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Will County Criminal Defense AttorneyIf your driver's license was revoked because of a DUI or other reason, you will need to attend a hearing through the Secretary of State in order to have it reinstated. There are both formal and informal reinstatement hearings. If this is your first DUI or your license was revoked because of a minor moving violation, you will most likely attend an informal hearing. It is important to prepare for your hearing and take all of the steps required by the Illinois Secretary of State. Your driving privileges depend on it.

Informal Driver's License Hearings in Illinois

An informal driver's license reinstatement hearing takes place at a Secretary of State facility. You do not need to schedule the hearing in advance as these hearings take place on a first-come, first-served basis. During the hearing, you will be asked a series of questions by a hearing officer. The hearing officer may ask you about the reasons your license was revoked, your criminal history, and the lifestyle changes you have made to avoid reoffending. The hearing officer will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State, and then a final decision will be handed down.

Preparing For Your Informal Hearing

Although the word "informal" may imply otherwise, an informal Secretary of State hearing is still a serious matter you will need to prepare for in advance. Showing up to the hearing unprepared will significantly decrease your chances of getting your driver's license back. The steps you need to take before the hearing depend on the circumstances of the offense and the results of your drug and alcohol evaluation. For example, if you are classified as "minimal risk," you must complete 10 hours of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery classes. If you are classified as high-risk dependant, you will need to complete 75 hours of substance abuse treatment and participate in a continuing care program. Make sure you have all the documentation needed to prove your completion of the required steps. It may also be a good idea to practice what you will say to the hearing officer in advance, so you are as articulate as possible. Dress appropriately and treat the hearing officer and other individuals at the hearing with respect.

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DuPage County DUI Defense LawyerIf you lost your license because of a drunk driving charge, you are not alone. Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common reasons for driver’s license suspensions and revocations. The only way to reinstate a driver’s license and regain the ability to driver after a DUI conviction in Illinois is to meet the Secretary of State’s conditions and prove that you are capable of driving safely.

Many people facing license revocation have a chemical dependency on alcohol. They are not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol for fun; they have tried to stop but cannot. These individuals are often classified as “High Risk – Dependent” and required to take additional steps to reinstate their driver’s license. If you or a loved one are trying to reinstate your driver’s license, it is important to understand how support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can help.

Regaining Driving Privileges by Tackling Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a powerful force that is not easily overcome without help. In some cases, alcohol dependency is so severe that a person must quit drinking under medical supervision because withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. If you are ready to quit drinking, consider joining a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to get the help and advice you need. In addition to AA, there are also secular alcohol and drug abuse support groups like:

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DuPage County License Revocation LawyerIf your license was revoked, this means that you can no longer drive any motor vehicle. Driving with a revoked license is a criminal offense, and if you are caught, you face immediate arrest and criminal charges. The only way to get your license back is to comply with the Secretary of State’s requirements. The requirements you must follow depend on several factors, including the type of offense, your criminal record, and whether you have an alcohol or drug addiction.

Steps to Take for License Reinstatement Depend on Your Drug and Alcohol Evaluation

The most common reason that a driver’s license is revoked in Illinois is a conviction for drunk driving. Before the Secretary of State will reinstate your license, you must prove that you have taken steps to avoid drunk driving in the future. You will need to participate in a DUI evaluation and answer questions about past and current drug or alcohol use. After you answer all of the questions, the evaluator will classify you based on your risk for repeat DUI offenses.

The risk category determines what you will need to do to get your license back:

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Kane County Criminal Defense AttorneyIn Illinois, drivers can lose their licenses for several different reasons. One of the most common reasons for driver’s license suspension or revocation is driving under the influence (DUI). Once your license is suspended or revoked, it becomes a criminal offense to drive any motor vehicle.

A driver’s license suspension eventually ends, and the driver can get back on the road legally. However, getting your driving privileges back after a revocation requires additional steps. You will need to attend either an informal or formal driver’s license reinstatement hearing with a representative from the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) and demonstrate that you have taken the required steps. The steps you are required to take are largely based on your risk classification.  

Drug and Alcohol Evaluation and Risk Classification

After a DUI arrest, the driver is required to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine whether the driver has an alcohol or drug addiction and if so, how severe the problem is. The results of this evaluation will be used to classify the driver in one of five main risk categories:

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Will County License Reinstatement LawyerIn Illinois, drivers can lose their driving privileges due to a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), multiple traffic violations, or conviction for a felony offense involving a vehicle. Driver’s license suspensions eventually terminate and the driver can pay a small fee to reinstate their driving privileges. However, once your driver’s license is revoked, the only way to get it back is through a driver’s license reinstatement hearing. Formal hearings are held at one of four Secretary of State locations in Illinois.

Understand the Requirements for License Reinstatement

Formal driver’s license reinstatement hearings are usually required when a driver has been convicted of a serious offense such as a second or third DUI or DUI resulting in death. Attending the hearing alone does not guarantee reinstatement. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, drivers may be required to complete a DUI risk education class, early intervention program, or substance abuse treatment to regain driving privileges. Make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you and complete those requirements before your hearing.

Conduct Yourself in a Professional and Polite Manner

The process of reinstating your license after a DUI or other offense can be complicated and frustrating. However, it is important not to let feelings of frustration or anger get the best of you. One of the best ways you can make a good impression on the Secretary of State hearing officer and prosecutor is to act with professionalism and courtesy. It may seem trivial, but politeness can go a long way in a reinstatement hearing. Showing up late, dressing inappropriately, or using rude language can harm your chances of getting your license back.

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1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

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