The law in Illinois says that the Secretary of State has authority to suspend a person’s driver’s license upon a report of a conviction for certain offenses.
The information is reported to the Secretary of State by the Circuit Clerk for each county courthouse. The clerk’s computer system is linked with the Secretary of State and when a judge enters a conviction against a defendant for either a traffic violation or some other criminal violation, the clerk electronically notifies the Secretary of State.
The electronic notification, when received by the Secretary of State, is automatically entered onto that person’s driving record (called an abstract).
The Secretary of State’s driver’s abstract database uses an algorithm to determine the action taken against a person’s license. Each violation has been assigned a point value, and when the conviction is entered on the driver’s abstract, the suspension is imposed for a length of time according to the points for that offense.
The Secretary of State by law can suspend a person’s driver’s license for conviction of any of the following offenses:
- Three moving violations within any 12-month period if the driver is 21 years of age or older.
- Two moving violations in a 24-month period for drivers who are 20 years old or younger.
- Permitting the unlawful or fraudulent use of a person’s driver’s license (such as allowing another person to use one’s ID to purchase alcohol).
- Committing an offense in another state which would cause the Secretary of to impose a revocation or suspension in Illinois (such as three out-of-state moving violations in 12 months).
- Possession, display or attempted fraudulent use of a license, permit or identification card issued to another person (such as using another person’s ID to purchase alcohol).
- Driving without a license (such as an invalid or expired license, or the circumstance where the person never had a license to begin with).
- Driving a type of vehicle for which that person does not have a driver’s license (such as a motorcycle license).
- The misdemeanor offense of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.
- Leaving the scene of a property damage accident where the damage is in excess of $1,000.00. This results in a one-year suspension.
- Conviction for possession or transportation of open alcohol in a motor vehicle two or more times in one year. However, if the driver is younger than 21 years of age, then only one violation will cause a suspension.
- The alteration, fictional or fraudulent use of handicapped license plates or a parking placard.
- Criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, which results in a one-year suspension.
- Altering, possessing, or attempting to alter a driver’s license or identification card (such as changing a birth date on an ID in order to get into a bar or nightclub which is 21 and over).
- Possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor. One offense results in a minimum three-month suspension.
If you were arrested and charged with any of the above offenses, it is best to seek representation by qualified legal counsel. The wrong result could mean losing your driver’s license.