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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  13 years experience in criminal law, BA in criminal justice
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I lost my drivers license 24 years ago in Illinois after a

Resolved Question:

I lost my driver's license 24 years ago in Illinois after a third DUI offense. Since then, ( I am 58 years old and don't drink ) ,I cannot get a license in any state because I cannot prove to their satisfaction that I can operate a motor vehicle safely and sober. Why must I have the burden of proof after all these years. I filled out the required paperwork twice and it was unacceptable each time. I live in Mississippi now. Can I fight this injustice or do I need to hire a lawyer. And if so, do I consult with an attorney in Illinois or get legal help in Mississippi. I can't totally prove that I have been sober for a year and 8 months because I am required to have 6 individuals' letters stating the length they know of my length of sobriety. The people I am close enough to each know me for different lengths of time. Because of that my documentation was inconsistent and rejected. I am a law abiding citizen. Have been for all those years.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 10 months ago.

Hello there Stephen.

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Can you tell me -- where did you fill out the paperwork? At the DMV or at the local district court? What was the reason it was rejected? Mississippi DUI laws DO permit a driver to get their license reinstated no matter how many times you have been arrested for a DUI. From the third offense and beyond, the mandatory license suspension is 5 years (on the fourth offense the judge can give you another 5 years, fifth offense the same, etc). The current laws require that you pay for the installation of an interlock ignition device (which is a devise that you blow into before starting your car and if your blood alcohol level is about the legal limit, you cannot start the car and the police will appear and charge you with DUI again). The price of the device is around $1,000 to install and a few hundred dollars a month to maintain each month until you are permitted to remove the device from the car by the court. Because you have been living in MS for more than 6 months, the Ms courts now have jurisdiction over you and any court cases involving you -- the MS court will send for your driving record in Illinois (and anywhere else you have lived and held a driver's license) and all of the priors count against you for sentencing purposes and license suspension so if you had 3 or 4 convictions you should have lost your license for 5 or up to 10 years. Because you are now 24 years later since those convictions, you should be able to apply to the court in MS that is located nearest to you for a hearing to reinstate your license -- and in the application to the court you willmost likely have to tell them that you are willing to install the interlock ignition device.

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Because of the fact that you have two states involved here, a large gap in time and new laws regarding intelock devices, I strongly suggest that you hire an attorney to make the applications to the court for you and then go from there. You can find many competent DUI attorneys by contacting your local county bar association and asking them for referrals to several attorneys in your area who can assist you with these issues.

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I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have further questions. If not, can you please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face underneath this ANSWER box. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating below. Doing so will NOT cost you any more money than you have already paid -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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MARY

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I am filing my paperwork to the Illinois Secretary of State. Dept. of Administrative Hearings. I have lived in Mississippi since May 2012. Rejections have stated - more sober time required, incorrect documentation of last drink, failed to demonstrate in a convincing manner the full extent of alcohol dependency problem. I went to a sober living program by choice. I was not at an alcohol treatment center. I had the freedom to come and go to work, meetings, church and social activities. I moved out to an apartment and I am now a member of a local AA group and chair meetings there. All of this I stated in my paperwork.


 


Illinois states that until I clear my license with them according to their laws that I am revoked anywhere.


 


 

Expert:  Legalease replied 10 months ago.

Hello again Stephen --

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I apologize because from the way you worded your question it seemed as if you were finished in Illinois (you have not had a license there in 24 years so I assumed that some of that was a suspension at the beginning). I do realize that you have to fix things in Illinois before being able to get licensed in another state (I just thought they were fixed and MS was refusing you a license based on the prior DUI's -- which is their right to do, so watch out if once you get everything fixed in Illinois that MS doesn't ask for additional items to get your license reinstated -- such as installing the interlock device). The interlock device laws are all retroactive --which means that even if there were no such laws in existence when you were charged with the DUI's in Illinois, either Illinois or MS or BOTH can require that you have the interlock ignition device installed in your vehicle before they will let you have your license back. REgarding the items that Illinois continues to request for reinstatement, they are unfortunately within their rights to do so -- but if there is anyway that you can afford to do so, you might want to get an attorney to represent you at the next hearing so that all of the evidence can be flushed out properly (it has been my experience that the state boards, DMV's and courts are harder on persons representing themselves in DUI cases and appeals --- when you have an attorney, the board is likely to make you meet a set of criteria and that is it. WHen you do not have an attorney, the board members will suddenly start adding additional requirements or stating that something you have is not sufficient. They do not seem to try to play those games with the attorneys who appear in front of them.

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MARY

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I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have further questions. If not, can you please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face underneath this ANSWER box. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating below. Doing so will NOT cost you any more money than you have already paid -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

-

MARY

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your answers. So now, when I do hire an attorney, must I get a lawyer in Illinois or can I work with someone in my local area. I assume they must be able to handle cases in the State of Illinois.

Expert:  Legalease replied 10 months ago.

Stephen -

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If you can find someone licensed in both states that would be ideal (ask at the bar association if you call them or use online referral for a reference). If not, you are probably better off to hire an attorney in Illinois first to handle the administrative hearing for you there in order to get your license reinstated in Illinois. Once you get Illinois taken care of, usually the home state is more agreeable to permitting a restoration.

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MARY

-

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have further questions. If not, can you please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face underneath this ANSWER box. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating below. Doing so will NOT cost you any more money than you have already paid -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

-

MARY

Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 14511
Experience: 13 years experience in criminal law, BA in criminal justice
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