When you get caught driving on a suspended license – or a revoked license – you’ll lose your driving privileges for even longer. You could even end up going to jail and paying hefty fines. But you may be able to get a hardship license.
How Do I Get a Hardship License in Illinois?
The Illinois Secretary of State can revoke your driver’s license for a wide range of reasons – including unpaid parking tickets, tollway violations, traffic violations and DUI. Trying to go about your life without a license can be really challenging; you might have a hard time getting to and from work, picking up your children, or even simply getting groceries.
However, some people are eligible to get a hardship license. A hardship license, which is technically called a Restricted Driving Permit, or RDP, lets you drive to and from certain locations at certain times. Check out the following sections to learn more.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Hardship License in Illinois?
On average, it takes between 10 and 14 weeks to get a hardship license in Illinois. The reason it takes so long is that you must have a hearing (informal or formal), the Secretary of State must issue its decision, and the permit has to come in the mail.
How Do You Get a Restricted License in Illinois?
You have to prove that being without a license causes you hardship. If you lost your driver’s license because of a DUI, you’ll have to provide a current and professional alcohol or drug evaluation, as well as proof of remedial education or treatment.
Then, you have to have a hearing in the Secretary of State’s Department of Administrative Hearings. The hearing officer will review your driving record to make sure that you’re not a threat to public safety.
What Happens if You Drive Without a Hardship License?
When you’re driving on a suspended or revoked license, you’re always at risk of being “found out.” If the police run your license plate through their system and discover that you aren’t licensed to drive, you’ll probably be arrested and taken to jail – and your car will most likely be impounded (and impound fees are expensive!).
What happens next is up to the judge in your case. You may try to offer a defense (such as saying you were only driving because of an emergency) or you might not – every case is different. However, you do need to know that the judge can sentence you to jail time for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
If you’re caught driving without a hardship license after your driving privileges have been revoked or suspended, you probably want to get in touch with an attorney who can help. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below for your free case review. We’ll answer your questions and start developing a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.