Chicago Driving With Invalid, Revoked, or Suspended License Lawyers
The State of Illinois requires every operator of an automobile to be licensed by the Secretary of State so that they can control who is qualified to drive and who is not. The licensure requirements allow the state to exclude bad drivers and unsafe drivers who cannot operate a vehicle properly. Unfortunately as a result of our mobile society, it has become more and more difficult to earn a living, get food or provide for oneself without the assistance of a car. So those without a license often find themselves in a position where they feel that they "must" drive.
As a legal matter, there are very few circumstances where a person "must" drive and has no other option. Needing to get to work at the risk of being fired is just not legally a defense to such a ticket. It may be understandable and it may be an excuse, but it's just not a legal defense. Practically the only situation that would likely be acceptable as a defense might be when someone is extremely ill and there is no time to call a cab or an ambulance. This would be a very unusual circumstance.
Laws Concerning Driving Without a Valid License in Chicago
Driving without a valid license includes not only those circumstances where a person has never had a license, but also includes those people who did have a license, but allowed it to expire. The vast majority of people charged with this ticket however have historically been those without social security numbers and consequently have been unable to secure a license from the Secretary of State. Fortunately for such people, who are often undocumented aliens, the State of Illinois has passed legislation that will allow the issuance of a driver's license under certain strictly controlled circumstances.
But for all those charged with this crime, the consequences can be severe as this offense is generally treated as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $2500 in fines. Representation by a knowledgeable attorney is therefore very important in this situation because even if the defendant is not sentenced to jail, a conviction on this offense will normally suspend that person's privileges to drive in the future.
Help for Your License Suspension
In Illinois, a suspended license generally means that the driver's license is taken away for a particular period of time or that the suspension can be terminated upon completion or satisfaction of a particular requirement. Some examples include suspensions for too many movers in a year, statutory summary suspensions or suspensions for such things as accidents without insurance, judgments, failure to pay child support, failure to pay tickets, or excessive parking tickets. In each of these circumstances, the suspension can be lifted if the driver either avoids getting arrested again or satisfies the suspension by paying an overdue fine, etc. Generally, at the end of a suspension or revocation, the driver must also pay a "reinstatement fee" to the Illinois Secretary of State (DMV) as well.
License Revocation in Chicago
Revocations on the other hand, do not really have any specific termination or ending date. The loss of privileges is what is called "indeterminate" meaning that it will end when the Secretary of State is ready for it to end. That may take a short time or a long time, but it generally involves the driver petitioning the DMV for driving relief, either by taking part in an "informal" hearing or a "formal" hearing at the Secretary of State offices. The driver will need to meet certain criteria in order for the DMV to release the license. It is highly recommended that a driver use an experienced attorney for "formal" hearings as they are generally contentious.
Few other Chicago traffic offenses have such a wide range of penalties associated with them as do suspended and revoked license tickets. Depending upon the type of suspension and the client's past driving record, such tickets may be simple and easy with very small fines and little effect on the client's driving record; or they may be extremely serious with long mandatory terms of imprisonment and extensive damage to the client's driving record. For instance, a suspension that results from a failure to pay a speeding ticket is not very serious whereas a revocation based upon a DUI when the client has had many such tickets before carries with it long mandatory jail terms.
The process of reinstating your drivers license can be long and complex. The experienced attorneys of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC know the ins and outs of this process and are prepared to help you navigate your way through it.
Call Chicago Defense Lawyers with Experience
The lawyers associated with Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC are all experienced Chicago traffic violation attorneys that know the best ways to help you protect your driving privileges and Mitchell Sexner himself is a former traffic Assistant State's Attorney with a proven track record of successes. So contact us any time at (800) 996-4824 to set up a free no-obligation consultation and to review your driving record.