So you were pulled over and found to be driving under the influence... bummer. It's only normal to be concerned as to what this will mean for you in the ensuing legal fight against the State of Illinois and, more specifically, whether or not the State will suspend your license for a DUI. The State of Illinois treats DUI incidents very seriously and issues penalties for such incidents. But is a suspension of your driver's license one such penalty?
If you'd like to get a free case review tailored to your specific case, contact our DUI attorneys here. If you are just trying to learn more about the laws of getting pulled over while intoxicated, keep on reading.
A DUI qualifies as a Class A misdemeanor. Legal procedures are not as analog as would be ideal and all cases are reviewed on a circumstantial basis. Regarding your DUI, much depends on whether or not you are a first-time offender in which case the mandatory penalties (according to Illinois Law) are a minimum of 100 hours of community service and a minimum fine of $500. Second-time DUI offenders should expect jail time and a hefty fine. As highlighted before, these are bare minimums. The court exercises discretion in imposing any additional penalties and can additionally suspend your driver's license.
The Illinois Law begins to prescribe further punitive action in the case of an aggravated DUI (which constitutes a Class 2 felony). If your DUI came in light of a third-time offense, a previous conviction of reckless homicide, caused some great bodily harm or permanent disability, or any of 12 other statutes that constitute an aggravated DUI, the aforementioned penalties are supplemented with "any other criminal or administrative sanction". This may entail, in your case, suspension of your driver's license for a specified length of time.
The handling of your DUI also rests on your cooperation and performance during sobriety testing. This takes us back to when the police officer pulled you over. Refusal to take a breathalyzer test or scoring a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or higher may result in a Statutory Summary Suspension of up to 1 year for a first-time offender and up to 3 years for a repeat offender. This suspension may occur regardless of whether you are convicted or not.
The Statutory Summary Suspension takes effect 46 days after you receive a Notice of Summary Suspension or a sworn report by the police officer. It may, of course, be challenged in court. There are ways to remain a driver even with a Statutory Summary Suspension looming over your head but these do not fall within the confines of this article.
Overall, if your BAC was over the legal limit or you exhibit impaired driving, you may face criminal charges that may result in the suspension of your license. If convicted, first, second and third offenses may receive suspensions of up to 1 year, 5 years and 10 years respectively. Fourth and subsequent offenses may result in permanent suspension of your driver's license. As well, if you fail or refuse to take the breathalyzer test, you may face a Statutory Summary Suspension of your license regardless of the status of criminal charges.
So in answer to the question "Will my License be suspended because of my DUI arrest?", the State of Illinois may suspend your license depending on your compliance during when pulled over and the circumstances surrounding your offense.
If you are facing a DUI you better reach for the best representation possible. The chances of beating your DUI will drastically increase the sooner you take action. Contact our highly skilled DUI attorney in Chicago to schedule your free no-obligation consultation today!