Published on 08/20/2008
50 Frequently Asked Questions
1) Do I need an attorney?
Yes, however any attorney will not be sufficient. You will need to hire an attorney well versed in the field of DUI defense and someone who is familiar with the judges and prosecutors in the specific courthouse in which your case will be heard.
2) Can I go to jail?
If you are charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, at a minimum, you will be charged with a Class A misdmeanor which is punishable up to 364 days in the county jail and a $2,500 fine. At a maximum you could be charged with a Class X Felony, which is punishable from 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
3) Will I go to Jail?
If you never have been charged with DUI ever in your life, it is very unlikely that jail would be a possible sentence, unless there were extremely agravating circumstances surrounding your case.
If you are not a first time offender for a DUI, jailtime is within the realm of possibilities. The Illinois legislature has become increasingly harsh with mandatory minimum sentences over the last five years.
4) Will I lose my driving priviliges?
In Illinois, under the Statutory Summary Suspension Law, you must consent to any chemical test that is requested of you by the arresting officer. In most cases, it is wise not to consent, and refuse testing. Unfortunately, a refusal of a chemical test(breath, blood, or urine) shall result in an automatic suspension of your driver's license for either 6 months or 3 years. Additionally, if you consent to a test and fail it, your driver's license will be suspended for 3 months or a year.
If you are convicted of a DUI your driver's license will become revoked and you must have a hearing with the secretary of state to obtain driving relief through a Restricted Driving Permit(RDP) and to obtain your full driving privilges back.
5) What is the difference between a suspension and revocation of a driver's license?
If your driver's license is suspended you will automatically get your driver's license back when the time period of your suspension terminated and you pay the proper reinstatement fee to the secreatry of state
On the other hand, if your driving privilges become revoked you must obtain driving relief through a hearing with the secreatry of state.
Thus, it is possible for yoour driving privilges to be suspended and revoked at the same time
6) Will my driver's license be suspended for submitting to or refusing a breath test on the scene, but not at the station?
No. The Preliminary Breath Test(PBT) cannot be used to prosecute and convict you in a criminal trial. Also, the refusal or result of submitting to a PBT cannot be the basis to suspend your driver's license.
7) When do I need to meet and hire an attorney?
Right away. Not only will this unfortunate incident be fresh in your head, but delaying could also cost you in defending your case in court. It is very important to file a Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension as quickly as possible. As soon as the Clerk of the Circuit Court file stamps this motion, a hearing must be brought to you within 30 days or your suspension is rescinded or set aside.
Equally important is the use of a Subpoena Duces Tecum. This Subpoena requires the Keeper of Record of the police department of which you were arrested to preserve all evidence including any video or audio tapes that were prepared in conjunction with your arrest.