In this article, you will learn:
- How a DUI is classified as a misdemeanor or felony.
- What some consequences of a DUI are.
- What an attorney can do for you if you have been charged with DUI.
Is My DUI Charge In Cook County, Illinois A Misdemeanor Or A Felony Charge?
Whether or not your DUI charge in Cook County, Illinois will be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the number of offenses you have on your record. If it’s your first or second offense, then it will typically be a misdemeanor charge.
Illinois law states that your third DUI should be a felony, but oftentimes in Cook County, a felony won’t occur until up to the fifth offense (as long as there is no personal injury or death).
Am I Going To Go To Jail For A DUI Conviction In Illinois?
The likelihood of going to jail on your first DUI is very slim as long as no one was hurt or killed in an accident. In fact, you may not even be convicted for a first-time offense. Instead, you will likely end up with supervision and drug and alcohol treatment, in addition to other penalties.
If it’s your first DUI and you are charged with a felony with aggravated DUI or negligent homicide, then it is very likely you will have to serve jail time. What’s more, the severity of a charge of this nature makes it absolutely crucial for you to have an experienced attorney who can help you to avoid the worst aspects of a conviction.
What Do I Need To Know About My Driver’s License After A DUI Charge And Arrest In Illinois?
Your driver’s license will not be suspended until 45 days after the date that the arrest was made.
After the 45-day period has elapsed, the Department of Motor Vehicles Secretary of State automatically suspends the license. If you take a breathalyzer, your license will be suspended for 6 months. If you did not take a breathalyzer, your license will be suspended for a year.
After the period of suspension is over, you still have to petition; it doesn’t automatically renew, and it does not automatically reinstate. You have to show proof that you completed the alcohol and drug evaluation, and you have to pay a reinstatement fee.
If you have an excellent private attorney like those at Hunsinger, Boyd Odom & Goss Law Group, a petition can be filed to rescind the automatic suspension, also known as the statutory summary suspension.
We file a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension within the 45 days, prior to the suspension going into effect. Then, there is a hearing held to determine whether or not there is probable cause.
There are four standards that are used in order to determine whether or not a statutory summary suspension will be granted. If that suspension is granted, then the 45-day suspension does not go into effect, and you are able to continue driving with your driver’s license and deal with the underlying charge.
However, just because you win the statutory summary suspension does not mean you are going to win the actual trial as it relates to the charges of the DUI. This is because the statutory summary suspension is considered to be a civil matter separate from the criminal matter.
Do I Need To Hire An Attorney For My Driver’s License Immediately After A DUI Charge Or Do I Have Time?
After a DUI charge, it is best to hire an attorney immediately so that you can have the petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension filed immediately – before your license is suspended. In addition to that, hiring an attorney early on in your case gives them the opportunity to file an appearance and get all the discovery that is needed before your first court date.
While it’s always best to find an attorney immediately, a lot of people find it financially unreasonable – especially after having to pay a bond or get their car out of the tow yard before it runs up fees.
If that is the case, you should know that you have 45 days after your arrest to sort out your finances. During this time, you will be allowed to drive and our firm can still file the petition to rescind the license suspension.
However, after those 45 days have passed, (and while we’re waiting for the hearing on the petition), you cannot drive.
How Do I Request An Administrative Hearing After My DUI Arrest In Illinois? Can My DUI Attorney Do This For Me?
The administrative hearing entails the predisposition of the criminal case. Before this hearing, the state attorney has a statutory period of time in which to bring the case to a hearing, or else the petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension is automatically granted.
Often, private attorneys are able to negotiate with the state attorney to actually agree to the rescission of the statutory summary suspension without going to a hearing. In these cases, the substitute criminal charge is set for a trial or a plea.
While a Public Defender’s office can handle the underlying criminal case, the Public Defender’s office cannot file the civil petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension, as it is not within their jurisdiction.
Regarding the criminal matter, some people will hire a private attorney to just handle the petition portion of the case and have the public defender handle the criminal portion. However, some judges won’t allow that because if they see that you can afford to hire an attorney, they’re not going to allow the public defender to get appointed.
In any case, the best thing to do when you’re trying to keep your license from being suspended after a DUI is to hire a private attorney who can file the petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension.
For more information on Misdemeanor & Felony DUI Charges In Illinois, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (312) 779-0098 today.
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