A recent Illinois appellate case underscores the proposition that if your license is revoked or suspended, it’s revoked or suspended until the Secretary of State says it’s not.
If you lose your license because of DUI, you cannot drive until you apply to get your license back from the Secretary of State even if the term of your DUI sentence is over. In some cases, you may only need to pay a fee. In others, you may have to go to a hearing and present substantial evidence.
If you do drive while revoked or suspended based on an alcohol offense, the penalties for later offenses can be increased.
In People v Viverette, the defendant argued that his license could not be revoked for leaving the scene of an accident because it had already been revoked for an earlier offense. Therefore, the revocation for leaving the scene could not be used to increase the penalties for his later DUI. (The defendant in fact had 15 prior convictions for DUI.) The court disagreed. Instead, the court held that any qualifying revocation could serve to bump defendant’s DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony.
The Illinois law allows the state to increase the class of your offense depending on the number of prior DUIs if you are driving on a suspended or revoked license. (See 625 ILCS 5/6-303.) For example, a second offense becomes a Class 4 felony rather than a Class A misdemeanor. In the above case, the defendant was convicted of a Class 2 felony based on his 15 prior DUIs.
If your license has been revoked or suspended, you should consult an attorney on whether you qualify for reinstatement and how best to proceed. The Secretary of State is a tough customer, and an attorney can help you present your case in its best possible light.
If you are charged with DUI or similar offense, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney may review your case for your best possible defense. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)