What happens if I get caught driving with a suspended or revoked license?
Your driver's license is a privilege, not a right, in the State of Illinois. This privilege can be taken away for numerous reasons, such as unpaid fines, multiple moving violations, DUI, and so on. If your license ends up being suspended or revoked, there will be consequences if you are caught driving.
The relevant statute indicates that driving on a suspended or revoked license is a Class A misdemeanor, which is the most serious class of misdemeanor. In general, a misdemeanor means that the judge can sentence you up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
If you are convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license, the Secretary of State is required to further suspend or revoke your license for an additional one year period from the date of conviction. So if you only had 3 months left on your suspension/revocation, it will now be extended to 1 year and 3 months!
If your license was suspended or revoked as a consequence of pleading guilty to DUI, the Statute indicates a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail or 30 days of community service.
As you can see, the consequences of driving on a suspended or revoked license are quite severe, and they only increase if you are caught subsequent times. For a second conviction, the charge is elevated to a Class 4 felony and carries a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service.
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, it is highly advised that you speak with an attorney, as not only will you likely pay fines and court costs, but the potential for jail time is very real (especially if it is DUI based, which is one of the most common offenses) and you will need someone who understands the law in order to protect yourself as much as possible.
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