I was a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney from January 1990 through August 2000. During my prosecutorial years, the Illinois Vehicle Code (“Traffic Code”) was relatively small. The Traffic Code has grown almost exponentially since then.
The most common form of driver’s license suspension I see is based on moving violation convictions. If you are under twenty-one (21) years of age, two (2) moving violation convictions within twenty-four (24) months will suspend your driver’s license for a fixed period of time. If you are over twenty-one (21) years of age, three (3) moving violation convictions within one (1) year will result in a suspension of your driving privileges. Most people do not realize that if you mail in your moving violation ticket and pay a corresponding fine, you will likely get a conviction against your driving record. If this happens, an attorney can generally motion the ticket into court within thirty (30) days of the mailing and request that the disposition be reclassified to supervision, a non-conviction under Illinois law. If more than thirty (30) days has expired since the mailing, then good cause must be shown as to why said conviction should be vacated. It should be noted that all out-of-state moving violation guilty pleas are considered convictions in Illinois.
There are a plethora of other reasons why someone’s driving privileges might be suspended or revoked. It can be DUI-related, insurance-related, accident-related or crime-related. Sometimes the suspension is based on situations where no motor vehicles or driving are involved. For example, a man or woman under twenty-one (21) years of age who is charged with unlawful possession or consumption of alcohol might have their driving privileges suspended based on the disposition of the criminal charges. This is true even if the person was not driving or even in a motor vehicle when the offense occurred.
Someone with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) has even more restrictions placed upon them than someone with a regular driver’s license. CDL’s are regulated by both the federal government and the State of Illinois. A CDL can be suspended or revoked for a variety of reasons that do not apply to regular driver’s licenses.
It is so important to consult with an attorney that stays abreast of all of the changes and developments that take place in the Illinois Vehicle Code each year.