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Formal Hearings

The driver’s license reinstatement attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent suspended and revoked drivers at formal hearings before the Illinois Secretary of State. Our attorneys are at the forefront of Illinois driver's license law and have successfully obtained driving privileges for thousands of clients.

What is a formal hearing?

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office conducts formal hearings for revoked and suspended drivers seeking to reinstate their driver's license or driving privileges. Revocations and suspension are often based on DUI as well as a variety of non-alcohol/drug related offenses.

A formal hearing is a contested proceeding before a hearing officer. During a formal hearing, the Secretary of State is represented by an attorney. The driver has the right to be represented by an attorney as well. The driver is subject to both direct examination and cross-examination. Failure to have experienced legal representation to assist in the proper preparation and presentation of your case often will result in a denial of relief.

What questions are asked at a formal hearing?

Typically, a review of the offense(s) resulting in the revocation or suspension will take place at the hearing. Other relevant topics include: the person’s full driving record, criminal record, and lifestyle changes. Any hardship resulting from their loss of driving privileges must also be addressed. If relevant, the hearing will also focus on the facts and circumstances of the person’s DUI arrest(s), alcohol/drug use history, including a review of any symptoms of alcohol/drug abuse and any treatment history.

Providing proper documentation is a vital part of many formal hearings. This may include an alcohol/drug evaluation, treatment documentation, risk education verification, and letters from family, friends and acquaintances documenting current alcohol/drug use, abstinence or support group participation.

Do I receive a decision immediately after my formal hearing?

After the formal hearing has been concluded and all necessary documentation has been received in evidence, the formal hearing officer will make a written recommendation. A representative of the Secretary of State reviews this recommendation in Springfield. The decision is sent to the driver and his/her attorney by mail. While the Secretary of State technically has up to 90 days to render a decision after the hearing, the decision usually takes 8-12 weeks or longer to arrive. If denied driving relief, the person is eligible for a new hearing 90 days after the prior hearing. A future hearing must address any issues raised at the prior hearing. As a result, a denial may create substantial complications in any future hearing.

Where are formal hearings conducted?

Formal hearings are heard at four facilities throughout Illinois: Chicago, Joliet, Springfield and Mt. Vernon. Among these facilities is the Secretary of State’s formal hearing facilities located 54 N. Ottawa Street in Joliet and 17 N. State Street in Chicago.

We are here to help

If you are revoked or suspended and wish to obtain driving privileges, contact the driver’s license reinstatement attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. to discuss your case. We can review your record and determine the best course of action. Our attorneys have helped thousands of individuals throughout Illinois and across the country reinstate their driving privileges.

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Client Reviews
I wanted to let you know that I finally got my license back today. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. You did an amazing job and helped another person turn their life around. I will forever be indebted. Rest assured that I will refer anybody that I hear is in trouble to you guys. Thank you again. All the best. M.M.
I want to extend my sincere gratitude for the success in getting my charges reduced. It has been a rather traumatic experience for me. Though I try to keep an optimistic outlook, it didn't seem possible. But you guys pulled it off and I couldn't be more grateful. This has been a great weight lifted off my shoulders. D.F.
I would like to take this time to thank you for a job well done. I received my full reinstatement documents today for full driving privileges. This took me by surprise. I did not expect to see the results this fast. I just want to say that I am blessed to have a very good lawyer like yourself to guide me through the process... I am very grateful. You're the best. Thanks again. G.B.
My special thanks for your help, guidance, and support during a most difficult time. You came recommended as "the best" and you lived up to your reputation! I wish you a lovely holiday season and a new year of challenges overcome, new joys experienced, and much fulfillment realized. All good thoughts your way. S.S.
I am very grateful for your work and representation. Although it is difficult for me to truly express my gratitude through e-mail, I hope you can still understand how thankful I am that we were able to dismiss my case on the first court date. I am very pleased with the outcome. Again, thank you very much for your time. Please enjoy the rest of your week. D.K.