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Driving with a Revoked or Suspended License in Illinois

Updated on March 15, 2023 → Under

Alcohol-related offenses, traffic violations, and not paying child support payments are some reasons that may cause driver’s license revocation or suspension in Illinois. A license suspension means the state has temporarily withdrawn your driving privileges. While a license revocation means your driver’s license has been terminated. Driving with a revoked or suspended license in Illinois is a crime and you may face severe penalties.

The driver's license reinstatement attorneys at Dohman Law Group frequently represent clients charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license in Rolling Meadows, Waukegan, Elgin, Lombard, Aurora, and throughout Chicago, IL.

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our Rolling Meadows criminal defense law firm today at (847) 616-9993 or chat with us online to learn how we can help.

What are the Reasons for License Suspension or Revocation in Illinois?

In Illinois, your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked for a variety of reasons, including:

  • If you’ve been convicted of three or more traffic offenses within a year,
  • You’re repeatedly involved in motor vehicle accidents,
  • You caused a car accident that results in personal injury or death,
  • You have been convicted of fleeing from a law enforcement officer, and
  • You’re convicted of certain traffic offenses that occurred while you were driving, including drug offenses and certain sex crimes.

Driver’s license revocation is mandatory for certain charges, including:

  • Reckless homicide if a motor vehicle was involved in the offense,
  • Drunken driving,
  • Commission of a felony offense if a vehicle was involved, and
  • Fleeing the scene of a car crash involving death or injury.

Further, your driver’s license can be suspended if you don’t pay a certain number of parking tickets or traffic violations or if you don’t pay or evade a certain number of tolls. 

What Happens If You Get Caught Driving with a Suspended License in Illinois?

In Illinois, it’s illegal to drive while your driver’s license is suspended or revoked. You can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor offense, a petty offense, or a felony charge, depending on the facts of your case. Your charge and the potential criminal penalties may be severe if you have previous traffic convictions for driving after license suspension or revocation, or if your driver’s license was suspended or revoked for certain reasons.

For a petty offense, the criminal penalties include a maximum fine of $500. A Class A misdemeanor offense carries:

  • $75 to $2,500 in fine, and
  • Up to 12 months in jail.
Driving with a Revoked or Suspended License in Illinois

Under certain conditions, you can be charged with a felony charge for driving with a suspended or revoked license, this the most serious category of crime in Illinois. Reasons for felony charges include having a specified number of previous traffic convictions and driving while your driver’s license is revoked because of a reckless homicide conviction. Felony charges carry a maximum fine of up to $25,000. The duration of potential prison sentences for a felony charge in Illinois depends on the class of felony. Your prison sentence might fall in the following ranges:

  • 4-15 years for a class 1 felony charge,
  • 3-7 years for a class 2 felony charge,
  • 2-5 years for a class 3 felony charge, and
  • 1-3 years for a class 4 felony charge.

Typically, these jail sentences may not indicate the time you’re required to serve in jail or prison. Often, the judge can suspend all or part of the jail sentence and place the traffic offender on probation.

However, sometimes you may face a minimum jail sentence. For instance, if you’re convicted of driving after driver’s license suspension or revocation, and the reason for losing your driving privileges was a reckless homicide conviction, you may serve a minimum jail sentence of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service.

How Do I Reinstate My Revoked Driver’s License in Illinois?

The period of time your driver’s license is suspended or revoked depends on the circumstances of your case. Once the period of revocation or suspension ends, you must pay a driver's license reinstatement fee to regain your driving privileges. The reinstatement fee depends on the reason your driver’s license was suspended or revoked. Typically, this fee ranges from $70 to $500.

Also, the person may have to meet other conditions, including paying child support or paying other fees before your driver’s license is reinstated.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Hardship License in Illinois?

On average, it takes 10-14 weeks to get a hardship license or a restricted driving permit (RDP) from the date of your administrative hearing. There’s a waiting period before a formal hearing is scheduled. Also, there’s a waiting period before you receive the decision from the Illinois Secretary of State after the formal hearing is held. And it takes more time to receive the physical hardship permit. Getting a hardship license is a long and complicated process that must be handled properly step-by-step.

In-person formal hearings are scheduled 60 days after the date of request. Once a formal hearing is held, the Secretary of State has 90 days to issue their decision. Often, decisions are issued in less than 90 days.

You don’t have to file a request for an informal hearing. That's because these hearings are available on a walk-in basis. During an informal hearing, the Illinois Secretary of State doesn’t have a time limit to decide. However, the person can expect to get feedback anywhere between 6-12 weeks.

Once a formal or informal hearing is held, the Illinois Secretary of State mails a decision granting or denying the permit to the address on file. If you’re granted a Restricted Driving Permit after a hearing, the Illinois Secretary of State will mail the decision, along with a list of petitioner-specific requirements that you must comply with before you're issued with an RDP. Once you complete and submit the paperwork to the Secretary of State, you’ll receive the RDP in approximately 3 weeks.

If the driver receives an RDP denial in the mail from the Illinois Secretary of State after a formal hearing, they can request another hearing 90 days from the date of the initial hearing. If the request for RDP is denied after an informal hearing, the driver is eligible for another hearing 30 days after the date of the initial hearing. However, the driver must address the issues raised in the denial before the subsequent hearing.

It’s essential to hire qualified legal representation during this legal process. The Illinois Secretary of State requirements and rules are strict, and a single mistake can cause lasting consequences. Plus, a denial after hearing only complicates further requests for driving relief.

The Chicago license reinstatement attorneys at Dohman Law Group have helped thousands of clients throughout Illinois and around the country get their hardship license and we can help you too. If your driving privileges are suspended or revoked, contact our experienced Chicago driver’s license attorneys today at (847) 616-9993 to discuss your legal options.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Driving with a Revoked or Suspended License in Illinois?

If you’re charged with driving after driver’s license suspension or revocation in Illinois, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced traffic attorney to represent you. A conviction could cause hefty fines and even jail time. A conviction can also affect your ability to go to school, keep employment, and keep insurance coverage. Although Illinois traffic law provides maximum and sometimes minimum jail sentences if you’re convicted, your sentence will depend in part on how your local prosecutors and judges view your crime. A criminal defense attorney who is familiar with these cases in your area can advise you about your specific situation.

At Dohman Law Group, our license reinstatement attorneys have decades of experience offering high-quality criminal defense and driver's license reinstatement services in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Our driver's license reinstatement attorneys will review your driving record to determine the best course of legal action.

Our attorneys are available to help you get your license reinstated.

If possible, we’ll assist you in clearing the driver’s license suspension or revocation before appearing in court on a driving on suspended or revoked license charge. Also, we’ll use your driving privileges as mitigation in court, resulting in a more favorable outcome of your case. Sometimes, walking into court with a clear driver’s license can cause a full dismissal of your charges.

However, it’s only certain types of suspension or revocations that can be cleared while your charges are pending. It’s essential to note that you’re ineligible for an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State if you have a case pending in court. For you to be eligible for reinstatement via a driver’s license hearing, the pending case must be resolved first.

The criminal defense attorneys at Dohman Law Group represent clients charged with driving on a suspended or revoked Driver’s license throughout Illinois, including DuPage County, Cook County, Kendall County, Will County, and Lake County. Our experienced legal team will work aggressively to lessen the negative impact these serious charges can have on your life and driving privileges.

By clearing your license suspension before the court, negotiating a favorable plea disposition, or taking your case to trial, our Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys will provide you with the experienced legal representation you need. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our Rolling Meadows law office today at (847) 616-9993, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.

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