First time driving on a suspended or revoked license is a Class A Misdemeanor in Illinois. The offense becomes a Class 4 Felony (1) on a second or later offense if your driving proximately caused a crash that resulted in personal injury or death; or (2) if your license was revoked because of a reckless homicide or aggravated DUI in which you caused a death.
If your license was suspended for financial reasons such as failing to pay a fine, the offense is essentially a traffic ticket. But if you get three or more of these tickets, you can still be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license is generally easy for the state to prove. The state must simply show that you were driving and that your license was suspended or revoked. If your license was revoked based on prior offenses, the state must show the record of those prior offenses. I did one trial where the state forgot to enter the defendant’s record into evidence, thus failing to prove one element of the offense.
If you are charged with a driving on a suspended or revoked license, contact an experienced traffic attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Did the police have probable cause to stop you? If not, an attorney may be able to petition the court to suppress any evidence from the stop. In limited cases, this can result in the court dismissing your case.
Can the state prove you were driving? If so, were you on private property? Was there a significant emergency? Did an officer force you to move the car? In one Illinois case, a conviction was reversed where a uniformed ranger asked the defendant to move his car. (People v. Jensen, 37 Ill. App. 3d 1010, 347 N.E.2d 371 (1976).)
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email email@example.com
Reference: 625 ILCS 5/6-303
(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).