Illinois residents can find their driver's license suspended or revoked for several reasons, such as speeding tickets, alcohol-related offenses, or even delinquent child support payments. In the most basic sense, a license suspension means that your driving privileges have been temporarily withdrawn by the state, while a revocation means that your license has been canceled. With this in mind, it should be quite clear that driving a vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked is a serious offense.
If you are facing criminal charges for operating a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license you will need the services of a talented Chicago traffic attorney. At Ktenas Law we have the experience and drive to reach the best possible outcome for our clients. Call us today or book an appointment online to see how we can help you work your case.
Reasons for a License Suspension
In the state of Illinois, you may have your license suspended for a number of reasons including if you:
have been convicted of 3 or more traffic offenses within 12 months
cause an accident that results in serious injury or death
are repeatedly involved in motor vehicle collisions
are convicted of fleeing from a police officer
are convicted of certain offenses that occurred while you were in control of the vehicle, such as certain sex crimes and drug offenses
Similarly, license revocation is mandatory for offenses such as:
Reckless homicide if a vehicle was used in the crime
driving under the influence
leaving the scene of an accident that involved a death or injury
Your license may also be suspended if you fail to pay a set number of parking tickets or traffic violations, or if you fail to pay a certain number of tolls.
Get Your License Reinstated
Your license can be suspended for a varying period of time-based on the circumstances surrounding your suspension. When your suspension or revocation period has ended you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee in order to get your license back. The exact amount the fee will be varies depending in part on the reason your license was suspended or revoked but typically falls within $75 to $500.
You may be required to meet other conditions, such as completing driver safety training or paying your child support, or paying other fees to have your license reinstated.
People often wrongly believe that driving on a suspended or revoked license is like committing any other minor traffic violation. Driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license is a criminal offense and could lead to severe consequences. It is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor under the Illinois vehicle code and is punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 plus mandatory court costs.
The Secretary of State will extend your license suspension if you are convicted of driving on a suspended license, and may double the amount of time your driving privileges are revoked. If your suspension has already expired when you are convicted, your license will be re-suspended for the same length of time as your original suspension. Also, be aware that the Secretary of State will not grant you a reinstatement hearing for your license within a year of your conviction.
Our attorneys have the experience you will need to defend any criminal charge you may face for driving on a suspended license and can provide you with license reinstatement services to help you reclaim your license through the reinstatement hearing process. We will review your complete driving record to determine the best approach to your case.
We will aim to get your suspension or revocation cleared prior to your court appearance for a charge of driving on a suspended or revoked license. Having your driving privileges reinstated before the court can often result in a more favorable outcome for your case, and can even result in a full dismissal. Only certain types of suspension or revocation can be cleared while you have an open and pending case, however, so it is critical you understand your situation in full. You may not receive an administrative hearing from the Secretary of State if your trial is pending.
Charges for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a criminal offense that can result in petty offense, class A misdemeanor, or felony charges depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. You may find yourself in a worse position if you have previously been convicted of driving after suspension or revocation or if your license was taken for certain reasons.
Punishments for the various levels of your offense are listed below:
A maximum fine of $500
Class A Misdemeanor Offense:
$75 to $2,500 in fines
Up to 1 year in jail
Under certain circumstances, you may find that driving with a suspended or revoked license is classified as a felony offense. This could be due to having a specified number of prior convictions or driving while your license is revoked due to reckless homicide, among others. The severity of your punishment changes as the level of felony charges increases. You may face up to $25,000 in felony fines, and additional punishment depending on the class of felony as listed below:
Class 1 Felony
Between 4 and 15 years imprisonment
Class 2 Felony
Between 3 and 7 years imprisonment
Class 3 Felony
Between 2 and 5 years imprisonment
Keep in mind that in many cases the judge will suspend all or part of the prison sentence and place the offender on probation. But situations exist where the judge may not be so lenient or you may face minimum sentencing, in which case you need to be prepared. A qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney will give you the best possible chance at seeing your penalties reduced or even entirely removed.
If you have been charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license, you will want the help of a talented criminal defense lawyer. A conviction could see you facing harsh penalties including expensive fines and jail time. An experienced lawyer will help you understand your situation fully by breaking down the kinds of charges you face, helping you appeal your statutory summary suspension, and walking you through the driver's license reinstatement procedures.
Our talented attorneys at Ktenas Law have experience handling all kinds of driving offenses. We will work to regain your driving privileges to help you maintain your employment, stay in school, keep your insurance, and avoid other common consequences of license suspension. Call us today or schedule your free case consultation online!