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Informal Hearings

The driver’s license reinstatement attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent clients at informal hearings before the Illinois Secretary of State. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and have helped obtain driving relief for thousands of deserving clients.

What is an Informal Hearing?

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office conducts two types of driver’s license hearings for revoked and suspended drivers seeking driving privileges - formal hearings and informal hearings.

Informal hearing officers hear cases for driver’s whose licenses are suspended or revoked for both alcohol/drug and non-alcohol/drug related reasons. Under the rules of the Secretary of State’s office, there are certain types of cases that they cannot hear. For example, they cannot hear cases involving death, serious personal injury or for people with multiple suspensions or revocations arising out of separate DUI’s.

What Questions are Asked at an Informal Hearing?

An informal hearing involves the suspended or revoked driver undergoing an interview with the informal hearing officer. Legal representation at these hearings is highly recommended. Typically, the interview will consist of a review of the offense(s) which resulted in the revocation or suspension; the person’s overall driving record; the person’s criminal history; incidents of driving while revoked or suspended, lifestyle changes and review of the person’s hardship resulting from the driver’s license revocation or suspension, if any. In cases where the person has a history of alcohol/drug-related offenses, there will also be a review of the person’s alcohol/drug use history; a review of the symptoms of alcohol/drug abuse the person has experienced in the past; and a review of the person’s treatment history.

In cases involving any prior alcohol/drug related offenses, the person will also be required to submit an alcohol/drug evaluation, treatment documentation and, if applicable, a risk education verification. The person may also be required to submit letters from family, friends and acquaintances documenting current alcohol/drug use or abstinence verification.

When Will I Receive a Decision?

Once the interview has been completed and all required documentation has been submitted, the informal hearing officer will complete an interview form and submit a recommendation as to whether and what type of driving relief should be granted. This is reviewed by the Secretary of State’s office in Springfield, where a final decision is made. The driver and his or her attorney are then notified by mail. Decisions are often received approximately 10-12 weeks after the hearing.

What if I am Denied Driving Privileges After an Informal Hearing?

If the request for driving relief is denied, the person may have another hearing 30 days or more after the prior hearing or may request a formal hearing. However, any additional issues raised by the denial must be addressed at a future hearing and can complicate the process further. In certain cases, the Secretary of State will require a formal hearing after a denial at an informal hearing. Handling the case properly from the start can save a significant amount of additional time and difficulty.

Where do Informal Hearings Take Place?

Informal hearings are heard throughout Illinois at a variety of Secretary of State facilities. Among these facilities is the Secretary of State’s office at 5401 North Elston Avenue in Chicago. Our attorneys often conduct hearings at this location.

We are Here to Help

Our attorneys provide high-quality legal representation throughout the complicated license reinstatement process. Whether you have never had a hearing or have been previously denied, contact the driver’s license attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. for a free initial consultation.

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