For most Americans, having the ability to drive is a necessity, rather than a privilege. Even doing normal, everyday things such as taking children to school or running to the grocery store involves driving. Illinois laws provide for multiple reasons as to why a person could lose their driving privileges. Some violations are unrelated to driving, such as failing to pay child support or appear in court, while most deal with some sort of driving-related infraction. For the most part, the most common way people lose their driving privileges is by being arrested or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. That is why it is crucial to fully understand the consequences of these types of crimes in order to avoid further punishments.
Losing Your Driving Privileges
Even if you are not convicted of DUI, you will lose your driving privileges through a statutory summary suspension if you arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and fail a chemical test or refuse to take a chemical test. If you are convicted of DUI, you will face a certain period of time during which your license will be suspended. Every situation is different, but for the most part, you are permitted to apply for special driving permits that would allow you to legally drive with your suspended or revoked license as long as you obey the terms of the permit. If you do not apply for a driving permit, but you still choose to drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you can face serious consequences.
Penalties for Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License
Like many crimes, the severity of the consequences depends on the number and nature of any prior convictions you have. If this is your first conviction for driving with a suspended or revoked license, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a possible sentence of up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. If you are sentenced to jail time, you have a mandatory 10-day minimum. If you do not go to jail, you must perform at least 30 days of community service. In addition, your license suspension will be extended to double the original suspension period, or an additional year of revocation if your license is revoked.
For further convictions, you could face anywhere up to Class 1 felony charges, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. In these cases, if you are sentenced to prison, you may face a 180-day minimum sentence, in addition to double the suspension time or an additional year of revocation.
Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have had your driving privileges taken away from you, you know the impact this can have on your life and livelihood. Even though it may be tempting to drive while your license is suspended or revoked, it is not worth the punishments if you are caught. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law can help you whether you would like to petition to reinstate your driving privileges or you have been charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license. Call our knowledgeable and dedicated Rolling Meadows, IL DUI defense lawyers today at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.