Reinstate Your Illinois Driver's License
Upon receiving a driving under the influence conviction (DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving), the Illinois Secretary of State will revoke your license. A revocation is different than a suspension, which you might have also received from the DUI. A revocation of your license is for a set term, but most people don't realize that the revocation of your driver's license will continue forever, until you choose to have an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.
A big misconception that clients have when preparing for the administrative hearing is that you can just walk into the Secretary of State, hand over your documents and say I've completed everything, I'll take my license back now. If the process was that easy you wouldn't be reading this information right now. In reality, our office has clients that seek our help after they have had multiple denials from the Illinois Secretary of State. Hiring a skilled and experienced Illinois Driver's License Reinstatement Lawyer is the key to getting your driver's license back.
It is important to realize that the rules for the hearing and process is the same regardless of whether you are seeking a hardship license (RDP Restricted Driving Permit), a probationary permit or a full reinstatement.
Illinois Hearing Procedures
Most of our clients will require a Formal Hearing in order to start driving again. The Illinois Secretary of State will require a written request to set the hearing, along with a $50 filing fee. Upon receipt, the State will mail or email you the notice of hearing setting the date and time of your hearing, usually within 14 days after receiving your request. By law, the Secretary of State must give you a hearing date no later than 90 days after receiving your request for the hearing. As a general rule though, your hearing will be set about 6 weeks out from the date of filing your request.
Illinois Hearing Officer
Upon receipt of your request for hearing, an Illinois Secretary of State Hearing Officer (administrative judge) will be assigned to your case. The purpose of the hearing officer shall be to hear your case, review all evidence and summarize in the form of a written report a decision on your case. It is important to know that a decision on your case will not be made on the same day as your hearing. By law, the Illinois secretary of State has up to 90 days from the date of hearing to get you the decision.
If you are denied, the written report will detail the reasons for the denial and you will be required to address all those issues at your next hearing. It is important to know that the Denial Letter, your testimony and all evidence you submitted at the hearing, is part of the official record. Clients that have attended these hearings on their own, have now likely submitted evidence and testified to facts that have ended up hurting their case.
Clients that have attended these hearings on their own were crossed examined by an experienced Illinois Secretary of State trial attorney. It is likely that 80 to 100 questions were asked of you pertaining to the details of your previous arrests, your past in general, your criminal arrests and the minute specific details of every arrest. You current alcohol and drug use will be also explored as to when you first started, the patterns and use from the beginning of your abuse, until present day. Any discrepancies between your testimony and the documents submitted with be grounds for automatic denial. Further, failing to assure the Haring officer that you have addressed any alcohol and drug issues you have will result in an automatic denial.
The Illinois Secretary of State has very experienced and seasoned trial attorneys working for them. It is their job to cross examine you and poke holes in your testimony and paperwork. You as the petitioner knows nothing about the law or this process of trying to get your license back. The Secretary of State has their own attorneys, you should too.
Formal and Informal Hearings
There are two types of hearings available in order to get your license back: Informal and Formal Hearings. As a general rule, clients with only one (1) DUI arrest can do an Informal Hearing and clients with two (2) or more DUI arrests will be required to do a Formal Hearing.
There is not a scheduling process for Informal Hearings. They are held on a walk in basis, first come first served. At these hearings you are present, your attorney and the Informal Hearing officer. Unlike a Formal Hearing, the proceedings are not recorded, but a letter of approval or denial will still be issued. If you are denied at this hearing, you can have another hearing 30 days after your previous one.
In order to sit for a Formal Hearing, you will need to make a written request and pay a $50 filing fee. The Illinois Secretary of State will typically set your hearing about 6 weeks after the receipt of your request. These hearings are tape recorded. At the hearing you are present, your attorney, the attorney for the Secretary of State, and the Formal Hearing Officer (administrative judge).
Don't Go it Alone
There is a mistaken belief that it will be an automatic denial at your first hearing with the Secretary of State. In fact, with proper representation the opposite is true. There should be no reason why you are not granted a permit on your first hearing and our office has over an 80% success rate in obtaining permits with clients. While there is never a guarantee with the Secretary of State; an experienced Illinois License Reinstatement Lawyer greatly increases your odds of success.
Our firm has the experience and skill to guide you through this difficult process. Our goal is to get you APPROVED for restricted driving relief and ultimately full reinstatement. Let our experienced attorneys work for you. Give us a call at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation or contact us via the contact form.