In Illinois, driving with a suspended license or a revoked license is a criminal offense, not just a petty traffic ticket that can be handled by paying a fine. DWLS (driving while license suspended) or DWLR is a Class A misdemeanor at least, meaning the defendant may face up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 if convicted. Additional suspension or revocation is likely, as well as probation, community service, or other criminal penalties. Driving while suspended or revoked in Illinois can also be charged as a felony, such as when based on a DUI suspension. In some cases, felony charges for Driving with a Suspended License or a Driving while revoked may be subject to lengthy prison terms, where a judge is not even allowed to give probation.
A skilled and experienced Illinois traffic lawyer can give you options. These may include ways to challenge the officer's basis for stopping or initiating contact with you in the first place, presenting the prosecution or the court with significant background that will help with negotiation, and giving you guidance with how to move towards clearing up your license suspension in the first place.
Why might your Illinois Driver's License be Suspended or Revoked?
At times, a driver may not know that his or her license has been suspended, or why. While the Illinois Secretary of State is required to inform a driver if his or her license is suspended or revoked, there is always the possibility that the notice was lost in the mail or that it went to a previous address where the driver no longer lives. Whatever the cause, the driver may then unintentionally drive with a suspended or revoked license. Even if you know your license is suspended or revoked, you might not understand why or what to do about it. Sometimes taking the first step seems impossible, if you even know where to start. We can help.
Start by getting a Court Purposes Driving Record from the Illinois Secretary of State. It will cost you $12, and we'll be able to review it to let you know what penalties you face, and what can be done to clear your suspension or revocation. Sometimes it may involve paying outstanding fines or going back into Chicago traffic court to correct an error, and sometimes it's as simple as paying a fee to reinstate your driving privileges.
Call us now at 847-635-8200 and we'll let you know how we can help.