Although most of us consider driving to be a basic right of adulthood, the privilege of holding a driver’s license is reserved for those who demonstrate an understanding and respect for the rules of the road. When drivers fail to abide by those rules or act in a manner that suggests a lack of consideration for the safety of others, the state is capable of suspending or revoking a driver’s license.
While this may seem like a minor issue, driving on a suspended license can be a very serious traffic offense.
When your driver's license has already been suspended or revoked, continuing to drive illegally can complicate your life even more. At Naperville DUI, we understand that you may rely on your ability to drive so that you can get to work, attend school, and provide for your family. If you have been charged with driving while your license is suspended or revoked, you can count on our team for the responsible, cost-effect defense representation you deserve.
Reasons for License Suspension or Revocation
Suspensions or revocations are common consequences for serious driving-related offenses, such as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, hit-and-run, and racing. But, depending on the circumstances, less serious offenses like speeding can also lead to loss of driving privileges.
Additionally, most states have traffic violation point systems. For each traffic conviction, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) assesses a certain number of points to a driving record. Drivers who accumulate too many points face license suspension.
What are the Penalties for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/6-303, it is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle when their driver’s license, permit, or privilege to do so or the privilege to obtain a driver’s license or permit is revoked or suspended. The criminal penalties associated with violating this statute vary depending on the reason why a driver’s license is suspended or revoked. If you are pulled over and your license is suspended or revoked for any of the reasons below, you will see that you can face severe penalties.
According to Illinois law, first time offenders caught driving with a suspended or revoked license will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. You will face a potential sentence of 10 days in jail or 30 days of community service and fines of up to $2,500. If you were driving on a suspended license, your license will be suspended for double the original suspension period. If you were driving on a revoked license, your license will be revoked for an additional 12 month period.
Even if you are cited with a misdemeanor violation, a conviction will cause the Secretary of State to re-suspend or revoke your license for the same amount of time as the original suspension or revocation. To possibly avoid your suspension or revocation is extended, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney that handles these types of citations regularly.
In some states, license suspension can also result from non-driving violations such as failing to pay child support or unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor. And many states allow for suspension on the grounds of a driver’s disability, including visual impairment and epilepsy.
What Are Penalties for Repeatedly Driving Without a License?
If you are caught driving on a suspended or revoked license a second time, you will be charged with a Class 4 felony. This means you will face a minimum jail sentence of 30 days or 300 community service hours. You will also face a suspension of your driving privileges for double the original suspension period or an additional year added to your revocation period.
A second offense can also result in your vehicle being seized or forfeited. If your first suspension or revocation of your driver’s license was for charges such as reckless homicide, DUI, refusing a chemical test, or leaving the scene of a crash, you will be charged with a Class 2 felony offense.
What is the Difference Between a Revoked License and a Suspended License?
It’s not as difficult to remember or hard to understand as it may sound.
A suspended license is temporarily unable to be used. You may be able to get your license back at some point, but as long as your license is suspended, you’re legally unable to drive. There are two types of suspended licenses: indefinite and definite.
A definite suspension on your license will come to a complete end once you’ve paid the required legal fees and your suspension period is up. It ends when your license is restored and back in your hands. Definite suspensions can be due to many different reasons, but usually, they have to do with alcohol or drug-related moving violations, a series of too many traffic tickets, or driving without proper insurance.
Pay your fees and let your suspension period end. An indefinite suspension doesn’t have a certain date but instead remains suspended until you take the proper action. This could mean paying a fine or fees that you owe or taking care of a ticket.
Getting caught driving with a suspended license can lead to a revoked license. A revoked license is considered null and void by the government, making it permanently unable to be used. If your license is revoked, you can not and will not legally be able to drive.
To get a license again after your initial license is revoked, you have to request approval from the state’s DMV, pay any fines, and go through the standard licensing process of your state. Your old license will still not be reinstated even if these are met.
A license is usually revoked after being convicted of a serious traffic offense, failing a road test, or making a false statement on an official form. Driving is one of the best privileges, so it’s important to know whether your license is suspended or revoked and what you can do when that privilege is taken away.
If you have been faced with suspension or revocation of your driver's license due to DUI charges or for multiple traffic convictions and you have been caught driving afterward, the Naperville traffic attorneys at Ktenas Law can help you fight them. We serve clients in Schaumburg and throughout Kane and Cook Counties. Call (630) 425-0250 today to schedule a free consultation and get top-tier legal assistance.