Driving While License Suspended or Revoked 625 ILCS 5/6-303
Updated: May 20
It may seem like a harmless offense, but Driving While License Suspended or Revoked ("DWLS/R") is taken very seriously in Illinois. At a minimum, DWLS/R starts as a class A misdemeanor. At its most severe, DWLS/R can be charged as a class 2 non-probationable felony, meaning you would need to serve a minimum of three years in prison. If you have a history of DWLS/R offenses, DWLS/R will often carry some additional mandatory minimum conditions.
The sentencing range for a DWLS/R charge is largely based on the reason your license is suspended or revoked and the number of prior DWLS/R offenses you have committed. The most common reason a person has their license suspended or revoked is that they have received too many traffic tickets in a short amount of time or because of a DUI offense.
Suspension/Revocation Based on too Many Traffic Tickets
If your license is suspended or revoked because of too many traffic tickets and you are caught driving, you will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. Depending on the number of prior DWLS/R offenses you have committed, you will be sentenced as follows:
- 1st DWLS/R offense carries no additional mandatory minimums
- 2nd DWLS/R offense carries a mandatory 100 hours of community service.
- 3rd+ DWLS/R offense carries a mandatory 30 days jail or 300 hours of community service.
Suspension/Revocation based on a DUI Offense
If your license is suspended or revoked due to a DUI offense, the consequences become much more serious:
-1st DWLS/R offense is a class A misdemeanor and carries a mandatory 240 hours of public service work.
- 2nd DWLS/R offense is a class 4 felony with a mandatory 30 days jail or 300 hours of public service work.
- 3rd DWLS/R offense is a class 4 felony with a mandatory 30 days jail.
- 4th - 9th DWLS/R offense is a class 4 felony with a mandatory 180 days in jail.
- 10th -14th DWLS/R offense is a non-probationable class 3 felony
- 15th+ DWLS/R offense is a non-probationable class 2 felony.
There are also many additional offense-specific sentencing guidelines for DWLS/R. For example, If you are required to have a BAIID device in your car but are driving without one, you could be charged with a felony, regardless of your DWLS/R history. A suspension or revocation for reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, or an accident involving personal injury or death can change the class level and mandatory minimums of a DWLS/R offense.
In addition to any criminal sentence you receive for driving while license suspended, the Secretary of State will take additional actions against you. If your license is suspended, the Secretary of State will extend the length of your suspension. If your license is revoked, the Secretary of State will require additional waiting time before you allowed to petition for reinstatement of your driver's license.
If you are charged with Driving While License Suspended or Revoked, It is important you consult with an attorney.