Is Driving on a Revoked License a Felony in Illinois?

Traffic violations, alcohol-related offenses, and not paying child support payments are common reasons that might cause your driver’s license to be revoked or suspended in Illinois. A driver’s license suspension means your driving privileges have been withdrawn temporarily. Whereas a driver’s license revocation means your driving privileges have been terminated permanently.

In the state of Illinois, driving with a revoked license is a traffic offense and you might face severe consequences.

The criminal defense attorneys at Chicago Traffic Lawyers regularly represent clients charged with driving on a revoked or suspended license in Rolling Meadows and anywhere in Illinois.

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our experienced Chicago license reinstatement attorney today at (708) 465-1040 or chat with us online to learn how we can help.

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What Happens If I Get Caught Driving On a Suspended License in Chicago, Illinois?

In Illinois, it’s a criminal offense to drive with a suspended or revoked driver’s license. If you’re caught, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor offense. Also, you could be charged with a petty traffic offense, or a felony charge, depending on the circumstances of your case. Your criminal charge and the potential criminal penalties could be severe if you have previous convictions for driving with a suspended or revoked license, or if your driver’s license was revoked for certain reasons.

For a petty traffic offense, your criminal penalties may include a maximum fine of $500. For a Class A misdemeanor offense, you could be subject to:

  • A  $75-$2,500 fine, and
  • A minimum sentence of 12 months in jail.

A driver being pulled over by the police

Under certain circumstances, you could be charged with a felony charge for operating a motor vehicle with a revoked or suspended driver’s license. In Chicago, this is the most serious category of crime. Reasons for felony charges may include driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license because of a reckless homicide conviction and having a certain number of previous traffic convictions. Felony charges carry a hefty fine of up to $25,000. The duration of the potential term of imprisonment for a felony charge in Chicago depends on the class of felony offense. Your prison term could fall into the following categories:

  • If you commit a Class 1 felony charge, you may be subject to a 4-15 years prison sentence;
  • A class 2 felony offense carries 3-7 years of a jail sentence;
  • A class 3 felony charge carries 2-5 years of a prison sentence; and
  • A class 4 felony charge carries 1-3 years of a prison sentence.

These prison sentences don’t show the duration you’ll serve in jail or prison. Often, the judge has the jurisdiction to suspend all or part of the jail sentence and place a traffic offender on probation.

However, sometimes a traffic offender may face a minimum sentence. For example, if you’re convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, and the reason for losing the suspension or revocation was a reckless homicide conviction, you may be subject to a minimum jail sentence of 300 hours of community service or  30 days in jail.

What are the Reasons for Suspension or Revocation?

In Illinois, you may lose your driving privileges for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Being convicted of three or more traffic offenses in the last 12 months;
  • Being repeatedly involved in motor vehicle accidents;
  • Causing a motor vehicle accident that results in personal injury or death;
  • Being convicted of fleeing from a law enforcement officer; and
  • Being convicted of certain criminal offenses that occurred while you were driving a motor vehicle, including certain drug offenses and sex crimes.

In Illinois, driver’s license revocation is mandatory for specific criminal offenses, such as:

  • Reckless homicide involving a motor vehicle;
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Commission of a felony offense if a car was used, and
  • Fleeing the scene of an auto accident involving bodily injury or death.

Further, your license may be suspended if you don’t pay a specific number of parking tickets or traffic violations or don’t pay or evade a specified number of tolls. Also, license suspension can result from reasons unrelated to driving offenses, such as if you don’t pay child support.

Related: What You Need to Know About Drivers License Points in Illinois

How Do I Get My Driving License Back After it’s Been Revoked?

If you’re charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license in Illinois, consider hiring a criminal defense attorney. A traffic conviction could result in expensive fines and even jail time. Also, a conviction could affect your ability to keep employment, keep insurance, and go to school. While Illinois law provides maximum sentences and sometimes minimum sentences if you’re convicted your sentence will depend in part on the view that the local prosecutors and judges have of the traffic offense. An experienced traffic attorney who is familiar with such cases in your area can advise you about your specific situation.

The suspension period depends on the situation of your case. Once the period of suspension or revocation lapses, you must pay a license reinstatement fee to get back your driving privileges. The reinstatement fee will depend on the reason your license was suspended or revoked. Often, this reinstatement fee ranges from $70-$500.

Also, you may have to meet other conditions, such as paying child support or paying other fees before your driving privileges are reinstated.

How Can the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Chicago Traffic Lawyers Help?

Our license reinstatement lawyers have decades of experience offering high-quality criminal defense representation and license reinstatement services throughout the greater Chicago area. Our license suspension lawyers can review your driving record to determine the best legal option.

If possible, our criminal defense team will help you in clearing the suspension or revocation before appearing in court on driving on revoked or suspended license charge. At a minimum, reinstating your license can act as mitigation in court, resulting in a favorable resolution of your case. Sometimes, walking in court with a reinstated license may cause a full dismissal of your charges. However, it’s essential to note that only specific types of revocations or suspensions can be cleared while your charges are pending. It’s essential to understand that you’re ineligible for an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State if you have a case pending.

Revoked License a Felony in Illinois

The criminal defense lawyers at Chicago Traffic Lawyers have represented thousands of clients charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license in Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Kendall County, or DuPage County we can help you get your license reinstated. Our law office will fiercely work to reduce the negative impact traffic offenses may have on your life and driving privileges. By clearing your license suspension before the court, negotiating a favorable plea disposition, or taking your case to trial, our license reinstatement attorneys will offer you experienced legal representation.

Contact Our Experienced Chicago Traffic Attorneys Today for Legal Advice!

If you’re caught driving on a suspended license in Illinois, you may face severe penalties. Your best chance of reducing these consequences is to contact an experienced local license suspension attorney.

At our firm, our Chicago traffic ticket attorneys will advise you on a wide range of legal options. If you have been charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license in Illinois, contact our Chicago criminal defense law firm today at (708) 465-1040 for a free initial consultation.

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