Do I Need an Attorney for a Formal Hearing?

What is a formal hearing?

When your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked as a result of multiple DUIs or an offense involving a fatality, a formal hearing is required. At the hearing, testimony and documentary evidence is heard by a hearing officer. This officer will:

  • Rule on all Motions
  • Administer Oaths
  • Subpoena Witnesses
  • Subpoena Documents
  • Examine Witnesses
  • Rule on Admissibility of Evidence

The Secretary of State’s office will issue an order reflecting the hearing officer’s recommendation and the decision. This decision is subject to the Administrative Review Law.

How do I obtain a formal hearing?

A Formal Hearing Request form must be filed with a $50 fee. Submitting a form without the fee will cause the form to be returned without a scheduled hearing. Once the form and fee are received, a hearing will be scheduled and a notice of the hearing date and time will be mailed.

Where do formal hearings take place?

There are four locations where formal hearings may take place.

  • Springfield – Howlett Bldg., Rm. 212, Springfield, IL 62756
  • Chicago – 17 N. State St., Ste. 1200,Chicago, IL 60602
  • Joliet – 54 N. Ottawa St., 4th Fl., Joliet, IL 60432
  • Mt. Vernon – 218 S. 12th St., Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

What happens if I can’t attend the hearing?

If you cannot attend the hearing, it is important to notify the Secretary of State’s office in writing at least five days before the hearing. If you neglect to do this, then a default order will be issued against you and you will not be able to have another hearing for 90 days. A new form and fee must be submitted to schedule a new hearing.

Do I need an attorney to attend a formal hearing?

While you can attend the hearing without an attorney, it is highly recommended to hire an attorney experienced with formal hearings. Going without a driver’s license is incred-inline-blockly difficult and inconvenient. Using an attorney to guide you through the process of getting your license reinstated is in your best interest. With your license on the line, having an advocate in your corner is a wise choice. Dennis Dwyer is experienced in handling DUI cases and can provide the support you need at a formal hearing. Give his office a call today to learn more.

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