Driving with a Suspended License in Illinois
Many people think of driving with a suspended or revoked license as a mere traffic infraction. Failing to recognize the seriousness of these crimes can be dangerous.
Without any special circumstances, driving with a suspended license is a Class A misdemeanor. That means a possible sentence of up to 12 months in jail and a possible fine of up to $2,500. And, that’s the best case scenario. Depending upon past convictions and the underlying reason for the suspension, the penalties may be increased.
Increasing Penalties for Multiple Driving While Suspended Offenses
The possible penalties for driving with a suspended driver’s license or after your license has been revoked range from no jail time at all to several years in prison, and the factors that determine the seriousness of the crime are complicated.
At the simplest level, subsequent convictions for the same crime are treated more seriously.
2nd offense – a minimum of 100 hours of community service
3rd offense – a minimum term of imprisonment of 30 days or 300 hours of community service
4th offense – in addition to other penalties, possible seizure of license plates or immobilization of vehicle
Reasons for Underlying Suspension
Convictions for driving while suspended or revoked also vary depending on the reason for the underlying suspension. A conviction for driving with a suspended license—even a first offense—carries a minimum sentence of 30 days community service or 10 days incarceration if the underlying suspension results from a breathalyzer test refusal or a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The classification of the crime and the resulting penalties are also more serious when the underlying suspension is the result of a conviction for reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury or death, or certain other offenses.
Monitoring Device Driving Permit
In some cases, a person whose driver’s license is suspended may qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). Such a permit will allow the person to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device to ensure that he or she is not operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
While the ability to obtain an MDDP is beneficial to many people whose licenses have been suspended, the availability of this option also increases the penalties for certain convictions for driving while suspended.
Driving during a period of summary suspension for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a Class 4 felony carrying a penalty of 1-3 years in prison if:
- The person was qualified to obtain an MDDP at the time of the offense; or
- The person holds an MDDP but operates a vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device.
In either case, a conviction carries a minimum term of 30 days incarceration.
Extended Driver’s License Suspension
When a person is convicted of driving while suspended, the Secretary of State shall extend the original license suspension for a like period or, if the suspension has expired, issue a new suspension of the same duration as the original suspension.
Get the Help You Need to Fight Driving with a Suspended License Charges
Driving with a suspended license is at least a Class A misdemeanor, and in many cases a much more serious crime. You may be facing jail time, fines, an additional period of suspension and other consequences.
Before you make another move, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer like the ones at Gullberg, Box and Rodgers. We’ll fight to beat the charges against you or we’ll negotiate the most favorable agreement possible—whichever is most beneficial to you in your particular circumstances.
Call us right now at 309-734-1001 and gain the peace of mind that comes with having a staunch advocate at your side.