I’ve been handling DUI cases throughout Illinois for over 27 years. I have probably handled thousands of DUIs in my 27 years of being a criminal defense attorney. Looking back at all of the years and all of the cases that I have handled, I can tell you that most people charged with a DUI do not realize that they are probably looking at a mandatory suspension of their license in Illinois. For many people, this mandatory suspension of their license will have the greatest impact on their lives. It will affect their ability to get to and from work, and may even cause them to lose their job. This mandatory suspension, is called the Statutory Summary Suspension. Let’s talk about what the Statutory Summary Suspension is, at what it means for your DUI case.
Illinois has an implied consent law. This means that by virtue of the fact that you are operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in the State of Illinois, you are deemed to have consented to having your breath, blood, or urine, tested whenever a police officer has a reasonable grounds to believe that you may be Under the Influence of Alcohol. Illinois law provides that you are deemed to have consented to such testing by driving on a public roadway in Illinois. If you have an out-of-state license, Illinois cannot suspend your out-of-state license, but they can suspend your driving privileges in Illinois. If a police officer requests that you take a breath, blood, or urine test, and you refuse, your Illinois drivers license will be suspended for 1-year if you are a first offender. If you take a breathalyzer test, and your blood alcohol level was .08 or above, your license will be suspended for 6-months if you are a first offender. This is what is known as the Statutory Summary Suspension. The Statutory Summary Suspension will start 46 days after your DUI arrest. If you are an out of state resident, your right to drive in Illinois will be suspended for 6-months, or 1-year, depending on whether you took a breathalyzer test or whether you refused.
The Statutory Summary Suspension penalty in a DUI case is separate and distinct from the DUI charges. The Statutory Summary Suspension process is a civil case that is between you and the Illinois Secretary of State. The actual DUI charges are criminal in nature and are between you and the People of the State of Illinois. The Statutory Summary Suspension process only involves your drivers license or your driving privileges in the State of Illinois. The DUI charges are criminal in nature and can result in criminal penalties and monetary fines and court costs.
If you are not a first offender, your license will be suspended for 12-months if your blood alcohol level was .08 or above, and will be suspended for 36-months if you refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. Whether you are considered a first offender for Statutory Summary Suspension purposes, depends on whether you have had a prior DUI or Statutory Summary Suspension, and when that DUI or suspension was. In order to be considered a first offender, you must not have had any prior DUI’s or Statutory Summary Suspensions within 5 years. What Illinois considers to be a first offender for a Statutory Summary Suspension is different from what is considered a first offender in the criminal DUI case. A first offender in a DUI case is someone who has never had a DUI before.
You can challenge the Statutory Summary Suspension of your license by filing a Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension within 90-days after the date of the Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension. The 90 day period usually starts on the date of the DUI arrest but may be after the date of the arrest depending on whether the DUI is based on a blood or urine test and when the arresting officer sent the Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension to the Illinois Secretary of State. Anyone can file a Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension on their own, but you should hire an experienced and knowledgeable DUI lawyer if you want to have a hearing on the Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension because this aspect of your DUI case is complicated and requires the services of a DUI lawyer that knows what they are doing.
James Dimeas, is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, DUI lawyer, with over-27 years of experience handling DUI cases in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois for the Year 2018 and 2019” by the American Society of Legal Advocates. James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney” and a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise. James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys awarded James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois.” James Dimeas is rated “Superb” by AVVO, the highest classification possible for any DUI lawyer in the United States. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized James Dimeas as a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois.