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IL defense lawyerBeing accused of identity fraud can be a very frightening experience. In the state of Illinois, individuals who are facing fraudulent ID charges may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of their case. Regardless if a conviction is made, however, the Secretary of State does have the authority to suspend or revoke your driver’s license. If you have lost your driving privileges due to ID fraud charges, it is important to discuss your legal needs with a skilled attorney as soon as possible.

Actions That Can Lead to a Suspended or Revoked License

In Illinois, the Secretary of State is eligible to suspend or revoke an individual’s driver’s license if her or she:

  • Has lent his or her driver’s license or identification card to another person for fraudulent purposes
  • Is in possession of and/or is attempting to use another person’s driver’s license or identification card
  • Has knowingly provided false information on a driver’s license or identification card application
  • Has another person apply for a driver’s license or identification card on their behalf
  • Is caught altering a government-issued driver’s license or identification card
  • Is caught producing, selling, distributing, or possessing a fake identification card

In most instances, for a first-time offense, the Secretary of State will suspend an individual’s driver’s license for 12 months. For any ensuing offenses, however, your driving privileges may be revoked.

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IL DUI lawyerThere are many reasons a person might have their driver’s license suspended or revoked in Illinois, such as for DUI, accumulating points on your driving record, or being cited for specific traffic offenses. Because losing your driving privileges is an administrative matter, your case will proceed according to a very specific process: A formal or informal administrative hearing before the Illinois Secretary of State. The two proceedings are distinct and apply in different situations, the nature of which depends upon the traffic violation, your driving record, and many other factors.

The details involved with either type of proceeding are extremely complex, yet they can have very profound implications for your driver’s license. Therefore, it is wise to trust a Secretary of State hearings lawyer to represent you and protect your interests. You can also read on for some basics in comparing formal and informal administrative hearings in Illinois.

Informal SOS Hearings in Illinois

As the term suggests, the rules governing this type of administrative hearing are quite relaxed. You do not need to make an appointment, so you can walk into your nearest Driver Services facility and request an informal hearing. This proceeding is only available for first-time DUI and minor traffic offenses that resulted in a suspended or revoked license. Depending upon your specific circumstances, the informal hearing may result in:

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IL defense lawyerDrivers whose licenses have been suspended due to multiple DUI convictions are required to attend a formal Secretary of State hearing before their license can be reinstated. Preparation is key to the outcome of these types of hearings, as petitioners will be required to comply with a host of complicated legal rules, so if your license was recently suspended after being arrested for a DUI, it is important to speak with an experienced Naperville driver’s license suspension lawyer who is well-versed in these rules and procedures and can give your claim the best possible chance of success.

Formal Secretary of State Hearings

The Secretary of State’s office conducts two types of hearings for those seeking reinstatement of their driving privileges after revocation or suspension arising from a DUI conviction: informal hearings and formal hearings. While some petitioners are able to resolve their cases through informal proceedings, most are required to go through the formal hearing process, especially if they have multiple DUI convictions on their record.

Formal hearings must be requested by petitioners, and once scheduled, are conducted by a hearing officer and a representative, both of whom act on behalf of the Secretary of State. These individuals are tasked with deciding whether a petitioner is a risk to the public, or whether he or she is suffering an undue hardship as a result of the loss of his or her driving privileges.

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Aurora DUI license reinstatement lawyerThere are several DUI-related reasons why you could lose your driver’s license in Illinois - you could have been pulled over for a suspected DUI and refused chemical testing for your BAC, you may have failed a chemical test (meaning your BAC was .08 or greater), or you could have been convicted of a DUI. 

Regardless of why you lost your driving privileges, before your license can be reinstated, you must attend a license reinstatement hearing at the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, where your case will be examined by a hearing officer. There are two types of hearings that the Office conducts: formal and informal. The type of hearing that you must attend is entirely dependent on the nature of the suspension or revocation. Each type of hearing has different requirements, which is why it is important to be prepared and know which type of hearing you will be required to attend.

Informal Hearings

Like their name suggests, informal hearings are not as intense as formal hearings. You can attend an informal hearing to have your license reinstated if:

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DuPage County driver's license reinstatement attorneyIf your Illinois driver’s license has been revoked for driving under the influence, you anxiously await the day when you are free to drive again with no restrictions. However, Illinois does not make it easy to get your license reinstated after a DUI conviction. 

If you live in Illinois, you will have to appear in person before a Secretary of State hearing officer, who will consider your request for reinstatement, and they may choose to deny your request for any number of reasons. Good preparation is key to success at these hearings. Here are a few of the important steps you must complete before you can even have that hearing:

Determine if You Are Eligible to Apply Yet 

You cannot apply for reinstatement of your driver’s license until your revocation period is up. For example, let us assume that you received the usual six-month statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license for testing over the legal limit for drugs or alcohol at the time of your DUI arrest. Then, at your sentencing, your license was revoked for a minimum of one year. On that date, you had already served three months of your suspension. Those three months will be credited toward your minimum period of revocation, leaving you with nine more months of revocation to serve. At the end of that nine months, you can apply for reinstatement.

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