What is a Formal Hearing

A formal hearing is a hearing before a hearing officer of the Illinois Secretary of State during which evidence is presented about a person’s history involving alcohol, drugs and their driving record.  In essence, the hearing officer decides whether it is safe to allow this person back on the road.  A restricted driving permit will, almost always, be issued before full reinstatement is granted.

The hearing must be scheduled by sending in a request for a formal hearing, along with a $50 hearing fee.  Typically, the hearing will be approximately 6 – 8 weeks  from when the request is received.

Present at the hearing will be the hearing officer, an attorney for the Secretary of State, as well as your attorney.  You will not receive a decision at the end of the hearing.  The decision on return of driving privileges can take up to 90 days.

License Reinstatement after a DUI

The key to drivers license reinstatement is having an understanding about the hearing itself.  

Typically, a person who must have a formal hearing has had, at least, 2 Dui arrests.  Most people wrongly assume the hearing is about drinking and driving.  It is not.  The hearing is all about the individuals “problem” with alcohol.

This “problem” usually falls into one of the categories:  abuse or dependency.  There is a difference between the two.  Knowing that difference is the key to getting your drivers license back.

Alcohol Evaluation for a formal hearing

Proper preparation starts with an alcohol evaluation.  Its content will require a complete drug and alcohol history, including the use of alcohol or drugs for each Dui arrest.  The hearing can be lost before it starts, if this history is not done properly.

If properly prepared for the hearing, there is no reason for to get denied.

Experience Makes the Difference

As an experienced Joliet drivers license reinstatement lawyer, I have found that educating my client about the evaluation before it occurs makes a huge difference in winning at the first hearing.