who were ticketed or arrested in Cook, DuPage, or Lake County, Illinois.
Driving on a Suspended License in IL
Driving on a suspended or revoked license in Illinois is a criminal offense. It often results in an arrest and an ongoing criminal case.
Although the charges seem pretty straight-forward, the resolution to the case can be quite complex. Driving on a suspended or revoked license is one of those cases that can cause you to get caught up in the legal system and never let you out.
If you are caught driving with a suspended driver’s license in Chicago, you have a high risk of being arrested. While there are numerous police and Sheriff’s departments who might execute a traffic stop on your vehicle, all departments utilize the same Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS), an online database, which provides the status of your driver’s license.
If you are charged with driving with a suspended license (DWLS) there is no requirement for the offense, meaning, you can be charged with DWLS and not even know, or have intended, to do it. DWLS is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries with it a maximum penalty, on a first time offense, of 364 days in the Cok County Department of Corrections, a fine of up to $2,500, or some combination of both. Due to the possible penalties of jail time, for this offense, judges will require you to obtain the services of an attorney
Reasons for Suspension or Revocation
The reasons for your suspension or revocation can impact the outcome of your case. If it is possible to clear your license while the case is ongoing, it is highly recommended to do so. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office can suspend your license for various reasons. Some of them include:
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 judgements 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 (2 if you are under 21)
The State must only prove two things: (1) You were driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle; and that (2) your driver’s license or permit was suspended or revoked at the time.
But this does not mean you are without options. It means that hiring an experienced attorney to defend your case is even more important. Attorneys that defend these cases often have strong relationships in the courtroom that can be a tremendous help to your case.
If your driver’s license is suspended or revoked, and you are caught driving in Illinois, the penalties can be severe.
Driving With a Suspended License is a Serious Offense
What happens if you get pulled over with a suspended or revoked license?
When you are pulled over for driving on a suspended or revoked license, you will either be arrested or issued an i-bond. The police may also have your vehicle impounded. You will be required to appear in court.
What does it mean to have a suspended license?
Driving on a suspended license means that you are not legally allowed to drive for a set period of time and/or until issues on your driving record have been cleared up.
How can your license get suspended?
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office can suspend your license for various reasons. Some of them include:
- 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;
- Failing to have car insurance or SR-22 insurance when required;
- Refusing a breathalyzer test;
- Blowing over .08 BAC while operating a motor vehicle; and
- Receiving 3 convictions on your record in one year (2 convictions if you are under 21).
What does it mean to have a revoked license?
When your license is revoked, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office takes away your driving privileges indefinitely. The only way to legally be allowed to drive again is by cleaning up issues on your driving record and successfully completing a Secretary of State Hearing.
How can your license get revoked?
The Illinois Secretary of State can revoke your driving privileges for a conviction on your first DUI, having 2 or more DUIs, committing a felony in a motor vehicle, falsifying information on a driver’s test at the Secretary of State’s office, having too many points on your driver’s license, or being caught driving without a license multiple times.
How do I clear my license?
It really depends on the reason it’s suspended or revoked in the first place. That will determine if you can clear and how to do it. If you’re unsure, our office can obtain your Illinois driving abstract and review it for a fee of $62.
Is driving on a suspended or revoked license a traffic or a criminal charge?
Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a criminal charge and is different than driving without a valid license.
Is driving on a suspended or revoked license a misdemeanor or a felony?
This really depends. The first time you are pulled over for this it is a misdemeanor. After being caught multiple times driving without a license, the charge can be upgraded to a felony. It’s best to consult with an experienced Chicago traffic
How Past DWLS Charges
Could Affect You
Penalties for DWLS also depends if it is the first time you have been charged with DWLS, or if you have prior citations for DWLS. Typically, a first-time offender for DWLS is eligible for court supervision and community service, along with a possible fine and court costs. After receiving supervision for DWLS, drivers are generally not eligible to receive supervision. If you continue to drive while your license is suspended, and again get ticketed for DWLS, the charge can be upgraded to a Class 4, 2 or 1 felony, which depends on the amount of prior violations and the cause of the suspension. The consequences of being found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony DWLS only get more severe if you have multiple prior charges for DWLS.
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