- posted: Feb. 18, 2019
About a third of our calls concern some sort of traffic or driving privileges issue. For first-time consultations we ask our potential clients to go to the Secretary of State Office (Any Driver Services Facility) and purchase a "Court Purposes Abstract". This is a fancy way of saying your driving history (at least while holding an Illinois privilege). About one person out of a hundred finds this offensive thinking we are going to use this to "decide I'm guilty". Nothing could be further from the truth. We ask for the Abstract because:
1. Out of state violations are often recorded by IL SOS as parallel to something more serious under our Vehicle Code and we want to see if you have been recorded correctly;
2. Adults are usually not accurate in reciting their youthful driving history. If what they remember as a speeder was actually a reckless, it could change the strategy for the current case;
3. Sometimes DUI's are won or dismissed but the related Statutory Summary Suspension remains. Very few driver-clients are able to explain the relationship of DUI's and Statutory Summary Suspensions. The only authoritative record is the SOS's
4. We have a duty to explain what your jeopardy is. Often a second Suspension or Suspension based on one fact pattern, as opposed to another, carries more severe penalties. You deserve to know what you are facing;
5. Finally, every maybe 50 abstracts, we find the driver/client has been the victim of identity theft and someone (usually a relative) has been racking up tickets and tolls in that client's name.
Folks, the thing only costs $12.00 and takes ten minutes. We wouldn't ask if it weren't important.