If you are accused of driving with a revoked or suspended license, contact an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, an experienced lawyer can mitigate the consequences you are facing, keep you out of jail, get you Court Supervision and may even get the case dropped entirely.
The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) can suspend or revoke your driver’s license for many reasons. No matter what the cause, if you receive notice that your license is not active, always stop driving immediately and discuss your options with an experienced license suspension attorney. In some cases, you may challenge the suspension, get the Secretary of State to reinstate your license, or obtain a hardship license. Our law firm can advise you of the best options to regain your driving privileges as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, many people fail to call an attorney—or stop driving. Instead, they continue to drive without a valid license and simply hope that police will not catch them. This is especially true for those who live or work in an area where public transportation is not conveniently available. While Metro and PACE bus lines and various train lines do travel along many specific routes to and from Chicago and in its suburbs, they are not directly accessible to people from all neighborhoods. If you need to go somewhere that is not on a route, or if that route doesn’t come near your home, you may struggle to find transportation to work, school, doctor’s appointments, or other obligations. You can feel all too tempted to simply cross your fingers and drive your car.
Here is why you should not drive on a suspended or revoked license in Illinois, and instead call an experienced attorney.
Reasons for License Suspension or Revocation
The SOS has the authority to suspend or revoke your driver’s license for:
- Three or more moving traffic violations in a 12-month period
- Failing to appear for a court date or pay a traffic citation fine before the court date
- Ten or more unpaid parking violations
- Five or more unpaid automated red light tickets
- Failing to pay court-ordered child support
- Five or more unpaid toll violations
- Driving without mandatory insurance
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
No matter the reason for your suspension, driving while suspended can result in serious consequences.
Driving with a suspended or revoked license is not similar to other types of traffic offenses. Illinois actually makes it a criminal offense that police or prosecutors can charge as a Class A misdemeanor. If you cause an accident, you can face Class 4 felony charges.
The consequences for driving while suspended or revoked can include an extended suspension of your license, time in jail, and costly fines. If your license was initially suspended for DUI, you face a mandatory 10 days in jail. A second offense after a DUI suspension can result in felony charges that carry a minimum of 30 days in jail, and as many as three years.
Avoid a License Suspension or Revocation in the First Place by Retaining an Attorney Immediately
Of course, the best way to avoid the issues associated with criminal charges related to driving on a suspended or revoked license is to avoid a license suspension in the first place. In many cases, the suspension was completely avoidable, but without the help of an attorney to handle the complicated legal procedures, people fail to handle the underlying minor traffic matters properly. This is why it is important to talk to a lawyer—even if you could easily just pay the ticket and move on with your life.
Many people think about traffic tickets as a virtually unavoidable part of driving a car on a regular basis. They may think about these citations as more of an administrative annoyance or driving tax. When people do not handle them properly, however, minor tickets can result in major issues—like the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
While it may seem excessive to hire a lawyer to handle a traffic ticket, it is actually the most prudent course of action.Your lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor handling your case to make sure that your ticket results in as few points on your license as possible, reducing the chance that you will face suspension due to traffic violations in the future. This may involve convincing the presecutor to amend a moving violation to a non-moving violation. While this may cost more upfront, it can save you money in the long run by avoiding future insurance rate hikes and steeper penalties for any subsequent violations.
You May Unavoid Breathalyzer Refusal Suspensions
If you were recently arrested for DUI and refused a Breathalyzer test, you probably remember the arresting officer telling you that your refusal will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, known as a statutory summary suspension. While this can happen, it is not always the case. Drivers may challenge statutory summary license suspension at a hearing within 90 days of the notice of suspension. This hearing can consider only five legal issues. These are:
- Whether the driver was arrested for DUI
- Whether police had reasonable grounds to believe that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the arrest
- Whether police informed the driver about the statutory summary suspension rule before requesting a Breathalyzer test
- The results of any chemical testing
- Whether the driver was involved in an accident that resulted in injuries or fatalities
The court will rescind the suspension if it rules in favor of the driver. Because of the complicated nature of these hearings, any driver who wishes to challenge an impending statutory summary suspension must speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a DuPage County, Illinois, License Suspension Defense Lawyer to Discuss Your Situation
If you were arrested for driving with a suspended or revoked license, you are facing serious consequences. Please do not wait to call the criminal defense team at Martin & Kent, L.L.C. We serve clients throughout DuPage County and the Chicago suburbs, including Wheaton, Downers Grove, Naperville, and Lombard, so please call (630) 474-8000 right away!!!