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Consequences of driving with a suspended license in Illinois

If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, fail a DUI chemical test or refuse to take one, Illinois will suspend your license. In other words, you will lose your right to be behind the wheel for the time stipulated by the court. Therefore, it would be a crime if a police officer were to catch you driving under such circumstances.

First offense

If a police officer catches you driving with a suspended or revoked license, they will impound your vehicle, and you’ll face a Class A misdemeanor charge. This offense carries up to one year in jail, license suspension for at least one year and a fine of up to $2,500. However, if the court suspended or revoked your license due to aggravated DUI or reckless homicide, a first offense carries a Class 4 felony.

Second offense

A second driving with a suspended license charge within five years of the first offense will likely lead to a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. The court may also suspend your license for at least two years.

Subsequent offenses

If you’re caught driving with a revoked or suspended license more than twice in Illinois, additional charges could result in time behind bars and even higher fines. The state might prosecute a fourth offense as a Class 3 felony, which carries penalties of 2-5 years in prison and fines up to $25,000. A judge may also revoke your driver’s license indefinitely after four such convictions.

Other penalties

Other possible penalties for driving with a suspended or revoked license or other traffic violations in Illinois include community service, vehicle registration suspension and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. The court may also require you to attend Alcohol or Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment classes.

If you find yourself in a situation where an officer is accusing you of driving with a suspended license, do not make any statements that they could use against you in court or give the police permission to search your vehicle. From here, you can work on defenses that may lead to lesser charges or, if fortunate, have the judge dismiss the case.