How Soon Can I Get My Drivers License Back After Revocation

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If your Illinois driver’s license has been revoked , you are probably anxious to get back behind the wheel. But because the driving offenses that lead to revocation are so serious, the state does not make it easy to get your license back.

How Soon Can I Start the Reinstatement Process?

For purposes of illustration, we will assume your license was revoked for a minimum of one year. (Your actual revocation could be five years or even longer.)

As a general rule, you can apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP), sometimes referred to as a hardship permit, any time after the revocation is entered on your record.

You can apply to get your license fully reinstated one year from the effective date of revocation. However, you can and should start preparing well in advance for the hearing that will be necessary to get your license back.
See our page on Getting Ready for Your Hearing for details.

How Long Will the Reinstatement Process Itself Take?

Depending on the reason for your revocation, you will go through either the Informal Hearing process or the Formal Hearing process.

Informal Hearing Process: From start to finish, expect this process to take at least two to three months. As with all hearings with the secretary of state, you are required to wait for a written decision as to whether you have been approved for an RDP or the reinstatement of your license. The Secretary of State is required to provide you a written answer within 90 days of your hearing.

If your revocation was for first-time DUI or an offense that did not involve a fatality, you will need to attend an informal hearing with a Secretary of State hearing officer. Informal hearings are available at numerous Driver Services facilities and are held on a walk-in basis (no appointment necessary).

The possible outcomes are full reinstatement of your license, a restricted driving permit (RDP) for some period of time (typically 1 year), or denial of any driving relief. If you are approved for reinstatement, you must next pay some fees and prove you have auto insurance. You will then receive authorization to get a new license. With that, you can go to a Drivers Services facility, take a driver’s exam, and get your new license made.
If you receive an RDP, you are required to drive on the RDP for a period of 8 months before you can apply and sit for your next hearing to either extend the RDP or to apply for the full reinstatement of your license. If you are denied all driving relief, you can have another hearing to correct any issues that the Secretary of State had with your petition.

Formal Hearing Process: Expect this process to take about four to six months. Unlike the informal hearing process where no appointment is needed, the formal hearing process requires you to pay a $50 fee and mail in a request for hearing. The hearing will typically be set about 4-6 weeks out from receipt of your application.

Repeat DUI offenders, or an offense involving a fatality, requires a formal hearing. Formal hearings are only available in a few locations, and you must schedule them in advance. After receiving your request for a formal hearing, the Secretary of State’s office will send you a written notice of the date and time of the hearing. By law, the hearing must be held within 90 days of your request. A written decision will be mailed to you within 90 days after the hearing.

Refer to the earlier paragraphs about what happens if you are approved for reinstatement or an RDP. If you are denied, you are entitled to one formal hearing every three months.

How Can I Make Sure I Get It Right the First Time?

As you can see, driver’s license reinstatement in Illinois is neither quick nor simple. The process takes months, and if you fail at your first hearing, you will wait more months to get back on the road. Being extremely well prepared for your hearing is of utmost importance, and the guidance of an experienced reinstatement lawyer will be invaluable.

Trust an Experienced Joliet License Reinstatement Attorney

If your driver’s license was revoked, and you are anxious to get your full driving privileges back, you need to present a very strong case for reinstatement at your first hearing. You need the guidance of a Will County reinstatement lawyer who knows the process and the expectations of the Secretary of State hearing officers. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 today.

The Long-Term Impact of Illinois DUI Laws

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In 1997, Illinois reduced the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers from .10 to .08, the standard now used by all 50 states. Today, 20 years later, lawmakers are thinking about further reducing the legal blood-alcohol limit from .08 to .05.

If you are wondering why, you are not alone. It is perfectly reasonable to ask questions like how much safer did the roads really get after the change from .10 to .08, relative to the cost to society of law enforcement and the severe penalties paid by people convicted of DUI? How strong is the rationale for further reducing the legal limit to .05?

In this post, we will look at how the change from .10 to .08 impacted DUI arrests and fatalities in Illinois over the past 20 years. In a separate post, we will look deeper into the debate over the .05 standard.

