Ordinance Violation Frequently Asked Questions
If the officer marks the Notice to Appear as a must-appear, or “Pay-by-Mail Denied”, you do not have the option of paying the minimum fine and you must appear in Court on the date listed on the notice. Pursuant to Section 1-21 of the Champaign Municipal Code, the City Attorney may reject any “Pay-by-Mail” payment and compel your appearance in court.
If you are paying after a judgment has been entered against you in court, all payments will need to be made with the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office. Any questions regarding how to pay your fines and court costs will need to be directed to the Circuit Clerk’s office.
If you wish to contest your ticket and are found guilty in court, the Court may take your previous violations into consideration when assessing your fine.
No. We only accept payment in full on ordinance violations in order to avoid Court by using the pay-by-mail option.
Minimum city fines are part of the City of Champaign Municipal Code. The City Attorney does not have the discretion to modify the minimum fines set by the code.
The current minimum fine chart can be found here.
After a judgment is entered in court against you, payments are made at the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office. When the date for the judgment to be paid has passed, the City will review your case and set the matter for a Rule to Show Cause hearing if the judgment and costs have not been paid in full. At this hearing, you can explain your situation to the City and the Court and discuss payment arrangements on your case. It is likely that you will have to return to court every month to make payments until the case is paid in full.
City of Champaign
102 N. Neil St.
Champaign, IL 61820
DO NOT SEND CASH IN THE MAIL. It is important to include your name and the Control Number (listed at the top of your Notice to Appear) on the payment instrument, made out to the City of Champaign. Also, be sure to include the waiver of trial form located on the back of your Notice to Appear. If you have lost your ticket, please click here for a copy of the waiver of trial form.
Credit Card payments are accepted over the telephone, by calling 217-403-8765.
Online payments can be made here.
For more information on why you were given a must-appear date, please contact the Legal Department at 217-403-8765.
There may be special circumstances where the City may revoke your “Pay-by-Mail” payment option and proceed with filing a charge in Circuit Court after the fine is paid. For example, in a damaging property violation, there may be damage to a victim’s property and the City may request restitution be paid by you on the victim’s behalf in addition to the minimum fine. For more information about the special circumstances of a violation, please contact the Legal Department at 217-403-8765.
When a person is charged with an “Unlawful Use of Identification”, “Minor in Possession of Alcohol”, or any other violation where a driver’s license is taken, payment of the minimum fine in settlement of any violation issued does not terminate the Secretary of State’s administrative case against the person charged. That case will proceed independently regardless of what happens with your ordinance violation case.
The Assistant City Attorneys, who represent the City of Champaign in ordinance violation cases, are in the roles of prosecutors and cannot give you legal advice. If you wish to be represented by an attorney, you should contact one prior to your court date. If your financial situation does not allow for a private attorney, legal assistance based on a sliding scale may be available through Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation at 217-356-1351. If you are a student at the University of Illinois, you may have access to legal assistance through Student Legal Services at 217-333-9053.
If you plead GUILTY, the Judge will ordinarily assess a fine plus court costs, any restitution if pertinent, and a date by which to have the matter paid in full. Payments are made at the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office, located at the Champaign County Courthouse, 101 East Main Street, Urbana, Illinois. For case information or questions regarding payments, please visit the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s website.
If you plead NOT GUILTY, the Judge will ask you if you want a bench trial or a jury trial.
A bench trial takes place in front of a Judge only, with no jury involved. There is no fee for a bench trial and it will usually be set at least a month away from your arraignment date. For more detailed information on what to expect at a bench trial, please click here.
A jury trial takes place in front of a 6-person jury. The fee for a jury trial is presently $132.50 and this fee needs to be paid before your jury trial can be scheduled.
At the trial, you will need to bring any witnesses you may have to support your case. If you do not appear for a trial, a default judgment could be entered against you or a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
If you are found guilty in court, you could be fined anywhere from the minimum fine for your violation up to $750.00 for each violation, as well as court costs and restitution if pertinent.
After a judgment is entered in your case, all payments need to be made through the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office, NOT at the City of Champaign Legal Department.