Suspended / Revoked License
Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have recently been ticketed, charged with, or arrested for a traffic offense concerning your driver's license, it is a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced traffic attorney because the consequences may be severe.
Driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license is not a minor traffic violation; it is a criminal charge that carries a possible punishment ranging from court supervision to jail time. It is important that you have skilled representation on your side to begin combating the accusations against you.
At Pfeifer & Pfeifer, Attorneys at Law, we have considerable experience handling all traffic cases including driver's license cases such as driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, and driving on a revoked license. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can handle a ticket for no license or suspended license on your own.
While you may think that you are saving money by avoiding the cost of an attorney, if you do not handle it properly, your license situation may get worse, resulting in a prolonged suspension, extremely high fines and court costs, and in a worst case scenario, time in jail.
Our Evanston criminal defense lawyers can help you!
Normally, a ticket for driving on a suspended or revoked license is a Class A misdemeanor. That means it carries a possible sentence of court supervision to 364 days in the county jail. It is the same punishment as a misdemeanor DUI. Along with a non-jail sentence, a person typically receives fines of no more than $2500 and possibly community service.
Many people who get a ticket for no license or suspended license mistakenly believe that it is not serious and that they might only face a fine if found guilty. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that in the high volume court calls in Chicago traffic court at the Daley Center, or in any of the suburban districts, many judges do not advise people that they need a lawyer for their case. Instead, some judges simply advise a person that they can have a lawyer if they want.
This is not a correct statement of the law. The U.S. Constitution says that any person who is charged with a criminal offense and is facing a possible jail sentence shall be represented by an attorney and if they cannot afford a lawyer, is entitled to a free lawyer.
Why You Need a Criminal Lawyer in Cook County, IL
It does not matter if the prosecutor is only offering a small fine to plead guilty because the fine is almost always is accompanied by a sentence of supervision or probation. If you violate that sentence, you are facing a potential jail sentence. Also, you need a lawyer to explain what will happen to you and your driver's license if you are found guilty for your ticket.
Illinois has established several different reasons for suspending a driver's license:
- Having too many unpaid parking tickets or tolls
- Failing to take your car for emissions testing
- Driving without insurance
- Getting into an accident while uninsured
- Missing court on a speeding ticket
Revocation vs. Suspension
There is a difference between a suspension and a revocation. A suspension is temporary; sometimes the suspension is for a fixed time period. For example, if a person over 21 gets three convictions for moving violations within 12 months, the license is suspended. Following the time period, your license is restored. Sometimes there is a reinstatement fee charged by the Secretary of State. Other types of suspensions are indefinite; they last until the driver fulfills certain obligations for the Secretary of State. For example, if your license is suspended for outstanding parking tickets, the suspension will be lifted when the parking ticket debt is satisfied.
A revocation, however, is more difficult to resolve. The Secretary of State will indicate a time period of the revocation, but unlike a suspension, driving privileges are not restored by paying a reinstatement fee. You must petition the Secretary of State for a hearing and plead for your license to be restored. If you have been revoked for a DUI, then the Secretary of State will require proof of alcohol treatment before you get your license back.
Looking for a lawyer for a suspended or revoked license in Evanston?
The laws concerning suspended licenses and no licenses have gotten tougher in Illinois and continue to get tougher every year. On the third offense for driving on a suspended or revoked license, the State may upgrade the charge to a felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 1 year. This is only a summary of what a person with a ticket for driving on a suspended or revoked license is facing. It may seem overwhelming, but there are several ways to defend against a charge of driving on a suspended or revoked license.
Have you recently received a license suspension in Cook County? Are you trying to save your license? We have handled hundreds of these cases, so we know how to pursue the best outcome possible for you. We can consult with you and root out the problem or basis of the suspension or suspensions. Sometimes suspensions can be cleared up easily without a hearing before the Secretary of State. We know how to read the driving record, or abstract. In many cases, we are able to advise you how clear up the suspension completely, so that you can walk into court with your driver's license. If the suspension cannot be cleared, then it is especially important to have a good lawyer who can defend you to either minimize the damage or look for a possible way to win the case completely.
Contact our firm today to discuss your situation and to pursue the results that you need.