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The Difference Between License Suspension and Revocation

Understanding Driver's License Suspension and Revocation

A DUI arrest can be an overwhelming experience. Many people are confused, worried and upset. The want to protect their freedom and their rights, but they don't know what to do. If you have been accused of drunk driving, talking to the attorneys at Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd., can help you understand your options.

We explain the law and help you understand your options. You will probably be facing license suspension after an arrest. You have 46 days to fight this suspension. And, if you are convicted, you could be facing revocation of your driver's license.

Attorneys at our DuPage County law offices help clients understand the difference between suspension and revocation in Illinois. We will fight hard for you — helping you achieve the best possible results and protecting your right to drive.


In Illinois, most first-time DUI offenders receive court supervision instead of a conviction. With court supervision, comes a civil suspension of your driver's license. You may lose it for six months to a year. After the suspension, you may be required to pay a fine before you start driving again.

If you are accused of a second DUI, the suspension time increases. Your driver's license may be suspended from one year to three years. You may also face harsh criminal penalties, including jail time and community service.


After any DUI conviction, Illinois drivers have their driver's licenses revoked by the Secretary of State. A formal administrative hearing — called a Secretary of State hearing — is required to get their licenses back and drive again.

The amount of time your license will be revoked depends on whether the conviction was your first, second, third or fourth offense:

  • If you receive two DUI convictions within 20 years, you could have your driver's license revoked for five years.
  • If you receive three convictions, you could be facing a ten-year revocation.
  • If you are convicted for a fourth time, your license could be revoked for life.

Contact a Lawyer Today

If you are in legal trouble, talking to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to protect your rights. Contact Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd., today. Call us toll free at 1-877-335-6693 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day.