A formal Secretary of State hearing is necessary if the state revokes your Illinois driver’s license based on two or more charges of DUI.
What is a formal hearing?
A formal hearing is a process with the Illinois Secretary of State which allows a person to request the reinstatement of his or her driving privileges.
How do you schedule a formal hearing?
First, you must request a formal hearing in advance and pay a $50.00 fee. After the state processes your request and you pay the fee, the Secretary of State will schedule a hearing approximately five to seven weeks in advance. The hearing will take place at one of the five locations that provide hearings. You get to select your location. The locations include 17 N. State Street, Suite 1200, Chicago, Illinois 60602; 54 N. Ottawa Street, 4th Floor, Joliet, Illinois 60432; Howlett Building, Room 212, Springfield, Illinois 62756; and 218 S. 12th Street, Mt. Vernon, Illinois 62864. You can obtain a Formal Hearing Request form HERE.
Who is present at a formal hearing?
There will be a hearing officer and an attorney representing the Illinois Secretary of State. Additionally, you and your attorney will be present.
What should I expect at a formal hearing?
Initially, each party must submit all the necessary documents, and the hearing officer must enter these documents into evidence. Next, the attorney representing the Secretary of State presents your driving history and other relevant documents, including any police reports and sworn reports. Once the hearing officer enters these documents into evidence, your attorney will present the petitioner’s documents (you are the petitioner).
Once the hearing officer admits all of the documents into evidence, he or she will swear you in. Next, the hearing officer will say, “You may start.” At this point, your attorney will begin with direct examination. Direct examination is the process of asking you questions. Once your attorney is finished, the attorney for the Secretary of State will question you. Additionally, the hearing officer might ask you questions. However, the hearing officer’s questions are generally intended to clarify an issue or touch upon an issue that was not fully covered by the attorneys.
Do I need an attorney at a formal hearing?
You can represent yourself at the hearing, but I would not advise it. The clients I meet that went to a hearing without an attorney have caused great damage to their cases and have delayed their license reinstatement by years. Clients sometimes say things at a hearing that they should not say. Additionally, they sometimes submit documents that they should not provide to the Secretary of State.
When will I receive a decision?
You will not receive a decision on the day of the hearing. The Illinois Secretary of State has 12 weeks (3 months) to issue you a decision. Generally, a denial takes less time because a decision that grants driving privileges has to be reviewed twice. Therefore, the longer you wait for the decision, the better it might be.
Documents Needed to have a Formal Hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State:
The specific documents needed will be based upon the reason your license was revoked. If the state revoked your license because of a DUI, the Secretary of State provides a list of required documents based upon your drug and alcohol classification level.
To discuss your case with Attorney Young for free, call (708) 410-0090 to arrange a no-obligation, no-charge, confidential consultation.