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McHenry County suspended driver's license defense lawyerMany people believe that driving on a suspended or revoked license is a petty offense or traffic violation, punishable with perhaps a fine, or something equally minor. In reality, Illinois law characterizes it as a standard criminal offense, meaning that if you are charged with this crime, you may face both fines and jail time. If you drive with a suspended license after you have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), the consequences can be even more severe because you have already shown that you have a disregard for others’ safety. Enlisting an experienced attorney for your case is crucial. 

Reasons for an Illinois Driver’s License Suspension

There are many reasons that an Illinois driver’s license could be suspended, including failing to appear in traffic court, failing to pay child support, and being convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period. Depending on the severity of the traffic violations, your license could even be revoked after multiple offenses in a short time.

License suspension and revocation are also common consequences related to a DUI arrest or conviction. For example, if you fail a breathalyzer test at the time of your arrest, you will face an immediate suspension of your license for at least six months. Refusing the test completely can mean a suspension for at least a year. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, your license can then be revoked for at least a year for the first offense, and longer for subsequent offenses. You will also likely be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a period of time.

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Why a Driver’s License Revocation Is More Severe Than a SuspensionLosing your driving privileges is a cumbersome penalty that you can face for various infractions in Illinois. People often refer to a driver’s license suspension and a driver’s license revocation as if they are the same thing. Both have the same result of making it illegal for you to drive unless you receive a Restricted Driving Permit. However, a driver’s license revocation is more severe and will make it more difficult for you to regain your driving privileges. You will need the help of an experienced license reinstatement lawyer in order to get your license back.

What Is the Difference Between Suspension and Revocation?

When your driver’s license is suspended, you still possess it but it is temporarily inactive. You could have a definite suspension, in which your license is suspended for a set amount of time, or an indefinite suspension, in which reinstatement of your license is dependent upon meeting conditions such as paying fines. Once the conditions for ending the suspension have been met, you will automatically be eligible for reinstatement of your license.

When your driver’s license is revoked, it has been terminated so that it no longer exists. To regain your driving privileges, you will need to apply for a new driver’s license after a set waiting period. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office must grant permission for you to reinstate your license, which it will determine at a hearing. In order to receive permission, you may need to show that you will not be a danger to yourself or others if you are allowed to drive.

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