Deaths in Alcohol-Impaired Crashes Have Declined in Illinois

The Illinois law reducing the legal blood-alcohol level from .10 to .08 took effect July 2, 1997. The year before it took effect, 534 people died in Illinois car crashes involving at least one driver who was at or over the 0.08 level. In 2016, 272 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Illinois . Thus, the annual number of drunk driving deaths in Illinois has been cut in half, resulting in 262 fewer deaths. This may not be entirely attributable to the .08 change, though. Other factors have likely played a role, such as the 2000 law requiring drivers found guilty of DUI to have blow-to-drive devices installed in their vehicles.

DUI Arrests Have Declined in Illinois

Arrests for driving under the influence have declined significantly over the past decade, according to the Illinois Secretary of State. From 2010 to 2016, the number of arrests dropped by 12,371, from 41,900 to 29,528 arrests, a decrease of 30 percent. The decline in arrests could be partly due to law enforcement cuts; the number of Illinois State Police troopers, for example, declined from 2,105 in 2008 to 1,671 in 2016 . But the decline can also be attributed to increased public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, along with increasingly severe legal and financial penalties.

The bottom line, as evidenced by the reduction in both arrests and fatalities, is that Illinois drivers do seem to have cut back on drinking and driving since the .08 law passed.

Trust an Experienced Joliet DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, the first thing you should know is, there are many ways to beat a DUI charge and to fight the suspension of your driver’s license. To determine your best defense strategy, consult a knowledgeable Will County DUI Defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation; phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.

Juvenile Charges: You and Your Child Both Have Rights

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As a parent, one of the most difficult things to hear is that your child may have done something wrong. If your child is arrested or charged with a crime, it will be a stressful experience for the both of you, but one of the best things you can do is become informed about the rights that both you and your child have in this situation. Becoming informed will help both you and your child get through this process.

What Rights Does My Child Have?

In Illinois, anyone 17 years old or under is considered a child, although for very serious crimes, children over the age of 15 can be tried as an adult.There are a few differences between what rights your child has and what rights an adult has when they are charged with a crime.

1. Probable cause is needed to search a minor - As with adults, police must have reason to believe a person has committed a crime before searching a minor, and these reasons must be supported by facts. The exception to this rule is if a parent or a person with partial responsibility of the child (such as a school official) has reasonable suspicion of an offense.

2. Right to a phone call - If your child has been arrested, he or she has the right to make a phone call to call you or to directly contact an attorney. This is part of the Miranda Rights that also apply to adults.

3. Right to remain silent - Also a part of the Miranda Rights, your child has the right to refuse to answer questions until you and/or their attorney is present. Your child does not have to say anything to the police, no matter what the police say.

4. Right to a lawyer - Your child has the right to a defense lawyer. Your child should tell the police right away that they would like a lawyer present before they speak. If you cannot afford a lawyer, your child has the right to a state-appointed defense attorney.

5. Right to talk to a parent or guardian - Your child has a right to talk to you before they talk to police. They also have the right to have you present during questioning and during all court proceedings.

6. Right to notice of charges - Your child has the right to know what crimes he or she is being charged with. Police are required to explain what charges are being pursued and why they believe your child is guilty.

7. Privilege against self-incrimination - The Fifth Amendment applies to your child the same as it does to an adult - they cannot be forced to testify against themselves.

8. No right to bail - Unless a serious crime is committed, minors are often released from police custody to their parents or guardians prior to their arraignment in juvenile court. In the case that your child is held in police custody, they do not have the right to seek bail.

9. Limited right to a trial by jury - States are not required to give juvenile cases a trial by jury. In the state of Illinois, juvenile cases do not receive a trial by jury unless the minor is judged to be a “violent” or “habitual” offender.

What Rights Do I Have?

1. Right to be notified of arrest - Police must tell you as quickly as possible that your child has been arrested or is being held in custody.

2. Right to notice of charges - Like your child, you have the right to be informed of what charges are being pursued against your child. You also have the right to know where your child is being held in police custody.

3. Right to be present during questioning - You have the right to be with your child during police questioning and during all court proceedings.

4. Right to a lawyer - In Illinois, you have the right to have an attorney present during questioning, even if your child does not choose to exercise his or her own independent right to do so.

Contact a Will County Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child has been charged with a crime, you need an experienced Joliet juvenile defense lawyer at your side. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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