Every case is different and the end results vary. Depending on the case, the verdict may be determined by a judge or jury. One thing every case has in common is that the prosecution has experienced DUI prosecutors and trained witnesses that will do everything they can to get a conviction. State legislators have passed increasingly strict DUI laws making every DUI conviction more serious. This makes it even more essential to have a Chicago DUI Defense attorney in your corner to guide you through the process and fight for your rights.
Possible DUI Penalties
There are a variety of possible penalties depending on the individual case that vary in severity from supervision to jail time.
- Court Supervision—a misdemeanor DUI charge without a prior DUI charge or a DUI that has been reduced to reckless driving can get court supervision. This is not a conviction, will not appear on public driving records and does not affect driving privileges.
- License Suspended—a conviction will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
- Jail or Prison
- Community Service
- Probation—possible up to the third DUI conviction. The fourth and subsequent DUIs no longer have probation possible.
- Forfeiture of Your Vehicle
- Alcohol/substance Abuse Treatment
- Enhanced Penalties—if you drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .16 or higher, are transporting a child under 16, have an invalid, suspended or revoked license, have a prior DUI conviction, or caused a serious injury or death, you may face increased penalties.
- Felony DUI—a DUI can become a felony DUI if you did not have a valid driver’s license, the car was not insured, you caused an accident resulting in serious injury or death, or have had two or more previous DUIs. Felony DUIs can result in lengthy prison sentences.
Statutory Summary Suspension
If you fail the chemical test by having a BAC of .08 or higher, or have illegal drugs in your system, or if you refuse chemical testing, you will automatically have your driver’s license suspended on the 46th day after you are arrested. This is separate from any penalties from a conviction.
The suspension will last:
- 6 months if you failed a chemical test, or
- 1 year if you refused the test.
Monitoring Device Driver’s Permit (MDDP)
You may qualify to receive a monitoring device driver’s permit (MDDP) which will allow you to drive with a breath ignition interlock device (BAIID) on your vehicle.
Qualifications for MDDP
- First time offender—no previous DUI in the past 5 years
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Be 18 years of age or older
- No previous convictions for reckless homicide
- No death or great bodily harm resulted from the DUI
You may be able to get an exception for a work vehicle that is not specifically assigned to you. If your employer can sign an affidavit of the following requirements, you may be given a non-BAIID permit for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Non-BAIID Permit Requirements
- A specific vehicle is not assigned to you.
- You do not take the vehicle home.
- You are not self-employed or work for a family owned business.
Statutory Summary Revocation
If you were involved in an accident that involved injuries, and either failed the chemical test or refused to take the test, then your driver’s license can be automatically revoked on the 46th day following the arrest.
The revocation will last:
one year if you failed the test
three years if you refused to take the test
Suspension Vs. Revocation
Suspension—A suspension has a specific time period after which the license can be reinstated by paying the reinstatement fee.
Revocation—A revocation doesn’t have an automatic reinstatement date. You will need to go through a reinstatement process that can be lengthy and arduous.
Petition to Rescind
A statutory summary suspension or revocation happens automatically and will remain in place unless you petition to have the suspension or revocation rescinded. You can challenge the suspension or rescission by filing a Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension with the court.
Reasons for Rescission
- No probable cause to believe the offender was driving under the influence while on a public road.
- No probable cause for the police officer to pull the offender over in the first place (ie. for speeding or improper lane usage).
- Proper procedure was not followed and the officer did not provide the offender with the Warning of Chemical testing form.
- BAC was not .08 or above.
- Did not refuse chemical testing.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
Even if you are driving a noncommercial car when you get arrested for DUI, your CDL license may be in jeopardy.
- One year disqualification of CDL—you will get your CDL license disqualified for one year if you refuse to take the chemical test or if you fail the chemical test.
- Lifetime disqualification of CDL—a second DUI offense will result in a lifetime disqualification of your CDL license.
Chicago DUI Attorney Needed
Every person that is arrested for DUI should contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Any DUI conviction is serious whether it is a misdemeanor or felony since it becomes a permanent part of your record. Call Dennis F. Dwyer, Chicago DUI Defense Attorney, today to learn more about how he can help you fight your DUI charges.