Is A Driver’s License Always Suspended After A DUI Conviction In Illinois?
The driver’s license in Illinois is revoked, not suspended, after a DUI conviction. When you get your first conviction in Illinois or in any other state that I am aware of, your license will be revoked for one year. After that, there is a mandatory full administrative hearing at the Secretary of State’s office.
You start off the DUI with a statutory summary suspension, which is either six months if your test is over a 0.08 or greater or one year if you refuse. If it’s your second DUI and it is within five years, that suspension could be a three-years long suspension. Suspension fees have to be paid for your reinstatement before they will consider reinstating any revoked license.
Where Is The Office Of The Secretary Of State In Illinois?
There are a couple of offices of the Secretary of State in Illinois. There are offices in Springfield, Joliet and Chicago and I’m sure there are some further south. I’m sure there are some that are more centrally located, but in Northern Illinois, these are the offices where you would have to go.
The hearing offices are very strict and if you forget to cross one “T” or to dot one “I” then they are going to tell you to come back in six months and try again. I’d highly recommend that anyone who is seeking a driver’s license reinstatement hire an attorney who is familiar with those things. Otherwise, the attorney could make some easy mistakes that someone who doesn’t do them all the time can make and that could wind up hurting the client. In Chicago, for instance, there are only three hearing officers. My partner William Margolin does all the hearings and he is very familiar with the officers. He takes them to lunch occasionally. It’s not because he does anything under the table or illegal or improper but it’s much easier to work with your friends than to work with someone you don’t know. They are always very good to them and helpful if someone slips up a little bit. If he is there with them, there is a pretty good chance they will correct it on the spot. For someone they don’t know, the officers might stick to the very strict protocol and say I am very sorry, you can re-apply in six months.
Can Someone Get A Restricted Driver’s License In Illinois?
Very seldom is a revoked driver’s license in Illinois given back before one full year from the date of conviction. You could apply for a hardship permit after six months. The general rule of thumb is one year of hard revocation with no permit whatsoever. It doesn’t matter if Grandma is dying of Cancer and needs to get to the hospital. They are very unsympathetic to someone who has a DUI conviction. You have to do everything in your power to avoid getting that conviction and getting your license revoked because there is nothing worse than a revoked driver’s license in Illinois for a DUI.
What Is The Criteria To Apply For A Restricted Driver’s License In Illinois?
There are very strict criteria to apply for a restricted driver’s license in Illinois. First, they want to make sure that your case was closed without any further action in criminal court. Then they are going to want to make sure that you’ve done whatever drug and alcohol assessment that was necessary and followed their program and had a satisfactory conclusion. A lot of times, we get clients that have had no license for five, six or 10 years as they never bothered to get it back after they got it revoked. They got too frustrated or the Secretary of State did not treat them well.
One of the criteria to apply for a restricted driver’s license is that if it’s been a long time, you have to go back to the treatment provider and get a current follow up the letter saying that they have re-evaluated you. It needs to say they still find that you are fit and are okay to get permission to drive again. The letter has to be from an approved institute in Illinois and it is called DASA approved. It stands for the Drug and Alcohol Substance Abuse certification. It has to be an approved course and they have their protocol before they will approve things.
It’s still so discretionary that the Secretary of State and the hearing officers, a lot of times, do not reinstate your license because you just didn’t know what you were doing. My partner always goes through a complete mock interview so you know what to expect and what pitfalls to avoid. You might think it is okay to say that you had a couple of beers for Christmas but that could mess it up. You have to know exactly what they are going to ask and you have to have the right answers for them. There is not much wiggle room with the interviewer unless he actually wants to be super nice to you and I would not count on that at all.
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