Was your driver’s license revoked for a DUI? You might think that all you have to do is pay the required fees to get your license back. However, the state of Illinois is not prepared to let you off the hook quite so easily.
The state will have to determine whether reinstating your driving privileges is likely to “endanger the public’s safety and welfare.” The state doesn’t make this determination arbitrarily. You will have to make your case in front of a hearing officer.
Formal and informal hearings
There are two types of driver’s license reinstatement hearings.
If this was your first DUI offense and there were no fatalities or no one suffered great bodily harm, you qualify for an informal hearing. An informal hearing may be held on a walk-in basis at any driver services location with hearing officers on duty. After your hearing, the state has 90 days to make its decision.
If you have had convictions for DUI in the past, or your case involved a fatality or great bodily harm, you will have to go through the formal hearing process. These hearings must be scheduled at one of a handful of locations in the state.
Thorough preparation is essential
Regardless of the type of hearing, you’d be ill-advised to simply stroll in and tell your story. Proper preparation of your case can help boost your chances of getting your license back. This involves gathering all relevant documentation, such as evidence you are in or have completed a rehabilitation program, and other evidence to help show you will not pose a danger to other drivers.
The hearing officer may ask you pointed questions. Your chances of success will plummet if you’re caught off guard or cannot supply a satisfactory answer.
You don’t have to go through a reinstatement hearing alone. An experienced legal professional can help guide you through this process. Working with a lawyer can help ensure you don’t overlook any crucial documents or evidence. An attorney can also help you anticipate and answer possible questions.