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Illinois law has prohibited the expungement and sealing of DUIs as part of a longstanding policy. Past failed legislative efforts have primarily sought to make DUIs expungeable, which would affect the Secretary of State’s ability to track a driver’s DUI history.

In Illinois, a person’s DUI arrest history is significant in a variety of ways. For example, it is used to determine whether to charge a new DUI as a misdemeanor or felony, whether the individual is eligible for court supervision, and determine their eligibility for license reinstatement. If the Secretary of State were forced to delete such information from a driving record, certain laws would become difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. As a result, the Illinois Secretary of State has opposed past efforts to pass DUI expungement and sealing laws.

Now, a new legislative effort is underway, which has a chance at passage due to substantial support among legislators and a lack of opposition from the Secretary of State.

If you have had your license revoked or suspended in Illinois and you are not yet eligible for full license reinstatement, you may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) through an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State. Likewise, even if you are eligible for full license reinstatement, you may initially be issued an RDP after your hearing prior to being granted full reinstatement.

RDPs are often called “work permits” because their most common purpose is employment. However, under the law, there are several types of Restricted Driving Permits that may allow you to drive for other purposes such as medical visits, education/school, child care, elder care, alcohol/drug-related counseling and, in limited circumstances, for “any purpose”. Restricted Driving Permits are issued only to those drivers who, after a hearing with the Secretary of State, are able to demonstrate that they are not a risk to public safety. Of course, there are a number of other factors taken into consideration by the Secretary of State before granting this type of driving relief. Depending on your background, an RDP may be issued for a period of up to 2 years.

An RDP is not a driver’s license although it is sometimes referred to as a “restricted license”. An RDP only allows you to drive for a specific purpose on certain days, hours and within a specific radius. If you are caught using a permit outside of these limits, you may be charged with driving on a revoked or suspended license depending on the status of your underlying driving privileges.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders are often issued traffic tickets for left lane violations on the highways and tollways across the State of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation has erected signage prohibiting trucks from using the far left lane in many areas. The Illinois State Police are constantly on the lookout for trucks using the far left lane.

These offenses are most commonly charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-709 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. This type of traffic ticket is typically referred to as:

  • Improper Use of Designated Lanes

Removing a traffic accident entry from your Illinois driving record may be possible. However, there are a number of questions to consider in order to determine your options. Most importantly we must know:

  • Were you issued a traffic ticket at the time of the accident?
    • If so, what was the result:

Being properly prepared for a driver’s license hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State is essential. Because of the complex nature of Secretary of State rules, it is important to understand the hearing procedures and requirements. Having an experienced driver’s license attorney by your side ensures that all aspects of the hearing are conducted properly and will lead to the best possible outcome.

The Secretary of State’s office conducts two types of hearings, formal hearings and informal hearings, for those seeking driving privileges after a driver’s license revocation or suspension arising out of a DUI conviction or summary suspension. In the majority of cases, a formal hearing is required.

What is a Formal Hearing?

The driver’s license attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have successfully represented thousands of drivers seeking restoration of their Illinois driving privileges. This includes drivers who live in Illinois as well as drivers who live in other states and cannot obtain a license where they live until their license is reinstated in Illinois. While there are a variety of scenarios, these cases often involve drivers who have had their driver’s license revoked after having been convicted of DUI (or multiple DUIs).

In Illinois, drivers who have a revoked driver’s license must request a hearing in order to seek driving privileges. In most cases, this is done through a formal hearing, where a hearing officer presides over the case and the Illinois Secretary of State is represented by a hearing representative. If the driver has a suspended driver’s license and wishes to seek driving privileges prior to the end of their license suspension, he or she is also required to have a hearing.

Often, drivers who have previously had a hearing before the Secretary of State and are denied reinstatement or a driving permit come to our lawyers for assistance in challenging the decision that they received. Typically, our law firm can help these individuals by addressing the issues that arose at their hearing. Our driver’s license attorneys are frequently able to obtain a favorable decision on their behalf after a new hearing.

There are a variety of possible consequences resulting from a second DUI arrest in Illinois. To a large extent, the penalties depend on the outcome of your first DUI. The majority of people arrested for a first DUI receive an automatic suspension of their driver’s license for 6 or 12 months depending on whether they failed or refused chemical testing. This is referred to as the Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension law. Additionally, many first DUI arrests will result in court supervision for a period of 1 to 2 years. If you successfully complete the conditions of court supervision (e.g. payment of fines/court costs, treatment, community service, victim impact panel, etc.), a conviction will not be entered.

However, in Illinois, you can only receive court supervision for DUI once in your lifetime. As a result, this means you face limited options on a second DUI charge. You will ultimately have the choice of pleading guilty and receiving a conviction (i.e. conditional discharge or probation), pleading not guilty and going to trial or seeking a negotiated plea to reduce the DUI charge, ideally, to the offense of Reckless Driving.

Criminal Penalties of a Second DUI

While jail can often be avoided for a first time DUI in Illinois, there are a variety of factors that help determine whether any period of incarceration will be imposed. In Illinois, DUI is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine in the amount of $2,500.00 plus mandatory court assessments. The sentence may also range anywhere from court supervision to probation. Jail time can only be imposed if you are convicted of the DUI offense. 

Penalties of a First DUI 

A first offender who is found guilty after trial or pleads guilty to a DUI may be sentenced to court supervision. Court supervision is not a conviction under Illinois law, meaning that a jail sentence is not permitted. In addition, if you comply with all of the conditions of court supervision, the DUI will not go on your public record. However, court supervision for a DUI is only possible once in your lifetime.

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