In Illinois, driving on a suspended/revoked license is a difficult charge to fight.  On a first offense, the state need only prove that you were driving and that your license was suspended or revoked.  However, you may still have a defense.

Did the police have probable cause to stop you?  If not, an attorney can petition the court to suppress the evidence from the stop.  In certain circumstances, the court might even dismiss your case.

Were you driving on private property?  The law bars driving without a license on “any highway” of Illinois.  A “highway” is defined as the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part is open to the public for driving or located on public school property. (See 625 ILCS 5/1-126).  Be aware, however, that a publicly maintained parking lot is still considered a “highway,” even though it is on private property.

Did you have some other type of driving permit?  Perhaps you don’t have a license, but you do have a restricted driving permit.  If so, the case against you could be dismissed. (See Secretary of State Restricted Driving Permit).

Was there necessity?  If you had a serious emergency, your driving could be excused.

Did police entrap you?  While this is unlikely, in one Illinois case a uniformed ranger ordered the defendant to move his car.  The court reversed the defendant’s conviction based on entrapment.  (See People v. Jensen, 37 Ill. App. 3d 1010, 347 N.E.2d 371, 1976 Ill. App. LEXIS 2296 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 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

(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.)


About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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