Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office


Plainfield Office


Will County Secretary of State Hearings Lawyer

Secretary of State Representation

Attorney Serving Joliet and Plainfield Explains Illinois Driver's License Hearings

If you are like most residents of the south and western suburbs, you have to drive to work—and to do just about anything else. So, if the Illinois Secretary of State (SoS) has revoked your driver's license for driving under the influence (DUI) or a similar offense, you no doubt want to get back behind the wheel as soon as possible.

In order to drive during your revocation period, you will need to apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP). This allows you to drive only to specific "necessary" places and, for DUI offenders, usually requires you to have a "blow to drive" device (BAIID) installed in your car. When your minimum revocation period is up, then you can apply for full reinstatement of your driver's license.

This may sound simple but it is not. Whether you are seeking an RDP or full reinstatement, you will have to prepare extensive documentation and attend an administrative hearing that is akin to a criminal court trial. In place of a judge will be a hearing officer, and in place of a prosecutor will be an attorney for the state, both employed by the SoS. As you can imagine, having an attorney on your side at this hearing can help balance the scale in your favor.

An experienced driver's license hearings attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can improve your chances of winning your hearing and receiving approval for your RDP or driver's license reinstatement on your first attempt. Many people fail at their first hearing and must then wait 90 days before they can have another hearing. We can help you avoid the errors that result in denial and get you driving again without unnecessary delays.

Getting Ready for a Secretary of State Formal Hearing

The first step is to submit a written request for a hearing. The state must schedule your hearing within 90 days of receiving your request but it will often be sooner than that.

Preparation is key to success at a hearing. The SoS hearing officer and attorney will look skeptically at your records and be inclined to keep you off the road for public safety reasons. Your Tedone & Morton lawyer will work with you to build a strong case that your driving will not pose any danger to public safety. Our arguments will be largely based on SOS-required documentation including:

  • A professional alcohol/drug evaluation completed within the past six months.
  • Proof that you have completed the alcohol/drug education or treatment as recommended in your professional evaluation.
  • If your evaluation classified you as high risk and alcohol/drug dependent: At least three letters or witnesses attesting to your active participation in a support/recovery program such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • If your evaluation classified you as high risk, non-dependent: At least three letters or witnesses attesting to your responsible use of or abstinence from alcohol/drug use.

NOTE: Drug/alcohol abstinence (or responsible use, if non-dependent) is required for at least six months for an RDP and at least 12 months for reinstatement.

Proving undue hardship. This is only an issue if you are applying for an RDP before your minimum period of revocation has expired or after a lifetime revocation. For example, if your license was revoked for "at least one year," you will have to prove undue hardship if you are seeking an RDP before that one-year period has passed.

Undue hardship is not simply the inconvenience that everyone suffers when they cannot drive. Rather, you will have to show proof of each "necessary" location you need to drive to on a regular basis, such as your job or a recovery/support program. In addition, you must show that you have no reasonable alternative transportation to get to that place because all of the following are true:

  • Another member of your family is unavailable to drive you, perhaps because their work schedule conflicts with your work schedule.
  • Public transportation is not available at the times and places you need.
  • Your income is insufficient to pay for cabs on a regular basis.
  • Walking or biking is not an option due to the distance.

During and After a Secretary of State Formal Hearing

There are only four locations for formal hearings in Illinois; we primarily use the office in Joliet. We will provide you a list of the questions typically asked at these hearings. We will also spend time with you rehearsing your answers.

During the hearing, your Tedone & Morton lawyer will ask you questions and you will answer. Our goal is to convince the SoS officials that you meet all the requirements and that you will be a safe and responsible driver.

The hearing officer will weigh your lifetime driving record and the seriousness of your offenses against the evidence of your rehabilitation. Within 90 days of your hearing, you will receive a letter from the SoS indicating the hearing officer's decision.

Illinois Secretary of State Hearings Lawyer Serving Morris and Yorkville

To ensure you are fully prepared for a Secretary of State hearing and have an experienced attorney on your side at the hearing, contact the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. at 815-666-1285. From our two convenient offices in Joliet and Plainfield, Illinois, we serve clients in Will County, Grundy County, Kendall County, Yorkville, Morris, and surrounding areas.

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