How Long Can A License Suspension Remain On My Record?
Typically, anything on your record stays there forever. People always come and say, “It disappeared after 7 years”, there is not an element of truth to that. If you got a speeding ticket from thirty years ago, it is probably still on your record. Now, if you get a court supervision, that is only on a record that the secretary of state, and the police can see, and that is not going to affect you adversely as far as keeping your license. Say you are suspended, your suspension was two days from being over when you got it, you decided to drive a little early, and you get a driving while suspended ticket. If you go to court, now your license is not suspended anymore, because you paid your reinstatement fee, but you still have to deal with a ticket at the time you got the ticket.
If you get a conviction, it is going to re-suspend you. You are going to get court supervision it is not going to suspend you. Having a good attorney who knows what they are doing is going to save your life, because you need your license. I mean everybody is going to drive. If you think you can drive around all the time, and if you think the insurance is okay you are wrong, because law enforcement runs people’s license plates all the time, and it is like playing bingo, boom, there is a hit, the person is suspended, and now they pull them over. It is a very common way that many criminals are caught, because they do not have a license, or their license is suspended, or they are illegal.
There is another thing you have to be careful with, whose car are you driving, because if you are driving your friend’s car, and your friend is suspended, and the cop sees you driving by, and he runs the plate and says, “The person who owns the car is suspended”, he has probable cause to pull you over even if the car is registered to someone else. If the driver is a girl, the courts will uphold that stop even just for that brief encounter. It did not use to be that way, but things have changed. Now they are talking about Trump changing all these stop and frisk laws, and everything else. It is going to open a quagmire for the court system, because you still have constitutional rights, but if you have the president saying, “No, it’s okay”, then all of your probable cause issues go out of the window, which is absolutely garbage in my mind. I do not want to get into the political realm at this point, and just drive everyone nuts like it has for the last ten years.
Are There Any Instances Where Jail Time Is Mandatory For Driving On a Suspended License?
The DUI suspensions carry mandatory jail time. Once you have had one, then it starts out with the mandatory jail time of ten days, or 300 hours of public service. If your license is revoked after that, and you have multiple revoked tickets, the more you get, the more severe the penalty becomes. It might go up towards a class II felony because you have multiple tickets.
Even though none of them are DUIs, except for the very first one, if you get five or more revokes it is a class II felony, up to three to seven years in prison, and it is non-probation-able, meaning you are going to prison just for driving anywhere. Therefore, you never want to be in the suspended category, because having a suspended license is going to be the grounds for the state to try to forfeit your vehicle. You do not want that to happen. It is not going to happen in all the cases, but it definitely can, so you have to be careful.
Do You Help People In Getting Their License Reinstated?
You can choose to do those to try to reinstate your license on your own. I would highly suggest you do not try this. The people that run the secretary of state’s hearings are very difficult people to deal with, especially if you are returning from a suspension for a DUI, and you are trying to reinstate your license for revocation. They have no sympathy for you whatsoever, and they are not going to make it easy for you. If you do not have things exactly the way they want laid out, they are going to say, “No, we’re not reinstating you”. They are always going to err on the side of caution, unless you can show them you deserve your license back, and you are not going to get it back.
I have a partner, Mr. William Margolin, who is very skilled in these hearings, he knows exactly what they want to hear, and in the Chicago area, there are only like three hearing officers. You have to know these people on a first name basis, and know what they are looking for. You have to know what is going to trigger them into saying, “We are going to give you your license back”, or, “No, you answered it wrong. Come back in 6 months for another hearing”. I would highly dissuade anybody from trying to do this by yourself, because you will not know the rules. You will miss the little things, and they might say, “Come back in 6 months”, who can afford to wait 6 months to have a hearing? They will not say, “I messed it up today, I’ll give you the right information tomorrow”, they’re going to say, “No. We set up this hearing a long time ago, you had your chance, this is your chance.”
You do not get three strikes at the plate, you get one at best, and you had better knock it out of the ballpark, or you are done. You need to be careful, because if you get three DUIs, three revocations for that, it is a lifetime revocation. It does not matter how many hearings you have, you are never going to get your license back in the state of Illinois for DUIs. Some revocations are much worse than others. Nevertheless, it is a lifetime with no exception revocation.
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