You fought your DUI, and you won. You figured that meant you were OK to drive. But you got pulled over by the police, and now you have been charged with driving on a suspended license.
How did that happen? What can you do?
In Illinois, it is important to understand that DUI law operates on two levels: judicial and administrative. Or in other words, you must deal with both the Court and the Secretary of State. A positive outcome in one does not necessarily affect the other.
When you are stopped for DUI, the Secretary of State issues a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license that generally begins on the 46th day after your stop and can last 6 months to a year or more. At times, it is possible to overturn this suspension. See our related post at Can I Drive? Getting Rid of Your Illinois Secretary of State Mandatory Suspension. At times, you may be eligible for a breath activated interlock ignition device (BAIID). See related post at Illinois Driving Permits for DUI Offenders.
In either case, you might assume that if you are not guilty of DUI, that your suspension or your BAIID requirement will simply go away. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If your driver’s license is suspended, you must first get your license reinstated with the Secretary of State.
Therefore, you must not drive until your license is reinstated. In some cases, that may be as simple as paying a fee at the end of the suspension. In others, you may have to apply for a hearing with the Secretary of State. You should consult an attorney before attempting to resolve the situation on your own. A first time driving under a suspended license due to an underlying DUI carries with it a minimum 7 days in jail or 30 days community service.
If you are charged with driving under a suspended license, consult an experienced DUI attorney immediately. Sometimes, an attorney can help you clear up your underlying suspension in order to get a more favorable result in the newer case.
If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email email@example.com.
(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.)