find yourself arrested for a DUI here are some important factors to consider.
If it is your second or more DUI, the situation is much more complicated. First, you are not eligible for court supervision. Also a revocation of your license is guaranteed upon a conviction. There is also the possibility of jail time although many courts will agree to extensive community service in lieu of jail time. Finally, if this is your third DUI it is considered a felony.
Aside from a conviction for driving under the influence, you also have to worry about a statutory summary suspension of your license. In Illinois, when you are pulled over for suspected DUI the officer will request that you submit to a chemical test, usually a breathalyzer. If you refuse to submit or if you submit and have over .08 BAC, your license will be suspended. If you have not more than one DUI in a five year period and your BAC is over .08 your license is suspended for six months. However, if you refuse to submit to the test your license will be suspended for one year.
It is important to understand that although the consequence of refusing to submit to a breath test is a longer statutory suspension, submitting and testing over the legal limit provides the prosecution with irrefutable evidence of your guilt. It is difficult to argue against test results that demonstrate your level of intoxication. Either suspension period automatically starts 45 days after your arrest.
When your license is suspended under statutory summary suspension you are entitled to hearing, despite the suspension automatically starting 45 days after the arrest. You are permitted to file a Petition for a Hearing within 90 days of your arrest. If you do not file the Petition within 90 days, your right to a hearing is considered waived. Once the Petition is filed the State is required to set the hearing within 30 days or the suspension will be dismissed.
At a statutory summary suspension hearing you can challenge the following:
- Whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over
- Whether a proper arrest was made
- Whether you received the proper warnings for statutory summary suspension as required by Illinois law
- Whether there was actual refusal or failure of the breath test