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Carelessness Can Cause Driving Without License Charges

Posted on in BGL Law
Carelessness Can Cause Driving Without License ChargesDriving without a valid license is one of the most common offenses that police officers charge Illinois drivers with, and potentially one of the most difficult to contest. Asking to see a driver's license is standard procedure for any road stop. If you cannot present a valid license during the stop, you may be arrested and charged. Those convicted may face fines, probation and prison time, depending on the severity of the offense. Some offenders know they are violating the law when they are caught. However, incidents of driving without a license can occur when people are careless.

Suspended or Revoked License

When Illinois suspends or revokes your driver's license, you are allowed to apply for reinstatement after a designated period of time. Because the process can be complex, you must be certain that the reinstatement has finished before you start driving again:

  • Understand what type of hearing is necessary. In some cases, you are required to attend a formal hearing;
  • If your license is reinstated, you must pay a reinstatement fee and show proof of insurance; and
  • Confirm on the Illinois Secretary of State's website that your license is classified as reinstated.

If you drive before your license is reinstated, a court may extend your suspension or revocation or sentence you to prison.

Forgot Your License

You must have your license with you in order to prove that you are allowed to drive. If you forgot or misplaced your license, you can defend yourself against serious charges by later showing proof that you had a valid driver's license when you were arrested. However, the court may fine you because of the incident.

Expired License

Illinois drivers between the ages of 21 and 80 are required to renew their licenses every four years and can be penalized for driving with an expired license. If the license expired less than a year ago, you may receive a fine as high as $1,000. If your license expired more than a year ago, it is a class B misdemeanor with an automatic $1,500 fine and possible prison time.

Out of State License

Residents of Illinois must have a state-issued driver's license in order to operate a vehicle. When you become a permanent resident of Illinois, you have a 90-day grace period in which you can use a driver's license from your previous state of residence. Afterwards, your license must be from Illinois in order to be valid.

License Charges

The punishment for driving without a license can be severe. A McHenry County criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC knows which defense strategies may help you in your case. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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