Secretary of State Drivers License Hearings in Illinois
Persons convicted for DUI face complex administrative hearings before the Secretary of State to obtain a Permit or reinstatement. Although they have implemented difficult regulations with perseverance, proper documentation and a competent attorney they can succeed in driving again
Secretary of State Formal Hearing BackgroudA formal hearing (as opposed to an Informal Hearing) is required if a person has two DUI arrests and/or a summary suspension on his abstract and I conduct them at the Secretary of State Office in Chicago. A petition with a $50.00 check is mailed to their office and a notice is sent by mail of the hearing date. The hearing is usually scheduled between four to seven weeks after the petition was sent in. If you are unsure what type of hearing is required simply call the SOS Administrative Hearing office to inquire.
Prior to the hearing it is critical to obtain the proper alcohol/drug treatment documentation. The Uniform Report and/or the Update Evaluation are the most important documents for a formal hearing. The Uniform Evaluation must be completed within six months of the hearing date and if it is older than six months, the same agency program that performed the original should provide an Update Evaluation. A different agency may perform the evaluation if they provided the actual treatment or the original agency has ceased operating and a new agency assumed its files. The petitioner does have the right to obtain a completely new evaluation from another OASA licensed agency. However, if a new agency is completing the evaluation it should prepare a full Uniform Evaluation, Treatment Needs Assessment and chronological drinking history. If no further treatment is required a Treatment Waiver should also be prepared. While treatment in limited circumstances may be waived, Risk Education cannot be waived and the certificate must be presented to the SOS.
There are several areas in an alcohol evaluation and treatment documents that cause problems. Improper classification is a major reason why petitions are denied as it is incorrectly assumed that a petitioner's classifications is solely dictated by the number of DUI dispositions or their BAC. While these factors mandate the minimum classification, the petitioners reporting of his past or current abuse to the evaluator is usually the primary factor.
The hearing is conducted by an Administrative Judge who is an employee of the Secretary of State and a prosecutor is also present. The hearing officer will administer the oath, rule on motions, subpoena witnesses or documents upon motion of either party, rule on the admissibility of evidence and can also pose questions to the petitioner. A record of the proceedings is made by a tape recorder in case an appeal is filed in the civil Chancery Court.
The Petitioner has the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence. Prior to testifying the petitioner will submit the previously mentioned treatment documents, evaluation(s) and any other character, recovery or employment letters. After admission of the documents the attorney will direct examine his client. It is very important that the testimony be consistent with the properly prepared evaluations and treatment documents. Generally, within four to eight weeks a written detailed Order will be prepared and sent to petitioner and counsel. If the petitioner is denied then he must wait four months from the original hearing date to have another hearing.
Out Of State Hearing Packet BackgroundIn our society it is common for people to move to another state. Whether it is for employment or just a change of scenery, every year many millions of American move to another state and Illinois residents are no exception. But, due to the National Registry's driver's license data system, it has become harder to leave Illinois in your rear view mirror, and not merely in a figurative sense.
An out of state resident who received a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction in Illinois and possesses a valid license from their state, upon expiration of their license, they will be prohibited from renewing it. Likewise, a former Illinois resident now living in another state who had their license revoked in Illinois for DUI will find that when applying for a license on their new state that a "hold" has been placed thus preventing the issuance of a new license. Every compact state is now required to check the Problem Driver Point System (PDPS) located in the National Registry before renewing an existing license or issuing a new one. The PDPS system is designed to advise other states of any revocations, and will prevent a license from being issued or renewed if another state has placed a hold on it. This article outlines the circumstances when an out-of-state hold will be placed on a license and what a driver can do to obtain a release of the hold from the Illinois Secretary of State.
There are several reasons where a resident of another state must petition the Illinois Secretary of State for driving relief due to an Illinois revocation hold.
A non-resident who never held an Illinois driver's license received a DUI conviction or other revocable offense while driving in Illinois. 1). Their resident state, upon expiration of the current license will refuse to renew it. 2). An Illinois licensed driver has a revoked license and moves to another state and attempts to obtain a driver's license there. The licensing authorities of that state will not issue a license due to the revocation hold; 3). A non-resident who never possessed a valid license is applying for a new one and has a hold from an Illinois DUI conviction.
Ordinarily, with an OOS Packet a Petitioner completes a detailed questioner, submits their state driving abstract, treatment documents, proof of residency, $50.00 filing fee and a minimum of three character letters. This "Packet" is then mailed to the Secretary of State Office in Springfield. In due course, the SOS will mail an Order either granting or denying full reinstatement or send a letter requesting further documentation such as past alcohol evaluations, treatment documentation or even order a brand new alcohol evaluation. There are several factors that determine whether more documentation or treatment is required. These may include the number of prior DUI arrests, dates of the arrests, type of treatment completed and answers provided in the OOS questioner. While Illinois residents who move to another state are prohibited from being issued a new drivers license. Due to the National Registry and PDPS check a revocation hold from Illinois will follow them forever and wherever they live. Only by successfully petitioning