In Illinois, a first-time DUI charge will not automatically result in a conviction, and the effects of a DUI charge of your license will vary greatly.
At the time of your DUI charge, your license will automatically be suspended 45 days after the arrest. The length of time that your license will remain suspended will depend on multiple factors specific to your case.
The term of suspension will also be determined by whether or not you submitted to any sobriety tests. If you refuse to submit to these tests, your license will be suspended for 12 months. A period of 6 months of suspension is imposed on those who do submit to sobriety tests.
Please note, with an attorney hired before the 45 days, you can have this automatic suspension stopped. The attorney will file a Petition to Rescind the Automatic Summary Suspension. The courts will conduct a probable cause hearing to determine whether there were grounds to stop the suspension going into effect. Your DUI charge will still remain until litigated however you will be allowed to continue driving.
For a first-time DUI, Illinois offers a sentence of “supervision”.
To qualify for Supervision, you must be facing your first DUI charge (or second DUI after 10 years), you will be required to take an alcohol and drug evaluation before you plead guilty. You can also receive supervision if found guilty after a trial if it is your first offense or second offense after 10 years.
The evaluation must be taken by the court approved assessment program and not just your private doctor or outside drug and alcohol counseling program. This evaluation will rate your overall result as a score of 1, 2, or 3.
- Level One scores indicate individuals at low risk for a repeat offense. Level One scorers will be eligible to receive their license as soon as 12 months after completion of all court requirements.
- Level Two scores indicate individuals at an intermediate level of risk for a repeat offense. Level Two scorers will find it more difficult to regain license privileges.
- Level Three scores indicate individuals at high risk for a repeat offense. Level Three scorers will have their license revoked and make it more difficult to regain privileges to drive.
These scores are given in direct response to the exact information and the nature in which it is given to the assessor you will speak with. It is important to remember that it is not necessary to give excess information during these assessments, and it is generally most useful to remain as concise as possible.
Petition To Rescind The Statutory Summary Suspension
When trying to avoid license suspension, there is an administrative process attorneys may use called a Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension. This petition requests a hearing wherein the arresting officer must testify to their recollection and report of the events at the time of your arrest.
This testimony will include their analysis of why they stopped the vehicle in the first place (probable cause) and why they believed you to be under the influence.
If the judge finds that there is not enough evidence, the license suspension may be lifted sooner than the 6 months or 12 months, from the date of your arrest.
In Illinois, you are not able to have your DUI expunged. The Mothers Against Drunk Driving are a strong force in Illinois (and in most states). Their work includes strong lobbying that has persuaded legislators in Illinois to explicitly prohibit DUI expungement.
Laws around DUI’s are important to the protection of our communities. That said, the ways in which DUI investigations are conducted may often lead people to wrongfully incriminate themselves. It is always important to fully realize the legal implications of your actions when dealing with these matters and to find the counsel of a trusted attorney who can guide you through the process.
If I Just Plan On Pleading Guilty To A DUI Charge In DuPage County Or Cook County, Do I Really Need A Criminal Defense Attorney?
Anyone facing DUI charges needs the representation of a criminal defense attorney. This is because there are countless legal consequences for any action and factor within a DUI case.
It is of the utmost importance to have a full understanding of your options and the ramifications of choosing any particular path. The same DUI case can see drastically different conclusions depending on whether or not a skilled attorney is there to represent the defendant. When the stakes can be as high as fines, jail time, and revocation of your license, there is no reason to take chances.