What If Someone Has Not Yet Reached Their Eligibility Date For Secretary Of State Hearing?
The general rule for Secretary of State hearings is that everything is done on a case-by-case basis. Your attorney will not know how to inform you until they take your driver’s license number and they run it through a Secretary of State computer, they actually talk to a hearing officer, or they talk to you and have you provide them a certified copy of your driving record. You are eligible to have a hearing, whether it is an informal or a formal hearing, which takes place in downtown Chicago prior to the date of eligibility. However, you are only eligible if you are successful to get a permit to drive. It’s called a Restricted Driving Permit, an RDP. It is good for up to 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, generally for work, education, or medical reasons only.
There are some childcare exceptions, where you can get a permit for childcare or family education, but most people are applying prior to the date of eligibility for work, education, or medical reasons. Once again, the RDP is all you are eligible for, if you do a hearing and if you are successful prior to the date of eligibility. After that date, you are eligible to get your full license back if you are successful after doing one of these types of hearings.
What Do You Say To People Who Want To Get Their Driver’s License Reinstated After A Single Hearing?
The chance of getting your driver’s license reinstated after a single hearing depends on your background. There is a substantial difference between somebody who has one DUI resulting in their license being revoked, versus somebody who has four or five DUIs. There is a big difference between somebody who has no aggravation in their DUIs, meaning there is no accident where a victim has been hurt or killed, or the individual was not taking punches at cops, or was not absolutely out of control during the DUI. It varies depending on what the client’s background is, and the severity of the individual DUIs, and for that matter what they’ve been classified as. When you have a DUI prior to going and doing a Secretary of State hearing, you have to be evaluated to see what type of drug or alcohol issue you have, and then you have to do the appropriate schooling.
In Illinois, it’s going to be a 10 to 30-hour school, and in rare cases up to 75-hour school, depending on what your background is in DUI schooling. There are various criteria they use when deciding what the appropriate classification is, and what the appropriate amount of counseling you have to do is. There is no one size fits all type of situation. What I tell people is that if you are coming into my office and your license is revoked, which means your license has been taken away forever, you are never going to get a permit with one exception. The one exception is if you do a hearing in front of the Secretary of State. Depending on what your background is, it could be an informal hearing, which is a local hearing in front of the hearing officer here in Waukegan, or you have to do a formal hearing in downtown Chicago.
The only way that you are ever going to get a license or an RDP is by doing one of these hearings, and being successful. You cannot out-wait a revoked license charge. A revoked license charge is a lifetime ban, unless you take the active step to get it back. That’s the difference between a revoked license and a suspended license. Suspended is for a specific period of time. The general rule is that you can just sit and wait for that suspension to be up, and then you pay a reinstatement fee. At that point, you automatically get your license back, and you are not obligated to do one of these hearings.
If it’s after the date of eligibility, you are eligible to get your full license back. If you don’t get your full license, then a secondary license would be that permit. The only guarantee an attorney can give you is you are 100% guaranteed never to get a license unless you are at one these hearings, and you are successful after doing this hearing. I will fully make sure that not only the documents that are required to do the type of hearing that they are obligated to do will be in order, but also their testimony will be ready to go.
Based on that, their chances are good to at least get some sort of restricted driving permit right after we do a first hearing. I tell people that there is nothing hard and fast here, but if you are successful after doing the first hearing and you get a permit, and during the period of the permit you comply with all the obligations that you are required to do, whether it be having a breathe machine in the vehicle, not getting pulled over for any traffic violations, or not being involved in any accidents, then generally speaking as much as they need me to get their foot in the door, after that permit is ready to expire and they have to do a second hearing to try and get their full license back, most of the time they do not need me.
They need me to get their foot in the door, and after that it comes down to how they are going to perform based on the parameters of that permit. If they do well, then they don’t usually need me at the second hearing to get their full license back
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