In Illinois, a person’s driver’s license may be revoked for several different offenses. Conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), drag racing, aggravated fleeing and eluding police, and any felony offense involving a motor vehicle may lead to revocation of your driver’s license. If your driver’s license is revoked, you cannot drive any vehicle legally. However, you may be able to regain your driving privileges by attending a driver’s license reinstatement hearing.
Formal vs. Information Hearings
Informal driver’s license reinstatement hearings are held at various locations throughout Illinois. During an informal hearing, you will be interviewed about the reasons for the revocation, your driving record and criminal history, any drug and alcohol treatment you have attended, and the type of lifestyle changes you have made to avoid unsafe driving in the future.
Formal hearings only take place at one of the four Secretary of State locations in Illinois. A formal hearing is like a trial. The hearing officer and an attorney for the Secretary of State will place you under oath and ask you a series of questions. You will be asked to demonstrate that you have taken the steps required to avoid subsequent offenses and become a safe driver. This often includes showing evidence that you have successfully completed drug or alcohol treatment. In both formal and informal hearings, the hearing officer considers the arguments and evidence presented and makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State.
How to Get Your License Back Through a Reinstatement Hearing
To regain your driver’s license and ability to drive, you will need to convince the hearing officer that you will not reoffend in the future. You must demonstrate that you take the driver’s license revocation seriously and have successfully completed the requirements set forth by the Secretary of State. To make the best impression possible during your formal or informal hearing, make sure to:
- Prepare in advance – Gather the necessary documentation such as character references, proof of drug or alcohol treatment, proof of counseling, or AA participation well in advance of your hearing. Practice your answers to the questions you will most likely be asked during the hearing. Your lawyer can help you prepare for the questions you will face during a formal or informal hearing.
- Be polite – Even if you believe that your license revocation was unjustified, it is important to be respectful and polite during your reinstatement hearing. Getting angry or upset will only hurt your argument and reduce your chances of successfully regaining driving privileges.
- Dress for success – You may think that your clothing choices have nothing to do with your ability to get your license back. However, the way you dress can positively influence the outcome of your case. Avoid revealing or inappropriate clothing, ripped clothing, or shirts with offensive or drug-related words or symbols. Dressing appropriately shows that you take the matter seriously and respect the hearing office and other individuals participating in the hearing.
Contact an Arlington Heights Driver’s License Defense Lawyer
If your license has been suspended or revoked, contact Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Scott F. Anderson for help getting your license back. Call 847-253-3400 for a free consultation.