Is driving without a license in Illinois a serious offense?
In Illinois, driving without a license can result in criminal charges. The Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS), Section 5/6-101 requires all persons who operate a vehicle on highways to possess a valid driver’s license.
Driving without a license can result in the following consequences:
A ticket citation, which is considered a petty offense carrying a fine of $1000 maximum
If the person drove without a license and was under the age required to obtain a permit, it will result in a Class B misdemeanor charge. This may mean fines of up to $1,500, as well as up to six months in jail.
Driving with a suspended or revoked license may result in a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail. It is a more serious charge than driving without a license and considered a Class A misdemeanor
While jail time is rarely imposed, it is not uncommon for an Illinois judge to impose the maximum amount of fines, especially if the offender is a young person.
Driving without a license can sometimes also result in having the person’s car towed at their own expense, especially if the offense is combined with a failure to provide insurance. The car may be totally impounded and auctioned off if the violation also results in an accident which causes physical injury or death to another person.
Will a conviction affect my driving privileges?
Illinois is unique among states in that the Secretary of State will suspend the driving privileges of a person who is convicted for driving without a license. If the person did not have a validly registered license at all, they may be required to complete the suspension period before applying for one. Upon a third offense of driving unlicensed, the person’s driving privileges may be totally revoked, and can only reinstated after a formal hearing.
How can an Illinois lawyer help my case?
The services of a lawyer can be very helpful in cases involving driving without a license. In some cases, the consequences can be lessened if the person takes step to renew a previously suspended license, or furnishes proof of a license and insurance to the judge. A lawyer can assist the defendant in preparing the necessary documents which might support any defenses available to the person.