Winnebago County Changes Court Supervision Payment Times

By: Marissa Sherer Email
By: Marissa Sherer Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Winnebago County is moving up the deadline for traffic fines, that's if you plan to keep the ticket off your record.

Branden Crane owes Winnebago county hundreds of dollars in fines. He says recent changes regarding fine collection in traffic court just aren't fair.

"How am I supposed to pay thousands of dollars up front? There's not much leeway with that," Crane said.

The change only affects those requesting court supervision which would keep the conviction off the driver's record. Before, drivers had the duration of their supervision to pay, but now they'll have to pay before supervision even starts.

"A lot of people don't have money nowadays. Everyone is struggling nowadays. I'm one. I'm a single mom with three kids. I don't have the money to come up with right then. You know, I think it's crazy," Michelle Landis, explained.

"If the person isn't able to pay it upfront, then court supervision may not be available to them, in which case a conviction would enter and the person would get an order to pay and time to pay," Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato, said.

This is another way for the county to make sure it gets the money it's owed.

"It's the opportunity for all tax payers to see that the system is making sure that we collect the fines," Bruscato said.

Crane says there are a lot of people like him, willing to pay for court supervision who just can't do it immediately.

"It hurts the citizens more than it helps them," Crane said.

Just to be clear, this change only applies to traffic court. If you can't pay up front after appearing in court you'll have time to pay your fines, but whatever you've been charged with will then show up on your record whereas with court supervision the charge stays off your record.

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