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License Suspended vs. Revoked: What's the Difference in Illinois?

Everyone who has ever owned a motor vehicle understands that there are certain risks that people face when they hit the open road. These risks include hitting potholes, car accidents, animals crossing the road, and traffic violations. While people can have their license suspended or revoked for any number of reasons, there are certain reasons that are more common than others.

Why Might Someone Have their License Suspended or Revoked?

It is vital for people to remember that the ability to operate a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a right. This means that people can have their license suspended or revoked at any time for a variety of reasons. Some of the more common reasons include:

Driving Under The Influence: Most people understand that there are major risks that come with driving under the influence, including suffering a serious (or even fatal) accident along with significant penalties if you are found guilty. People routinely have their license suspended in a DUI situation for failing or refusing chemical testing. Also, any conviction for DUI will cause a person to be revoked.

Speeding and Other Routine Traffic Violations: Everyone knows someone who has received a ticket at some point in their driving career. However, people might not know that different violations have different penalties. The typical petty offense moving violation (like speeding) will carry a penalty of Court Supervision (a non-conviction) along with a fine and sometimes traffic school. In Illinois, the law potentially allows a person to obtain Court Supervision a maximum of two times in a twelve-month period. Multiple convictions can cause you to be suspended and even revoked.

What is the Difference Between a Suspended or a Revoked License?

Many people have had their license suspended or revoked but these are not the same penalty. There are differences between the two, which include:

A Suspended Driver's License: This penalty means that a person's driver's license has only been temporarily suspended and cannot currently be used. A person is not allowed to drive while their license is suspended; however, this license can be restored relatively quickly once any penalties have been paid and the predetermined time period has passed. Anyone who is caught driving while their license is suspended (a criminal misdemeanor) will face stiff fines and could have their license further suspended or even revoked.

A Revoked Driver's License: In this situation, a person has lost their license indefinitely and no amount of time will ever pass that you are automatically restored to valid privileges. Therefore, you must either have convictions removed from your record in court or otherwise, go through a reinstatement process with the Illinois Secretary of State Department of Administrative Hearings.

Thankfully, revocation or suspension of one's license is not always set in stone. There are often legal options available. Working with an experienced attorney can potentially help to mitigate the consequences of any suspension or revocation. 

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