Champaign County Circuit Clerk moving toward online resolution for minor offenses

You could soon be able to enter guilty pleas through your computer for minor traffic and conservation cases in Champaign County. Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman said she submitted an application to the Illinois Supreme Court Tuesday to allow the county to accept electronic guilty pleas in cases where a court appearance isn't required. Blakeman said currently, you must sign your citation and either come to the courthouse in Urbana to file your guilty plea or mail the paperwork into the circuit clerk's offce. She said the electronic pleas of guilty will make the process more convenient for the public. Plus Blakeman said guilty pleas will be recorded much quicker.

Blakeman said the system will also give employees in the circuit clerk's office more time to serve customers. She said some of the kinds of tickets that don't require a court appearance include basic speeding tickets, seatbelt violations and the first violation for using an electronic device, like a cellphone, while driving. Blakeman hopes to get the system up and operating in the spring, along with the re-launch of an improved Circuit Clerk's website.

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