License Reinstatement: Why You Should Hire a Lawyer for Help

The reinstatement of an Illinois Driver License is a long road. Depending on your situation and charges, there are many steps in the process, and most people are unprepared for what to do next.

It takes time and knowledge to understand all the laws, let alone navigate them.

Without a license, some become unable to work, and may, unfortunately, decide to drive anyway. Doing this can add a myriad of charges, including extending the time of suspension or revocation. Also, depending upon the reasons for the original suspension, it can lead to felony convictions and mandatory jail time.

As with any legal proceeding, citizens who consult a lawyer are able to understand what lies ahead for them.

Avoiding myths and advice from those who have no legal training avoids small mistakes that cause big problems.

What Does "Level of Risk" Mean?

There are 4 levels of risk which require different processes to reinstate.

  • Level one risk requires 10 hours of treatment 
  • Level two moderate risk requires 22 total hours of treatment        
  • Level two significant risk requires 30 total hours of treatment and 12 hours aftercare   
  • Level three requires 75 total hours of treatment and up to 24 hours of aftercare 

Keep in mind, the Secretary of State has heard it all. Excuses and blame do not work. They will want to know you are taking responsibility for your actions, and seriously concerned about making a change.

Having a lawyer present will certainly show you are working toward change.

Are the Hearings to Reinstate a License Automatic?

In a word, no. You must request a hearing through the Secretary of State, and your hearing date and time will be set. There are typically 80 to 100 questions you might be asked at the hearing.

If you are thinking the odds are stacked against you in such a proceeding, you are right. They will ask about your past drug and alcohol abuse, the details of your arrest, and reports about you from a professional evaluation.

They know the rule of law much better than you, and they have questioned hundreds before you. This is exactly why many choose to consult a license reinstatement lawyer and have them present at the hearing.

Most people who are facing a hearing of any kind would much rather have a professional speak for them rather than facing it all alone.

When you consult a lawyer before this critical step, you'll be prepared with specific answers to the questions, and confident on what to expect.

Does Everyone Automatically Get Turned Down at the First Hearing?

This is a common myth, and definitely untrue. Most of the denials on first time hearings are the result of not being properly prepared.  

The decision to reinstate a license is not made at the hearing but will be in a report form, mailed to you usually within 90 days.

Most importantly, if the decision is no, the reasons are clearly listed, and the Secretary of State will instruct you on what needs to be done to address each issue.

Then, a subsequent hearing can be set as early as 90 days from the initial one. It is expected that the reasons for denial be addressed.

The findings from the first hearing pretty much set the agenda for any further communication between you and the Secretary of State.

How do I Get a Hardship License?

A common myth is that a hardship license is a separate process from pursuing reinstatement. An RDP cannot be granted immediately for those who need to drive for work or school.  Usually the first hearing results in approval for a permit. 

However, they are restricted to very specific tasks, including driving to and from work, taking children to daycare etc.

The full reinstatement of a license will not occur until you have successfully used the driving permit for at least 9 months without any issues unless you are required to have a permit for a longer period of time (5 years or more).

If I Go to Another State, Can I Get a License There?

Unfortunately, many people find out too late that their record for DUI, license suspension, or revoked license in Illinois follows them across the country.

Illinois reports your record to a national database. Even if you had a license in another state previously, you will be unable to renew it.

Attempting to reinstate your license from another state can take some time, but if you consult a IL license reinstatement lawyer, it can go much smoother than on your own.

When Do I Consult an IL License Reinstatement Lawyer?

Consulting a lawyer before your first hearing will make a huge difference. Because a lawyer is familiar with all the proceedings, questions, and penalties, you can get your license reinstated much more efficiently, without disrupting your life any more than it already is.

We have worked with individuals, just like you, whose lives have changed. We all make mistakes, and some are more difficult to repair than others. It's important to get all the help you need, and we can support you throughout the process.

You probably have more questions. Contact us now. We'll help get you back on the road.