Preparing for Your Secretary of State Hearing

Harvatin Law Offices has prepared over 3,000 drivers for hearings before the Secretary of State. After 15 years of evaluating cases just like yours, Mr. Harvatin is uniquely qualified to help you obtain relief. When it comes to Illinois driver’s license hearings, you don’t need to bring an expensive attorney to Springfield; a local law firm that focuses on reinstatement proceedings can better serve you. Our Springfield office, just steps away from the hearing location, is completely dedicated to helping troubled drivers in and outside of Illinois.

Seeking Relief through the Illinois Secretary of State

Drivers who have had their license suspended or revoked after a DUI must convince the Illinois Secretary of State that they deserve to drive again. This is no easy feat. Illinois was one of the first states to implement the breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) and has some of the most stringent rules governing driver’s license reinstatement procedures.

The standards for obtaining a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) are high and DUI offenders bear the burden of showing eligibility to have a BAIID installed in their cars. Needless to say, the process is daunting and you will want to err on the side of caution, even over-preparing for the hearing.

Basic Preparation for Your Secretary of State Hearing

At the very least, you are expected to address some basic issues at the reinstatement hearing. Although the following lists some general topics, it is by no means sufficient as a “primer” or a substitute for experienced legal counsel. But prior to the hearing, you should consult an attorney who can help you understand the requirements and determine for you how best to address these issues:

  • Review of your driving record

    • Suspension or revocation of license
    • Prior DUIs, including out-of-state offenses
    • Eligibility for a Restricted Driving Permit (‘RDP’) i.e., limited use of vehicle, or
    • Full reinstatement of driver’s license after paying fee
  • Substance abuse documentation
    • A drug/alcohol evaluation must be completed 6 months prior to the hearing
    • If the evaluation is more than 6 months old, you must obtain a new or updated evaluation
    • Substance abuse treatment information
  • Driver’s testimony regarding DUI arrests
    • Review circumstances of each DUI arrest
    • Show how treatment, rehabilitation changed your drinking patterns
    • Show you are unlikely to relapse
  • Denial order from prior hearing (if applicable)
    • Review denial letter containing reasons for denial
    • Address and remedy all these concerns in new evaluation and testimony

Secure Legal Representation and Peace of Mind

If you have already been denied relief after showing up alone to the first hearing, you know that consulting a qualified advocate is not a waste of money. Contrary to popular belief, not all drivers are denied relief the first time; those who are represented by a skilled drive’s license hearing attorney have an advantage.

The hearing officers take them more seriously and opposing counsel is less likely to badger them. Once you make a damaging statement or get denied, you trigger another long cycle of paperwork, dramatically delaying your way to relief. A driver’s license lawyer can help you organize your documents, obtain more helpful evidence, prepare your testimony, and anticipate any problems you may otherwise miss.

A word about all those DUI lawyers out there: Many DUI lawyers are fine lawyers in court but the driver’s license process is completely different from DUI. Mr. Harvatin does not attend driver’s license hearings as “fill-in work” It is 90% of his practice.

As you can see from his biography, Mr. Harvatin has written and spoken extensively to other Illinois lawyers about driver’s license hearings. He has also been the most successful driver’s license appellate lawyer of the past twenty years.

During that time, there have been four successful appeals of driver’s license hearings. Mr. Harvatin has been the winning lawyer in three of those. All the other lawyers in the state have claimed a total of one victory.

Seek Help As Soon As Possible

The experienced Illinois driver’s license hearing lawyers at Harvatin Law Offices have diligently prepared numerous drivers for reinstatement hearings. After 15 years as a hearing officer, Mr. Harvatin knows all the traps and even the styles of assigned hearing officers. He can recommend the most helpful evaluators and smooth your way to relief.

There is no one better qualified to help you overcome a previous denial and prepare for your hearing. His inside knowledge and dedication to service demonstrate that quality representation does not have to come from Chicago; an invaluable Springfield lawyer who has been in the trenches is just a phone call away. Call Havartin Law Offices at (217) 525-0520 for a confidential consultation or contact us online.

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