A driver’s license is a privilege in Illinois, and the Secretary of State (SOS) office has the right to issue a license suspension or revocation for a variety of reasons. Having your license revoked or suspended means that you cannot operate a motor vehicle, and this can result in many inconveniences and challenges in your life. If you are wondering whether you can get your license reinstated, speak with an Illinois criminal defense lawyer about your options today.
Why Did You Lose Your License?
There are different reasons why you might lose your driver’s license in Illinois, including:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
- Refusing to submit to a breath test at a DUI traffic stop
- Driving without the required insurance coverage
- Failing to pay child support
- Failing to appear in court when scheduled for another offense
- Certain traffic violations or three moving violations within a year
- Five or more red light camera violations
- Five or more tollway violations
- Parking Violations. Ten or more unpaid parking violations can result in a suspension.
If your license is suspended for any reason, it can be tempting to drive anyway and hope that you do not get caught. However, this is a huge mistake, as it can result in additional serious criminal charges, fines, and an extended suspension period.
The Reinstatement Process
Once your suspension period ends, you might expect your license to be automatically reinstated. Unfortunately, this does not happen, and you must take steps to get your license back. You will first need to have a hearing before the SOS, which might include:
- Informal hearing – For minor offenses, you can have an informal hearing with an SOS official to obtain limited driving privileges or get your license completely reinstated.
- Formal hearing – For more serious offenses, you need to request a formal hearing, which involves filing the right paperwork and paying the required fees.
After your hearing, you will need to show proof of the required auto insurance. In some cases, reinstatement will require an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, which you will need to pay to have installed and maintained. DUI offenders also need to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and be current on all court-ordered penalties.
Restricted Driving Permits
Even if you are not eligible for a full reinstatement, you can still seek a restricted driver’s permit that allows you to drive under limited circumstances. For example, you might get permission to take your children to school, drive to medical appointments, and drive to work. You must demonstrate to the SOS that:
- You are suffering hardship as a result of your license suspension
- You completed a drug and alcohol program if required
- You are not a threat to public safety if allowed limited driving privileges
You need to have a hearing with the SOS before you can obtain restricted privileges.
Speak with an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
The process of license reinstatement is complicated, and you want a criminal defense lawyer to represent you at all necessary hearings. The Law Offices Of Jonathan Minkus can help, so please contact us for more information.