that we do not need to attend. My question: should we show up to 'testify' or aren't we given that option? I kind of want this traffic ticket to 'stick' because my wife ended up getting pushed into another car and I want to be sure that it is 'recorded' that the driver who hit my wife was guilty (just thinking ahead in case there is a lawsuit or something from the third driver). BTW - the girl who hit my wife was found liable by her insurance carrier for both my car and the car that my wife hit as a result of being hit. This is in Illinois if that makes any difference. Thanks in advance!!

    I am just trying to figure out if we should both take a day off work to go to court.

  2. #2
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    While I can certainly understand your desire to be in court, if you're not subpeona'd there is no requirement for you/wife to be there. It's also questionable whether or not your wife would even be called to testif,if she wasn't subpeone'd. The Traffic Court proceedings and findings are independent of any findings or settlements reached by the insurance companies. The fact that the girl's insurance company has established her as liable, really has more potential meaning for you/ wife than any finding(s) of the Traffic Court. Traffic court will deal solely with the charge made by the investigating officer against the at fault driver. ( the girl). Any insurance settlements/payments etc, are totally seperate issues even though they both arise from the same accident. The decision to take time off from work is yours to make. Should you decide to ask for the time off, attempt to insure that the case goes ahead as scheduled. Cases are often dismissed, continued, or otherwise disposed of. Contact the Court Clerk to insure the case will be heard as scheduled.

  3. #3
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    Most likely if you don't go to court, the ticket will be dropped unless the other driver pleads guilty. Up to you.
    For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

    "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

  4. #4
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    To the OP. You may notice a slight variance in my reply to you, and that of jeffil. My reply is general in nature, and I'm going to defer to Jef on this one, as he is an Illinois Officer.

  5. #5
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    grumpyirishman's Avatar
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    In many jurisdictions, the victim/witness is not required to go to court at the first appearance. Saves you taking a day off, too! If the defendant pleasds Not Guilty, it will be continued to a future date, and then you will receive a subpoena in the mail. If he/she pleads guilty, it is over.
    As stated previously, the traffic charge has no bearing of the civil liability, which is handled by the insurance company.
    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

    "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

  6. #6
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    I am a police officer in Maryland. Here, if the non-fault driver does not show, then there is nobody to testify against the other driver. You will be the states witness to prove what violation the other driver was cited for. If you dont go, at least in Maryland, then the case is dropped, not moved to a new date. Most cases I have, the at-fault driver will plead guilty if there is a witness.

  7. #7
    Salty Dog

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    The court date on the ticket is most likely for arraignment, not trial. Assuming it is just arraignment, the judge will not hear any testimony, and doesn't want to hear any of the facts or allegations. He/she will just formally advise the defendant what the charges are, what the fine would be, and ask how they want to proceed. If he wants a trial, the judge will set a trial date and any necessary witnesses will be subpoenaed.
    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

  8. #8
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    To the OP, if you have questions, call the circuit clerk. Some of it depends on what county you are in, but for my agency I have traffic court once a month. All my tickets go on one day. They call the name, defendant says guilty or not guilty. If not guilty, trial is generally at the end of the court call which can take anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours.
    For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

    "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

  9. #9
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    ChiTownDet's Avatar
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    In Chicago and Cook County (from what I remember) just what JeffIl said. They'll call the case and say "anyone involved in an accident with ...." Don't show and they most likely will kick the ticket.

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