Getting charged with driving on a suspended license is a serious offense. You can be stopped for an array of reasons, such as failure to signal, improper lane usage, or any simple traffic violation.

Under Illinois law, driving on a suspended license is a Class A Misdemeanor, even if you did not know your license was suspended. This means you can be sent to jail for up to 364 days or fined up to $2,500, or both. Depending on your prior background, this may be upgraded to a felony! Even if you are able to avoid jail time, you might be compelled to do a great deal of community service. (To see the full statute regarding this violation please visit: Illinois Driving on a Suspended License Statute.)

These cases are not unwinnable. If the police did not have sufficient reason to stop you, then your attorney could file a motion asking that the charge be dismissed. An attorney can help you clean up your driving record before your court date, which may help your chances of getting a better outcome in your case. The state may agree to dismiss the charge if you are able to get the license reinstated before your upcoming hearing.

If you are arrested for this offense, you must come to court. You should strongly consider hiring an attorney prior to your court date. It is important to hire an attorney who will work hard and is persistent in fighting for your defense. This type of attorney can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. For example, an attorney can speak with prosecutors to help your case in ways you might not be able to do yourself.

Additionally, an attorney may request a conference, known as a 402 conference. In a 402 conference, your attorney, the judge and the prosecutor are able to discuss your case in a more conversational setting to work out an agreement.

Ryan M. Schur is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois with an office in Schaumburg, Illinois, near the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Attorney Schur has experience working in the area courts of Cook County. If you have any questions regarding criminal or traffic matters, please call Ryan M. Schur at 847-609-2201 or email