In this article, we answer the question: “what if I got pulled over ad did not know my license was suspended in Illinois?” We also answer the following:
A reader asked the following question: What if I get pulled over in Illinois and have a suspended license that I didn’t know was suspended? I’m 19 but I still need to get to work.
Driving on a suspended license can be a Class A Misdemeanor or a Felony, depending on the reason that your license was suspended. The maximum penalty for a Class A Misdemeanor is 1 year in prison and a fine of $2,500.00.
Ignorance of the fact that your license was suspended does not excuse the violation. However, depending on the circumstances, your lack of willful behavior may impact the prosecutor’s willingness to allow you to plea to a lesser offense or the judge’s discretion in assigning a penalty if you are convicted.
The first thing you should do is hire an attorney. An attorney will give you the best chance of having the charge reduced or dismissed. If your license was suspended for something that you can remedy, such as failure to pay a fine or failure to pay child support, the next thing you should do is resolve the cause for the underlying suspension. If you bring proof that the underlying cause of the suspension was resolved to court with you, your attorney will likely be able to work with the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss the charge and allow your license to be reinstated.
For more on this, check out our article: Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Illinois.