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What are the consequences of driving with a suspended license?

Illinois is full of drivers on its many roads at any given time. However, that doesn’t mean they drive with a valid driver’s license. Some drivers have their licenses suspended for a multitude of reasons, including reckless driving, leaving an accident or engaging in drag racing. Knowing the risks of getting behind the wheel is crucial if you have a suspended driver’s license.

Paying fines

Driving with a suspended driver’s license typically entails paying fees. But these fees vary based on whether this is your first-time offense regarding a driver’s license suspension. If convicted of a petty suspended license offense, you can pay up to $500 in Illinois. Class A misdemeanor fines for this crime can mean facing fines of $75 to $2,500. Lastly, a felony offense for driving with a suspended driver’s license can incur fines of up to $25,000.

Serving time in prison

Along with fines, another punishment for driving with a suspended license can involve spending time behind bars. Again, the duration of your potential sentence depends on whether you’re a first-time or repeat offender. In Illinois, you could spend up to one year in jail for a misdemeanor conviction of driving with a suspended driver’s license.

When convicted of a felony charge for this crime, prison time varies based on felony classes. A class 1 felony conviction in Illinois means spending four to 15 years behind bars. Class 2 felonies can mean serving a prison sentence of three to seven years.

Having your driver’s license revoked

Under certain circumstances, especially when someone has repeat convictions of driving with a suspended license, these drivers can permanently lose their ability to drive legally. This situation is otherwise called a driver’s license revocation.

The best way to not deal with prison time, paying fines or permanently losing your driver’s license in Illinois is to avoid driving with a suspended driver’s license. If you must travel, consider riding with a legal driver or using public transportation.