Greetings and thank you for providing this forum.
I have kind of a tricky situation. Back in May of last year I loaned my van to my brother to pick up some furniture that was given to him. While he was using it, he witnessed a hit & run traffic accident. Good samaritan that he is, he pursued the offender while contacting the police on his cell phone (I think his wife was on the phone, not sure). During the pursuit he was caught by 2 red lights, which the police directed him to go through them and keep following the offender. Consequently, the police did catch the offender, thanks to my brother keeping them informed at every turn.
He told me about the incident when he returned my van, and I was very proud of him for doing the right thing. I would have done the same. However, he didn't mention the 2 red lights. I didn't find out about that part until about a month later, when I received the notices from the Department of Revenue, which included photos of the back of my van and a close-up of the license plate, going through the red light.
On telling him about the notices, he said he would try to get it fixed, that he could probably get a record of the phone call and accident report from the police. I expressed my doubts, as the police are not known for their cooperation in such circumstances. And since he is a CDL truck driver, knowing how this would impact his record and his job, I told him if he can't get it fixed that I would just pay the fines. After all, he did his part on doing the good deed, so I don't mind doing my part.
The tickets are still not paid. I haven't had the money and they have since doubled and have added fees, now mounting to a total of $488. I am a self employed handyman and money is really tight, as I'm sure you're aware of how the bad economy is hitting anybody involved in home improvement. I'm barely making enough to pay my rent, much less paying these tickets. However, the money is not really the issue.
I don't mind paying the tickets, and I will pay them eventually, somehow. My issue is not about the money. The problem is I am now attending CDL Driving School! My concern is having 2 red light violations on my record when I'm just getting started in my new career. Especially with the new laws soon to take effect under CSA 2010, these serious traffic violations will be on my record permanently. I don't think I have to mention how this will impact my selection of opportunities.
I don't have my CDL yet. From what I understand, if I get them expunged from my record before I get the CDL then they will not go on my record. However, if I wait until after I get my CDL, they will become permanent points against my safety record.
Like I said, I don't mind paying the fines. Not sure HOW I will pay them, but I will find a way if I have to. However, I'm afraid that paying them now will serve as a submission of guilt. I want to get them expunged from my record and I'm afraid paying them now will prevent me from being able to do that.
So basically, I would like advice on these 2 issues:
A) Will paying the fines work against me or would doing so work in my favor?
B) Do I stand a chance of getting these violations expunged from my record before I get my CDL?
If it matters, I live in Chicago, IL, which is also where the incident took place. I would greatly appreciate your input on these matters.