The Law Offices of William Margolin

How Long Does It Take To Get A Decision In This Hearing?


There are 2 types of hearings—there are formal hearings in Chicago, and then there are informal hearings. The general rule is if you have one DUI resulting in your license being revoked, you do an informal or local hearing in front of the Secretary of State. If you have two or more DUIs, you have to do a formal hearing in downtown Chicago. For informal hearings, as soon as you are ready to go into the hearing, you can walk into the local hearing office, and you can do the hearing. What that means is that your documents are in order, and you are ready to answer the questions that the hearing officer is going to pose to you. It takes roughly two or three months for them to get you the written results back in the mail.

A formal hearing is different. You have to send down a written request for a hearing, along with a $50 fee. If I mailed it down today, we would not have the hearing for roughly two months, and then it takes two or three months after that to get the response in the mail. If you are looking at a formal hearing in Chicago, you are potentially looking at five months.

Will I Get My Full License Back Or Will I Have To Drive On A Hardship License First?

Generally speaking, even if you are eligible to get your full license back, when we are doing the hearing after the date of eligibility, the vast majority of times the Secretary of State prefers to give you a hardship permit first. It’s a 12-month permit. You prove to them that you are not a screw up. You are going to have to follow the rules and regulations of having debate in your vehicle, and the rules and regulations of the highways here in Illinois. Then, from my perspective, you are in a very good position to get your full license back, because an RDP is essentially a probationary license.

You prove to the Secretary of State that you can play the game properly, that you followed the rules and the regulations, and when you do the second hearing you are in a very good position to get your full license back. The law states it this way because if the hearing takes place after the date of eligibility, then you are eligible to get your full license back. However, the Secretary of State would prefer to give you a limited probationary license permit, an RDP. Then you walk the walk, and you are in a very good position to get your full license back usually a year after that.

What Can Someone Expect To Happen At The Secretary Of State Hearing?

The first thing that happens once we walk in through the door at the Secretary of State hearing is you will see four people in the room. They will be client and myself, a hearing officer, and a prosecuting attorney, both employed by the Secretary of State. We sit down at a big table, each person on a different side of the table, and the first thing that happens is that we have a prosecuting attorney and also a judge looking at the driver’s background, a copy of his driving records, and their documents that they received from the arresting police agency. At that time, the hearing begins. They swear my client in, the prosecuting attorney introduces him to evidence documents that they have, such as a copy of my client’s driving records. There is a certain part of a police report called a sworn document report.

It’s a one part report, which very briefly details what happened on the night of the DUI—that my client blew into the breath machine or submitted to a chemical test or not. They could also introduce into evidence the fact that they did a nationwide check on them to other DMV facilities throughout the country, and that he has no DUIs from a foreign state. Then after they are done introducing their evidence, I introduce my documents, which would be current evaluations, cold evaluations, proof of treatment, if they are involved in support programs, support letters, and abstinence letters, depending on the classification. If we are going for work permit, I also show documentation of employment, such as a letter from work. If you are self-employed, I show proof of that. Those are some of the documents that I would submit into evidence. Then I start the hearing.

The client has already been sworn in, and I go over five areas of a person’s life when trying to establish that my client is a different person today than when they last had a DUI. We go through personal background information, to try and paint a picture of who the client really is, to show that he’s not just a guy that works and who has had a couple of DUIs, but there is a lot more to him. He’s married, he’s ill, or he has children, served in the US military, and has no prior criminal background. The first area I talk about is personal background information, and we then talk about the DUIs in detail. From there I talk about the treatment that he received during the most recent DUI arrest. From there we talk about what his drinking or drug use pattern has been currently, and what it was in the past.

Usually the next area I talk about is employment, and I try to break down how he works and currently gets to work and gets late to work. Then at the completion of my presentation, I try to get from him what lifestyle changes he has made, why should the Secretary of State believe he is worthy of getting a license today. After I’m done asking questions, the prosecuting attorney will ask his questions. After he or she is done, the judge or the hearing officer will ask them questions. After that, generally it’s at the completion of the case, my client at the end is afforded the opportunity to make a statement if he or she wants to. The way that they phrase it as is there anything you would like to tell us that you haven’t already said to us? Generally my clients do not, nor do I want them to make any statement as a general rule, and then the hearing is over. From this point, we wait for three months to get the written result back in the mail.

For more information on Timeline Of Decision In a Hearing, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (847) 623-2424 today.c

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