What happens when your license is revoked?
May 27, 2011 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Chicago Law Filter, Traffic Division: Questions about license revocation.

Asking for a friend, who I will call Sam.

Sam has an Ohio license, but lives in Michigan. Sam was visiting Chicago and got a speeding ticket. Sam paid the ticket, but forgot to attend traffic school. Sam's license was revoked by the Circuit Court of Cook County. Sam is coming to Chicago on Tuesday to file a motion with the court, as he was advised.

What happens after a motion is filed? Will Sam be able to get his license un-revoked that day? Will there be money involved? Is there a defined process for this sort of thing, or is it completely up to the judge?
posted by lholladay to Law & Government (5 answers total)
Best answer: i'm not a lawyer but maybe i've had my license suspended under these circumstances. unless your friend has some other problems most likely what will happen is that the judge will listen to him and probably just reinstate the license. traffic court will not be an option, though he may get more fines.

if he got a letter from the illinois secretary of state regarding the suspension, he may have to also pay a separate reinstatement fee to the sos office.
posted by lester at 11:02 AM on May 27, 2011

Best answer: Important to understand: Cook County cannot revoke his Ohio license. What Illinois does in these circumstances, though, is create a notional Illinois driver's license and revoke (or suspend) it. This will certainly affect his legal driving privileges in the state of Illinois, but what Michigan and/or Ohio do depends on their reciprocity policies.

IANAL, but it's likely this is a revocation for a specified period of time, such as one year. One option in that case would certainly be to simply avoid driving in Illinois until the revocation expires.

I'm confused about the circumstances, though. If the fine was paid, the violation was satisfied. The traffic school option is there to expunge the conviction that comes with the ticket, and restore your DL to clean rather than dirty with points. Unless he was ordered to attend traffic school as some sort of deal with the judge, assuming he appeared on the first charge, I don't see how it would lead to a revocation. Was there an understanding that your friend was out-of-state and traffic school would be quite inconvenient? Or was there a failure to appear, resulting in a summary judgement and a traffic school order, after which Sam finally paid the fine? Failure to appear can result in revocation.

The main thing here would seem proof that the fine was paid. It just seems to me there's something else going on.

Reinstatement will probably mean showing up at the DMV with the court paperwork and paying a fee.

This is one of those cases where even though the actual money involved is small, it may be worth it to have an attorney.
posted by dhartung at 12:29 PM on May 27, 2011

Response by poster: dhartung, thank you. Here's a little more detail.

Sam paid the fine, but also opted for traffic school in order to clear the points from his license. He was told he would receive more information in 4-5 weeks. The information never arrived (possible mail problems) and he never thought to call them about it. The folks at Cook County said that he had a certain window of time to complete traffic school, and he didn't. Therefore, license revoked.

Seems a bit harsh for simply failing to attend traffic school. But I'll suppose we'll figure out the full story on Tuesday morning.
posted by lholladay at 1:18 PM on May 27, 2011

Best answer: Sam has an Ohio license, but lives in Michigan.

This may be troublesome for him. They generally frown upon that, unless the residence in MI is temporary. So when they say "we sent the notice to 123 Ohio Street" and your friend says "what good does that do me, I live in Michigan?" they will be at a minimum unimpressed.

The main thing here would seem proof that the fine was paid. It just seems to me there's something else going on.

Probably not. Sort of. Tickets in IL usually have two options (it's been a while since I've gotten one, so the numbers are likely off):

1- plead guilty, get sentenced to $65 fine, pay it and move on.
2- plead guilty, ask for supervision, pay $65 fine + $30 for traffic school. If after 6 months you haven't gotten any more tickets AND COMPLETED TRAFFIC school, conviction doesn't go on your record.

In this case, he didn't complete the terms of the deal and thus had his privilege to drive in the state of IL revoked.
posted by gjc at 5:41 PM on May 27, 2011

Response by poster: Here's an update for everyone paying attention.

Sam went to court at the appointed time, filed a motion, and the judge was willing to dismiss the missed traffic school. So with that gone, and the original fine paid, it's like the ticket never happened. Sam received some paperwork to take to the Secretary of State in order to get his license cleared.

The Secretary of State's office, however, does not list his license and revoked or suspended. Nor does the Ohio BMV. Nor does the national database. So... according to the Illinois SoS, the Circuit Court is a mess and none of this really should have happened in the first place.

Thanks all for your help.
posted by lholladay at 7:54 AM on June 1, 2011

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