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Alan E. Jones, Attorney at Law

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Alan E. Jones, Attorney at Law

Everybody makes mistakes. For some, a past traffic mistake may have resulted in a suspended or revoked driver’s license. Refraining from driving for such a period of time, however, may be difficult – which is why some take the risk and continue driving even after their licenses were taken away.

When you are caught driving on a suspended or revoked license, however, you may be facing steep penalties. And in the end, you may find that fighting to get your license reinstated would have been much better than taking the risk and driving without one.

Penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked license in Illinois

If you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, it is typically considered a class A misdemeanor. These charges may result in up to a year of jail time, fines as high as $2,500, and an extension of your license suspension.

These penalties, however, may be more severe in certain circumstances. For example, if you have any prior convictions or you injure someone in an accident while your license is suspended or revoked, you could be facing a class 4 felony – which could result in up to three years in prison and fines as high as $25,000. The penalties could be even more severe depending on the number of prior convictions and the seriousness of the incident.

How can you get your driver’s license reinstated?

The fastest way to reinstate your license is to go through the court, if possible. For some people, their license suspension resulted from having accumulated three minor traffic violations. By pursuing a Motion of Vacate Judgment within two years of a traffic incident, you can ask the prosecutor and the court to agree to vacate one of your convictions, preventing the Illinois Secretary of State’s office from suspending or revoking your license as a result.

The alternate path forward is to petition for reinstatement through the Illinois Secretary of State. This process can take significantly longer, however, and the costs may not be worth the wait. You may find that simply riding out the length of your suspension is more desirable.

The first place to start, however, is to request your driving record abstract from the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. These records may help identify the best path forward for license reinstatement.