ILLINOIS LAW COVERING SUSPENDED LICENSES IN LAKE COUNTY ILLINOIS AND WHAT A LAKE COUNTY TRAFFIC ATTORNEY CAN DO TO HELP DRIVERS WITH SUSPENDED LICENSE CASES
DO I NEED A LAKE COUNTY TRAFFIC ATTORNEY FOR MY SUSPENDED LICENSE CASE?
Yes, you do, as you would with any misdemeanor offense where you are facing the possibility of jail time. If you are stopped by police and given a citation for driving while suspended you will require an attorney to represent you in court as the charge is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a further extension of suspension or revocation upon conviction. The law and specfic penalties are explained here in clear detail for first and multiple offenses: Suspended license law and penalties in Illinois.
Suspended or revoked license cases can also be charged as felony offenses in Lake County, Illinois when a driver is revoked for one or more DUI based infractions. Generally, suspended license cases are handled at locations across Lake County depending on the police departments involved. Your suspended license case may be heard in the Park City Branch Court, Mundelein Branch Court, North Branch Court - Round Lake Beach or the Main Courthouse in Lake County The case location as well as apperance date and time is located on the bottom of the citation you were given by the officer. If you have lost or misplaced your citation your can also look up your case by name free of charge here: Lake County Public Access Case Search Website.
WHY IS MY DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENDED IN LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS?
There are many different reasons a driver may lose their driving privileges in Lake County and the the rest of Illinois. The most common suspensions often involve failure to pay a prior ticket, lack of insurance, too many moving violations and the most serious suspension, driving while suspended or revoked for a prior or pending DUI. The entire list of suspendable offenses and basis for license suspensions in Lake County Illinois is found here: Basis of License Suspensions in Illinois.
Determining the basis of a suspended license is always the first step on the road to reinstatement and can help mitigate the penalties on your case in Lake County, Illinois. The most accurate way to determine the reason your Illinois license is suspended is to obtain a copy of your Illinois driving record in person at a Secretary of State office or online using this information: Obtaining my Illinois Driving Record Online or in Person. Once you obtain your driving record I can review it with you and help decipher the many codes and numbers on the record to determine the cause and length of your suspension. It is also important also to keep your residence information current with the Illinois Secretary of State as all notices and paperwork regarding suspensions will be sent to the address on file that appears on your driver's license.
HOW DO I GET MY DRIVERS LICENSE REINSTATED IN LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS?
All license suspensions originate with and are controlled by the Illinois Secretary of State. Depending on the basis of suspension or revocation often a driver may have to obtain a certain type of insurance, pay outstanding fines or tickets, attend remedial driving school courses or just plain wait out a time period until they are eligible for reinstatement. Once I determine the nature of a client's suspension I then often advise they make an in person visit to the Chicago Public Service Office of the Illinois Secretary of State that has many well trained and experienced employees who can provide direct information on what needs to be done to clear a driver's license. Often a driver may learn they are eligible for reinstatement immediately upon payment of a reinstatement fee as explained in the License Reinstatement Fee Guide. Although most suspensions are for a set period of time the suspension does not end until the respective reinstatement fee is paid.
WHEN DO I NEED A LAWYER TO HELP REINSTATE MY LICENSE IN LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS?
Although many supsensions can be cleared throught the joint efforts of the attorney, client and Secretary of State there are some suspensions that require a lawyer to act on behalf of a suspended driver to obtain the best chance for success at reinstatement. These suspensions and revocations are likely based on DUI violations and multiple moving violation convictions. A family law attorney may also be helpful for child support based suspensions.
SUSPENSIONS BASED ON A DUI OFFENSE: A DUI based Staturtory Summary Suspension ranging from 6 months to 3 years may be contested or negotiated in Lake County Court in conjunction with a pending DUI case. A DUI based revocation requires a hearing AFTER a DUI case is resolved not with the court but with a Secretary of State Hearing Officer. An experienced Lake County DUI reinstatement lawyer will give a revoked driver the best chance at reinstatement at these often complex hearings. The Illinois Secretary of State outlines the Reinstatement procedure in this helpful guide titled The Road to Reinstatement.
Another instance where a Lake County Traffic Attorney can assist with suspended license cases is when the suspension is based on multiple moving traffic violations in Lake County. The Suspensions for moving violations can be separated into two age categories over and under the age of 21 year old drivers.
SUSPENSIONS FOR ILLINOIS DRIVERS OVER 21 BASED ON MOVING VIOLATIONS: Multiple traffic ticket convictions can result in the suspension or revocation of your Illinois driver's license by the Secretary of State. Illinois drivers 21 years of age or older face a driver's license suspension for three (3) moving violation convictions within one year or 12 month continuous period. These convictions count against a driver regardless of where they originate including convictions from other states such as nearby Wisconsin or elsewhere.
SUSPENSIONS FOR ILLINOIS DRIVERS UNDER THE AGE OF 21: Drivers under the age of 21 come under increased scrutiny by the Illinois Secretary of State. Illinois drivers under the age of 21 face a license suspension for two or more moving violation convictions within any two year period of time. Additionally, if a driver under the age of 21 has been previously suspended, an additional moving violation conviction after the end of the suspension, but before the driver turns 21, will re-suspend or revoke their driver's license.
In addition to the moving violation penalties there is the more serious and separate category of alcohol or drug suspensions explained in detail here: Zero Tolerance Suspensions and Penalties. It is also worth noting that an underage possession or consumption of alcohol supervision or conviction in Lake County or Wisconsin could trigger an immediate suspension of a under 21 driver's license even when no motor vehicle is involved in the offense.
AUTOMATIC SUSPENSIONS REGARDLESS OF AGE: Certain violations of Illinois trafiic laws result in immediate suspensions upon conviction of a first offense including passing a school bus or driving without insurance.
HOW CAN A LAKE COUNTY TRAFFIC ATTORNEY HELP ME WITH MY SUSPENDED LICENSE CASE IN THE LAKE COUNTY TRAFFIC COURTS?
A TWO PART ACTION PLAN FOR HANDLING SUSPENDED LICENSE CASES IN LAKE COUNTY ILLINOIS
PART ONE: DETERMINE THE BASIS OF SUSPENSION AND/OR REVOCATION AND POTENTIAL REINSTATEMENT PLAN - I will review your driving record with you and make recommendations on what actions you must take toward reinstatement to improve your outcome with your pending suspended license case. If a past moving violation conviction in Illinois or Wisconsin has caused your suspension I may be able to motion and reopen that case in the proper courts to eliminate the basis of your suspension and work to vacate and remove one or more of the convictions on your driving record. Once a case is reopened in Illinois I may be able to replace your moving violation conviction with an order of court supervision lifting the suspension of your driver's license. In Wisconsin a moving violation case may be reopened and amended to a non-moving violation if appropriate as well.
PART TWO: COURT APPEARANCES AND REPRESENTATION ON LAKE COUNTY SUSPENDED LICENSE CASE - While working on the reinstatement plan of action you must still deal with the pending misdemeanor or felony driving while suspended case in Lake County, Illinois. I will provide in court representation and secure reasonable good faith continuances in court to give you the best possible outcome or work to quickly resolve your matter if it is holding up reinstatement of your license. I will also determine if the officer had probable cause to stop your vehicle in the first place and explore other possible defenses and favorable dispositions in your case.