How Serious Can It Be to Drive on a Suspended License?
Driving on a suspended license in Illinois is a serious offense. It is a criminal offense that can result in fines, jail time, and other penalties. The severity of the penalties will depend on the circumstances of the case, such as the reason for the suspension, your driving history, and whether you have any prior convictions for driving on a suspended license.
Anyone who is charged with driving on a suspended license in Illinois should contact a criminal defense lawyer. Even if you think you have a good case, it is important to have a criminal defense lawyer represent you. The prosecution will have experienced lawyers representing them, and you need someone with the same level of experience on your side.
What are the Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License?
The penalties for driving on a suspended license in Illinois vary depending on the circumstances of the case. A first-time offense is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, if you have prior convictions for driving on a suspended license, or if your license was suspended for certain reasons, such as DUI, you may be charged with a felony.
Your first four offenses for a non-aggravating reason fall under a Class A misdemeanor charge. The differences lie in the additional minimum mandatory sentences laid out depending on the offense:
The second offense adds a minimum of 100 hours of community service and does not offer court supervision as an option like it does in the first offense
The third offense requires a minimum term of 30 consecutive days imprisonment or 300 hours of community service
A fourth offense results in the same penalties as the third offense but the court may now seize your license plates or immobilize your vehicle
Aggravating offenses, such as DUI, also vary in penalty charges based on the number of previous offenses and reasons for your suspension. If you are caught driving on a suspended license during a summary suspension in a vehicle with an ignition interlock device or in possession of a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP), you will receive a Class 4 felony charge. This carries a minimum of 30 consecutive days imprisonment and the Secretary of State will not issue you a driver’s license for an additional year following the conviction.
How Can I Avoid Driving on a Suspended License?
The best way to avoid driving on a suspended driver’s license is to not drive while it is suspended. However, if you need to drive for work or other essential reasons, you may be eligible for a restricted driver's license. A restricted driver’s license will allow you to drive for certain limited purposes, such as going to work or school.
Reasons for a License Suspension
The most common reason for license suspensions is not paying your traffic tickets on time. If you have any outstanding traffic tickets, pay them immediately to avoid having your license suspended.
Other reasons for your license being suspended include:
Traffic and parking violations
Not showing up to court at the appointed date
Failing to pay child support
Getting into a car accident without car insurance
Evading or violating roadway tolls
Driving under the Influence (DUI)
Contact a DuPage County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney
Driving on a suspended license is not a headache you will want to deal with in Illinois. For those facing charges for driving on a suspended license, consult a Wheaton, IL traffic violations lawyer immediately. The Davi Law Group, LLC is a team committed to serving your best interests. Call us today at 630-580-6373 to discuss your case in a free consultation.