Statutory Summary Suspension
When a person fails a chemical test or refuses to take a chemical test in Illinois, his/her driving privileges are automatically suspended. This is called statutory summary suspension. Failure of a chemical test means that the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or above or traces of other drugs were found by the test. A BAC of over .04 for commercial drivers and over .00 for driver’s under the age of 21 also denote failed tests. Suspension of driving privileges automatically begins on the 46th day from the date of the suspension notice. Offenders can request a hearing to challenge the arrest, but this does not stop the suspension from taking effect. The statutory summary suspension is separate from criminal penalties for a DUI conviction, though the time will be credited toward the minimum period of revocation for a DUI conviction.
Rescission of Statutory Summary Suspension
There are two ways to get a rescission of statutory summary suspension. Rescission means canceling the suspension. The two ways are:
- Prevailing at a hearing before a judge
- Making an agreement with the prosecutor
In order to get this rescission, you must file a Petition to Rescind Suspension with the Circuit Court clerk.
Reasons for Rescission
Once a petition is filed with the court, a civil hearing will take place. A judge will grant a rescission at the hearing if the offender can prove:
- That there was not probable cause to believe the offender was driving under the influence while on a public road.
- The police officer did not have probable cause to pull the offender over in the first place (ie. for speeding or improper lane usage).
- The police officer did not follow proper procedure and did not provide the offender with the Warning of Chemical testing form.
- The offender’s BAC was not .08 or above.
- The police claimed the offender refused chemical testing, when this was not the case.
During this hearing, the judge will only rule on whether the offender is able to prove by a preponderance of evidence any of the above listed items. At this time the judge will not hear whether the suspension will place undue hardship or give a permit. If the judge does not rule in favor of a rescission, the offender may be eligible to get a Monitoring Device Driving Permit and begin to drive on the 31st day of the suspension. In some cases, a judge may rule in favor of a rescission on a technicality, for instance, if the police officer does not attend the hearing, the judge may rescind the suspension.
DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer
Immediately after an arrest for DUI, a criminal defense lawyer should be contacted so that a petition to rescind statutory summary suspension can be filed as soon as possible. Since filing the petition does not automatically rescind the suspension, it is important to get the process started quickly, before the suspension begins. Even though the proceedings to rescind the suspension are civil and not criminal, a good DUI criminal defense lawyer will be familiar with the proceedings and be able to guide the offender through the process.
Get the Rescission Process Started Immediately
Remember the statutory summary suspension is separate from criminal DUI charges. If you failed a chemical test or refused to take a chemical test, the suspension automatically begins on the 46th day after the date of the suspension notice. Whether you are eventually convicted of DUI is a separate matter. It is essential to contact a DUI criminal defense lawyer immediately so that the process to rescind your suspension can get started. Call Dennis Dwyer today and begin the process.