Avoiding Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License Charges
The driver’s license hearing attorneys at Harvatin Law Offices are known for their reliable and dedicated service throughout Illinois. Unlike “big city” firms, reinstating your driving rights is not just a “side job” but the basis of our practice. That is why clients with complex issues like driving on a suspended or revoked license look to us for help. We provide top-notch legal representation to drivers in Springfield, Illinois and beyond.
Suspension or Revocation of Driving Privileges
The Illinois Secretary of State can temporarily withdraw or indefinitely terminate your driving privileges following a DUI. The punishments are not mutually exclusive; drivers may be sentenced to both suspension and revocation for a time period determined by the law. The general requirements and duration of suspensions and revocations are outlined below:
- Suspension follows a DUI arrest if the driver
- Refuses to take a chemical test to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or
- Takes the chemical test and registers a BAC of .08 or higher
- SSS can be in effect for 6, 12, or 36 months depending on whether the driver:
- Is a first-time offender (special definition that means no DUI in the past five years) and
- Took the chemical test
- Revocation always refers to the minimum period of termination of driving privileges
- At least 1 year for first DUI conviction
- At least 5 years for second DUI (within 20 years of the first)
- At least 10 years for third DUI conviction
- Permanent if 4 or more DUI convictions following any arrest after January 1, 1999. However, a lifetime RDP may be available, as discussed here.
Mistaking the Passage of Time for Reinstatement
Contrary to popular belief, waiting for the suspension or revocation period to pass does not automatically entitle you to get back on the road. Suspensions and revocations both require some further action before a license can be reinstated.
For suspensions, after the suspension period has passed, the driver may still have to satisfy some minor requirements and pay a fee. Until they are eligible for a hearing to request a permit or reinstatement, revoked drivers still cannot drive.
The Dangers of Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License
Because driving is essential to everyday life, motorists are willing to take great risks to get behind the wheel. Their livelihoods and families may depend on it. The consequences of being caught are not worth the risk. It does not take much for police to catch you. Common hazards drivers encounter include:
- Police road blocks or sobriety checks
- Being pulled over for a “fix-it” ticket (equipment violation)
- Police recognizing you or running your plates
- Traffic accidents, even if not your fault
Although there are alternatives to sentencing, judges are reluctant to grant court supervision or community service; you should expect to serve at least 10 days in jail. In addition, you will be sentenced to a second, equal time period of suspension or revocation after completing the first. So you essentially double your trouble by driving illegally. Finally, in some cases, even a first time driving suspended may be charged as a felony.
Defense for Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License
Driving on a suspended /revoked license is hard to defend. The law is stacked against you. The state need only prove that you were driving and that you were suspended/revoked.
That is why it is important to avoid this mistake in the first place. You can easily do this by consulting an experienced Illinois driver’s license hearing lawyer before you get into trouble. Harvatin Law Offices is a recognized leader in protecting its clients and keeping them out of trouble.
After 15 years as a hearing officer, Mr. Harvatin knows how to advise you. Many people believe that hiring a lawyer “too early” is a waste of money. This is shortsighted thinking. With our flexible fee schedule and quality work, there is no excuse not to halt your descent into a downward spiral. Invest in yourself by calling Harvatin Law Offices today at (217) 525-0520 for a confidential consultation, or contact us online.