I'm doing NaNoWriMo, and two of my characters get busted for trespassing in an abandoned cemetery after dark. My question pertains to what happens when you get ticketed for trespassing by the police. (Apparently, I didn't get into enough trouble as a kid). I've done a lot of research using google, but still haven't been able to understand the logistics of what happens. Some of the information I've been getting is contradictory. It seems to me that the fines/penalties people get for trespassing at this particular cemetery (Bachelor's Grove near Chicago) varies and depends upon the mood of the police officer and/or judge at the time. I guess, the questions I'm looking for answers to are these: Do the cops tell you right away how much the fine is? How much do you think is the typical fine and what is the typical police response (aka would they take them down to the station)? I did read somewhere that in Illinois, if the ticket is over $100, you are required to appear in court. How do you find out when your court date is? When they give you the ticket or later? Also, what typically happens in court? Can they decide to add more penalties there, such as community service? If community service is assigned, how many hours would they typically be assigned? Will the two friends appear before the judge together? Or do they both go before the judge separately? Do they need a lawyer? (Another tidbit I learned in my reading is that these charges for trespassing in this particular place are usually considered civil and not criminal).
Personal anecdotes on what happened when you or a friend of a friend *wink wink* got busted for trespassing would also be appreciated.
As it stands, my novel currently has one of the characters, Ebenezer, getting frightened and tearing through the woods. He stumbles upon two police officers patrolling the entrance to the woods where the cemetery is located. He winds up with a ticket for $600 because he pissed off one of the cops by lying to them. His buddy, Simon, who wasn't caught in the cemetery, swings by to pick him up. He admits to being in the cemetery and gets a $200 fine. (He is also the reason that Ebenezer gets outed as being a liar; Simon is not the brightest crayon in the box). I realize this scenario is a bit outlandish, but the novel I'm writing is something of a supernatural farce.