Driving on a Revoked License
By: Attorney Maria Barrido
Imagine you are having a normal day, living your life and going about your business. Then your phone rings and it’s the police. They are requesting you come into the station to speak with them. You may be wondering, “what is this about”. That is unless, you already know.
In this example, the police called our client about an accident that occurred near or in front of their home. It turns out that a few days earlier our client got into an accident with another vehicle. Typically, this would not be a big deal. The two parties would exchange insurance, call the police if the accident is serious enough and move on with their day. However; this does become a bigger deal when the driver does not have a valid driver’s license at the time. This could be due to having a suspended or revoked license.
How does your license get suspended or revoked?
There are many ways for your driver’s license to be suspended, such as:
- Failure to pay for tickets issued by a police officer
- 5 or more unpaid tollway tickets
- 5 or more unpaid parking or camera tickets
- Family responsibility or child support
- Failure to appear in court
- Civil judgments for uninsured accidents
- Failure to have car insurance or SR-22 insurance when required
- Refusing a breathalyzer test
- Blowing over .08 BAC while operating a motor vehicle
- Receiving 3 convictions on your record in 1 year (over 21)
- Receiving 2 convictions on your record in 1 year (under 21)
Your license suspension can be for a short or longer period of time. The difference between this and a license revocation is that a suspension typically has a structured end date.
If your license is revoked, the IL Secretary of State office takes away your driving privileges indefinitely. There are a few ways for your driver’s license revoked in Illinois, such as:
- Conviction on your first DUI
- Two or more DUI convictions
- Committing a felony in a motor vehicle
- Falsifying information on a driver’s test as a Secretary of State office
- Having too many points on your driver’s license
- Being caught driving without a license multiple times
What happened in this case?
In this particular case, our client’s license had been revoked for a DUI charge in the past along with being caught driving multiple times while their license was suspended. The day of the incident, our client got into a minor accident with another parked vehicle. At the time of the incident our client was scared and knew they were not meant to be driving without a valid license. Out of fear they left the scene of the accident and returned to their home where they lived with other family members.
When the police arrived at our client’s home, our client’s older child went outside to speak to the officers. The client’s child – who had an active driver’s license at the time – claimed responsibility for the accident and said they were driving and left the scene. Unfortunately for our client, there was a witness to the accident. The witness reported to the police that our client had in fact been the driver of the vehicle, not their child as the family claimed.
At this point our client really needed a lawyer! They reached out to Driver Defense Team and we were able to get to work on the case. Our team was able to contact the police department and arrange for our client to surrender on the charge of driving on a revoked license. If our client did not surrender to the police, they could possibly be arrested at their home or place of employment. Surrendering allowed the client to avoid the embarrassment that goes along with a public arrest.
It was very important for our client to protect their family. Our team was able to get the police to agree not to charge their child with any criminal charges. This is very important because the false statement could have resulted in the criminal charge of obstruction of justice.
After being in custody for one day, we were able to appear in front of a judge on their behalf. They were released from custody. The next step was to negotiate with the state regarding the case details. Luckily, at Driver Defense Team, we have many many years of experience with judges and prosecutors in the counties we serve. These relationships can help with more favorable outcomes for our clients – though that is never a guarantee.
In this case, we had a very favorable outcome. Our client admitted to a reduced charge of a misdemeanor. This kept a more serious felony off their record. Our client did not have to do any additional jail time and was instead instructed to complete independent community service.
We all make mistakes, we are human. Whether the mistake is an accident today or a DUI charge 20 years ago. They can affect your life in the moment and continue to affect it years later depending on the circumstances. It is important to consider your options when faced with a situation such as this. Hiring a lawyer is most likely your best option! If you or a loved one finds yourself in a similar circumstance, contact our team and we can help.