top of page

Secretary of State Hearings Lawyer - Joliet, Will County IL

Illinois Driver’s License Hearings Attorney


When appearing before the Illinois Secretary of State's office to get your driver's license reinstated, you need a seasoned attorney at your side. The Law Firm of Rick Muñoz provides an equal level of aggressive representation at these hearings as we do in courtroom trials - We fight for you and your rights! Our experience and insight into these proceedings can be the first step toward driver's license reinstatement.

Illinois law makes a driver’s license “mandatory” under certain circumstances, and you may hear these suspensions referred to as “summary” or “automatic”.

Don’t be misled. While it’s true that certain actions or convictions trigger a notification to the Secretary of State which results in an automatic driver’s license suspension, you may still be able to fight the suspension.

Breathalyzer Refusal Suspensions

Although state law mandates a 12-month driver’s license suspension for breath test refusal, an Illinois driver whose license is suspended under this law has 90 days in which to request a hearing on the suspension.

The suspension can be challenged only on specific listed grounds. Some of the most significant include:

  • Lack of sufficient grounds for the officer to have believed that you were operating a vehicle under the influence

  • Failure of the officer to advise you of the consequences of refusing the breathalyzer test

  • Inability to make a knowing refusal (for example, if you were unconscious)

Since these hearings are narrowly focused on technical issues, it’s in your best interests to leave them in the hands of an experienced criminal defense attorney like the ones at The Law Office of Rick Munoz. We will identify any possible grounds for challenging your suspension and ensure that all procedural requirements are fulfilled to give you the best chance of reclaiming your driving privileges.

Other Driver’s License Suspensions and Revocations

There are a number of other reasons that your Illinois driver’s license may be suspended. Some of the most common reasons for suspension include:

  • Chemical test failure / DUI conviction

  • Excessive moving violations

  • Excessive unpaid traffic tickets

  • Seriously delinquent child support obligations

  • Toll violations

The procedures for challenging a driver’s license suspension and your options vary depending upon the nature of the suspension.

If your driver’s license is suspended and you’d like to challenge the suspension, we can determine whether an administrative or court proceeding is your next step and guide you through the appropriate process. Strict deadlines apply in many cases, so don’t delay—schedule your appointment right now.

Hardship and Restricted Licenses in Illinois

Depending on the reason for the suspension, you may be able to petition to have your driver’s license reinstated, or for a restricted driving permit.

The required procedures differ depending upon the reason for the suspension and the level of risk as defined by the Secretary of State.

To qualify for a restricted driving permit, you must establish that you need to drive for one of a small number of specific purposes, including work, medical appointments, child care, and alcohol awareness classes (if your driver’s license is suspended or revoked for driving under the influence).

The analysis includes not only your own transportation needs, but those of family members and elderly or disabled people who are dependent on you for transportation. However, establishing a need is not in itself sufficient to ensure that you will be awarded restricted driving permit.

If your driver’s license is suspended and you want to petition for reinstatement or for a restricted driving permit, give yourself the best possible chance to be among those whose petitions are granted. A successful petition requires an understanding of both the substantive requirements and the proper procedures for persuading a hearing officer that your license should be reinstated or you should be granted a restricted license.


Dedicated Joliet Hardship License Attorneys With Experience and Insight

Attorney Muñoz, will attend to every detail in preparing for your Secretary of State hearing. Our goal is to secure one of two options: full license reinstatement or a restricted driving permit (RDP), also known as a hardship license. We take a proactive approach, starting with a detailed review of your driving record. If the reason for your suspension involved a DUI, an evaluation for drugs and alcohol is necessary.


Preparing you for your testimony is an important step in the process. Without an attorney at your side, you may provide answers that you believe are right. However, the Secretary of State's office could interpret the response negatively. Questions may be posed in a way to elicit responses that reflect negatively on you. One wrong answer can lead to an unfavorable ruling with the driver's license continuing to be suspended or revoked.


We have even helped clients who attended a hearing without an attorney and failed to have their license reinstated. Although the process is more complex and lengthy, we remain at their side, fighting for license reinstatement or RDP.


Contact Us Today for a Free Initial Consultation

For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Illinois driver's license suspension defense lawyer, please contact our Joliet office or email us TODAY! Se Habla Español.

bottom of page