Driving when your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled is a criminal offense in Illinois. It is not a simple, minor traffic infraction. It is usually classified as a misdemeanor offense, but if there are any aggravating circumstances, it may lead to a felony charge.
Driving is a privilege, and Illinois licenses may be suspended for many reasons, including:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while uninsured
- Excessive moving violations
- Not paying parking tickets
- Failure to pass auto emission tests
In addition, driver’s licenses may be revoked for non-traffic related reasons, such as failing to pay child support or missing a court appearance.
Potential penalties include a jail sentence for up to 1 year and fines up to $2,500. Aggravating circumstances such as repeat offenses or driving under the influence may result in a felony charge. In Illinois, felony convictions can result in a prison sentence of up to 7 years maximum and a fine up to $25,000.
Other consequences include an extended suspension of driving privileges. In some instances, the court may require the offender’s car to be towed and impounded, or even completely confiscated, to be retrieved or surrendered at the owner’s expense. Driving with a suspended license is a more serious offense than the charge of driving without a license, which is also a misdemeanor.
Many Illinois judges and prosecutors will allow a person to take steps towards having their driving privileges reinstated. This is especially the case if the person has already fulfilled their terms of suspension.
Driving with a suspended license is a serious criminal offense, so you should enlist legal representation. Working with an experienced Illinois attorney can help you better present your case before a judge. Criminal defense attorneys are required to stay updated with changes in the law, and they will be able to explain your options under the local laws of your area in greater detail.